The advantages of comics as a medium? There are many. The ongoing serial aspect to the story and character development over time is nice when you're on a book for a while. Also, the explosion of the independent books has led to much more opportunity for other than 'mainstream' work to be published and seen. ... I guess creating a world and characters that fans grow to love and respect and come to think of as almost alive (see "Big Bang Theory"), and knowing your work touches so many, is a very nice thing.

Jamie Noguchi

35, Rockville

Titles you've worked on: I was the artist for the Web comic "Erfworld: Book1" and currently write and draw the Web comic "Yellow Peril," an Asian-American office romance comedy. I did the art for "Master Tortoise and Master Hare," written by Howard Wong, which is in the upcoming "Secret Identities Volume 2: Shattered" anthology. And I've got a one-page story in "Magic Bullet" No. 5, which is put out by the DC Conspiracy.

How long have you been drawing comics? I've been drawing all my life, but I didn't get serious about wanting to draw comics until I graduated college.

How long have you been reading comics? Since high school. My brother and I discovered our father's collection of Marvel classics and then a friend introduced us to the local comic book store, Big Planet Comics in Bethesda, and I've been hooked ever since.

The advantages of comics as a medium? I could write a master's thesis on this alone, but one of the great things that I love most about comics is the variety of stories that are being published today. We have these huge, epic, sweeping superhero dramas with godlike beings deciding the fate of our very existence, and we have these small, tragically charming stories with characters just like us trying to navigate everyday life. Both kinds of stories can live on the same shelf in the store and be considered masterpieces by comic readers.

Mark Wheatley, Westminster

58, Westminster

Comic titles you've worked on: My own creations and collaborations include "EZ Street," "Lone Justice," "Breathtaker," Black Hood," Prince Nightmare," "Hammer of the Gods" and "Titanic Tales," as well as established titles such as "Tarzan the Warrior," "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen," "Jonny Quest," "Dr. Strange," "The Flash," "Captain Action," "Argus" and "The Spider."

How long have you been drawing comics? I started drawing comics when I was in the fifth grade. Professionally, I've been doing this since 1977.

How long have you been reading comics? About 50 years.

The advantages of comics as a medium? Comics appeal to the film director who is a control freak. I can do EVERYTHING. But I also enjoy collaborations. Comics are probably about the only mass-media fiction form that can still be easily created on a purely artistic level.

chris.kaltenbach@baltsun.com

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