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Black Panther comic book artist creates new comic book character from Baltimore: Thomas River

Brian Stelfreeze's latest comic book, Thomas River, features a protagonist from Baltimore.
Brian Stelfreeze's latest comic book, Thomas River, features a protagonist from Baltimore. (HANDOUT)

Brian Stelfreeze is a comic book artist known for his contributions to the Black Panther comic book series released in 2016. Now, Stelfreeze is ready to print his newest comic book, Thomas River.

Stelfreeze’s latest character creation details the happenings of a Black “world renowned” engineer from Baltimore, that travels the world and advises some of the biggest engineering firms –– undercover that is. River is actually one of the best secret CIA agents in the country.

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“I wanted to create a comic –– similar to all the movies I love –– with a character I could relate to and experienced life similar to mine,” said Stelfreeze. “And that is Thomas River.”

In the 40-page book, Baltimore is just one of the many locations where River has to track criminals down and bring them to justice for their cruel actions. Throughout the book, River discovers that nothing is ever as it appears, but the kicker is neither is his character.

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Although Stelfreeze lives in Atlanta, he is joined by writer Doug Wagner, who is based in Salt Lake City, Utah, but they both feel that Baltimore is an accurate representation of what it like to live in America today.

“I see Thomas River as kid that maybe grew up in the Cherry Hill area, and he could to travel the Inner Harbor and see all that money –– but then has to go home and see the neighborhood that he lives in and have that need to get out,” said Stelfreeze.

“That’s an incredibly common story, but its not a story that people see in comics," he added.

Stelfreeze’s, who is an Eisner Award (the highest honor in the comic book industry) nominee , illustrates the series with colorful, yet expressive designs.

Wagner is well-known for his work on the series, Plastic, The Hard Place and The Ride. He has also contributed to Batman: Arkham Origins and Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight.

“Doug’s a character guy and I’m an action guy, so I knew this was going to be the perfect combination. But we knew that we need that we needed someone to handle the details of our campaign, so that we could concentrate on creating," Stelfreeze said.

The production of Thomas River is by 12-Gauge Comics, and is ready to be printed now that the art and writing are completed.

The project will only be funded if it reaches its goal of $20,000 by Oct. 15. As of Sept. 28, it has raised more than $28,000.

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