Earlier this month, Oni Press released the sci-fi comic book “Meteor Men,” illustrated by local artist Sandy Jarrell. In it, a teenager witnesses a meteor strike near his home and soon meets the extraterrestrial that hatched from it.
It’s a book of mysterious aliens and unexpected twists. On the surface, it’s a sci-fi coming-of-age tale, yet the story consistently dodges genre expectations.
“Why would you want to stick with conventions?” Jarrell asks, sitting outside a Starbucks near his Cary home.
Jarrell started working on “Meteor Men” in 2010, when writer Jeff Parker walked into Nice Price Books in Raleigh and asked Jarrell, who was the manager there at the time, if he’d like to work on a book together. Jarrell, with a full-time bookstore job and two kids, did a lot of the early drawings at night.
Today, Jarrell only works at Nice Price “super part-time.” With “Meteor Men” and two “Batman ’66” stories under his belt (plus, he’s illustrating four issues of “Jungle Jim” for early 2015), drawing comic books is quickly becoming his main job.
The News & Observer talked to Jarrell about his illustrations, the North Carolina connections throughout “Meteor Men,” and his increasing involvement in the comic book world.
We hadn’t worked together before “Meteor Men,” and over the course of working on “Meteor Men” we did two Batman stories together. And we did an instructional thing that’s recently been published – a “Howtoons” story where kids build a playground out of found materials.