Friday Harbor Artist Lives out Dreams through Comic Book Superhero
03/30/14: Despite being born with cerebral palsy, local comic book writer and artist Ammon Walker which he designed, wrote and created as part of a global art contest to “Create-A-Superhero” for legendary Spiderman creator and Talenthouse.com.always wanted to play soccer like his Dad, David D’Errico who played for the Seattle Sounders and was a former Captain of the US Men’s National Soccer Team. Though he relies on both a cane and electric scooter, Aaron lives out his dreams through a soccer playing superhero named
Through Talenthouse.com Aaron has selected artist Addison Rankin to help him bring Ammon's story to comic books and the digital screen. Addison Rankin already has an impressive resume creating artwork for video games, trading card games, comics, storyboards, mobile games, and advertisements. His “Battle of the Trident” was selected as an exemplary submission in HBO’s Game of Thrones Fan Art Challenge that was included in the Game Of Thrones Exhibit in Toronto and New York. He graduated from Pacific Northwest College of Art in 2012 and is currently living in Portland, OR where he works as an illustrator and concept artist.
Both artists share island ties. Addison grew up on Lopez Island and in Seattle, and attended Spring Street International School in Friday Harbor and, at separate times, both Aaron and Addison were mentored by San Juan Island comic book writer/artist Paul Chadwick, yet the dynamic duo never met each other until now.
If that wasn't exciting enough, recently a story about Aaron was featured in USA Today “For The W!n” sports section at http://ftw.usatoday.com/2014/02/aaron-derrico-comic-book-dad-usmnt-sounders/ The story was also featured in a blog by AMS Vans at http://blog.amsvans.com/son-with-cerebral-palsy-creates-superhero-comic-to-honor-father/
Another goal for Aaron is to raise funds to make Ammon’s story into a comic book. A recent online crowd funding page at Crowdtilt is his main source of funding the production costs of making the comic, which is $500 a page for a 22 page full color comic. So far the fundraiser has raised $3,750 out of the goal of $11,000. Here’s the link to the fundraiser. https://reddit.crowdtilt.com/campaigns/help-fund-my-goal-to-promote-reading-with-my-comic
Aaron needs help with the fundraising, especially since he was accidentally hit by a truck in Friday Harbor in 2011 and lost his job due to a long recovery. During and after recovery he focused on the positive and decided to use that time to write Ammon’s story, inspired by the example of action hero icon Bruce Lee, who wrote his martial arts book, “The Tao of Jeet Kun Do” while in recovery after an accident. After overcoming many of the challenges of a learning disability resulting from multiple head injuries and a traumatic brain injury at birth that caused bleeding in the brain, Aaron's focus is to inspire others to read with Ammon’s story as digital, print, and animated, narrated, motion comics of his globe spanning soccer adventures.
Aaron also, made a short World Cup soccer video for Talenthouse too, the goal of the contest was to tell a story of a “Moment Of Happiness” in 15 seconds, so he told the story of his goal to make Ammon into a comic book. The top four winning videos will be featured in a World Cup music video. Aaron placed 12th in the world for his 4th top 20 placement in a Talenthouse contest! The four winners will be announced on the 31st of March.
Drawing inspiration from his love of professional Soccer, Aaron in turn inspires his friends (and hopefully comic book fans everywhere) with his positive message of how we are all superheroes in our own unique ways. As Stan Lee famously wrote, "with great power comes great responsibility", Aaron shows by example that it is everyone's responsibility to be great.
Aaron wants to take this opportunity to thank everyone who’s supported him and the project to tell Ammon’s story since he began it in high school. He especially wants to thank his mom Cynthia who helped him to read as a child using the Rebus reading program that combines words with pictures to help with reading comprehension and also suggested he “write his own story”.
Many other people also inspired him too, including his twin brother, Adam Derrico, Tom Pemberton, Dave Kinnaman, Andrew McLaglen, Paul and Elizabeth Chadwick, Pat O’Day, Mark Marshall, Ron and Carol Duke, Stan Lee, Talenthouse, and Amos Pizzey.
Other people he'd really like to thank are all his family, the Meakins, the Leiwekes, his step Dad, Gordon, Ben Morison, Fred Yockers, Carol Christianson, The Carli Family, Jon Shaw, Alex Reeder, Jon Graff, Vinnie Vella, Peggy Combs, Alba Pickering, Yvonne Bowman, Richard and Lauren Donner, Jason Richter, Michael Madsen, Carl Ciarfalio, Rosa Lee Brooks, The Hendrix family, Judith Carter, Peter Chan, Taylor Bruce, Jenny and Richard Ledford, Archie Brooks, Ryan Sandholm, David Falk, Sam Barbee, Aaron Levine, Walker Anderson, BJ Shea and his crew at KISW, Justin “Rev” Robinson, Su Ring, Kim Holcomb, Geri Weis-Corbley, Susan Hawkins, Mary Yap, Werner Roth, Sean Galloway, Ryan Benjamin, Alvin Lee, Miroslav Petrov, Michi Catanese, Durward Williams, Rama Fire, the Prescott family, the Earnhart family, John Lackey and so many others. And thanks to the businesses around town that let Aaron put up donation jars for the comic and to everyone who donated.
ABOVE PHOTO: Addison Rankin and Aaron D’Errico meet. Article written by Sherry Otis Price.
Local Artist Aaron D'Errico Featured on Q13 Fox TV
07/08/13: Friday Harbor's own Aaron D'Errico is in another global ! Aaron has been a top 20 finisher in 4 previous Talenthouse contests. This time he is looking to connect with an artist to help him illustrate his comic book about his soccer superhero, Ammon©.
Aaron always wanted to play soccer like his Dad, David D’Errico who played for the Seattle Sounders, despite being born with cerebral palsy. While his dreams of pro soccer were dashed early on, his love for comics never died. So, in 2011 he created a soccer-hero for Stan Lee and Talenthouse. Now, with the help of a talented artist, he wants to turn his 22-page origin story of his character, Ammon into a comic book. Read more on Talenthouse here.
Aaron was recently interviewed by Radio legend and original co-owner of the expansion Sounders, Pat O'Day and was on Q-It Up Sports, JOEtv and Q13 Fox TV. Watch the video and read an article about Aaron on Q13Fox here.
Vote for Artist Aaron D'Errico's Gypsy Son
07/12/12: Friday Harbor artist, Aaron D'Errico is in a cool Talenthouse "Share your story on paper" for Papernomad . Papernomad is a company that wants sustainable solutions and to replace traditional materials like plastic with paper. Based on their patented paper composite they design and manufacture bags for mobile electronic devices - created to meet the needs of modern nomads.
Gypsy Son. Aaron says "His life story was a synergy of technology and nature. To illustrate his connection to Earth I made his hair out of leaves and I also added a graffiti element to show his wild city boy side. He inspires me to innovate, blazing new paths while following my bliss as an artist. Hopefully inspiring others along the way."is a portrait of his favorite guitarist, Jimmy Hendrix titled
July 12, 2012 - July 19, 2012. Winner(s) Announced July 26, 2012.
05/31/12 UPDATE: Miroslav Petrov from Bulgaria has been announced as the winner.
05/28/12 UPDATE: Thanks to your votes, Aaron has placed in the top 20 in the world! Laidback Luke, Stan Lee and Todd McFarlane will chose the winner out of the top entries. The winner will be announced on May 30th! Good luck Aaron!
Local Artist Aaron D'Errico in Design Contest
Friday Harbor artist, Aaron D'Errico is in a new art contest! You probably remember Aaron's previous contests, design an outfit for famous DJ "Laidback Luke", for his famous "Super You&Me" party in NYC, where everyone dresses as a super hero.and Stan Lee's " " T-shirt design contest. This time the contest is to
In celebration of his upcoming round of SuperYou&Me parties, Laidback Luke, together with the legendary Stan Lee and Todd McFarlane are inviting designers to submit their finest Superhero costume design. The winner will have their design produced and worn by Laidback Luke at his party in Governor's Island in New York and in addition will be invited to attend the exclusive SuperYou&Me party to see their Superhero costume firsthand. Voting started May 22nd, 2012 and goes until May 28th.
Aaron tells me that for his costume design he drew from classic examples of "Kung fu and robots", themes specified by Laidback Luke that he wants incorporated in the design. The logo on his chest/body, "LBL", stands for Laidback Luke. The "B" in the center is also made to look like a vertical classic superhero mask like Kato, Zorro, The Phantom, and Robin, in the spirit of everyone getting their inner superhero on at the "Super You & Me" party! Layout and art wise he was inspired by golden age comics and the artists that drew them, so he did his best to freehand that style in tribute to them. Aaron was inspired by everything from Bruce Lee's iconic looks in Game Of Death, to his Kato mask, as well as elements of Ironman and Tron Legacy.
You can vote twice, once with facebook and once with Twitter.
The winner will be announced May 30th.
World of Heroes." The challenge contest is to create an original T-shirt design that answers Stan Lee’s challenge theme of "World of Heroes." Artists have submitted an entry for their chance at one of five $1,000 prizes. Stan Lee will pick the 5 winners from the top 20. Winning designs will be sold as limited-edition T-shirts with proceeds benefiting the John Wayne Cancer Institute at Saint John's Health Center.Now storytelling genius and comic book legend Stan Lee has issued his MASScanvas challenge in the theme: "
Above And Beyond. The Life Of The Hero.
(03/21/11) Aaron sent out this note yesterday to give everyone an update on how he is doing after his February 18th accident when he was hit by a truck. Previous story below.
Dear friends, and loved ones,
As you may know I was involved in a recent accident while riding my electric scooter in a crosswalk.
Thank you to everyone for your love and concern. I'm thankful to be home now. I'm still dealing with headaches and I have to take frequent rest breaks because of them. I'm also using a cane for balance.
Though I'm unscathed on the outside, (no broken limbs or major scars thankfully), I have to deal with the injury internally.
I'm happy I can communicate clearly, but I'm dealing with the results of this concussion, as well as the previous three traumatic brain injuries that I've had. One at birth that caused my cerebral palsy, a fall at age ten, and another fall at age 11.
I'm getting used to daily life again. It's gonna take some work, yet as always I'm maintaining my positive attitude and I'm hopeful for the future.
Aaron D'Errico is a Winner
(03/05/11) As you may already know Aaron didn't win the Talenthouse Stan Lee Super Hero Contest, but Aaron is a winner. He has won the hearts of the people of Friday Harbor. He is an amazing artist, but he is even a more amazing person and I am honored to call him my friend. When he was hit by a truck Feb. 18th, it made me realize just how important Aaron is to me and this community. We all love you Aaron. Here is a Facebook note he wrote out this morning:
Dear friends and family,
Thank you for asking about the results of The Stan Lee Foundation's Create-A-Superhero contest.
The winner is "The Counselor". He has a book only he can read that contains all the knowledge of mankind ever written down. With this knowledge he provides advice to anyone in need: http://live.cron.aws-iwatech.com/creativeinvites/preview/a38effea9d8e1d6ab49847e28cb4491d/154
As many contestants from the contest pointed out, It's the same concept as the recent movie, "The Book of Eli", with Denzel Washington: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1037705/
In any case, I'm grateful to have made it to the top 20 once again in a global art competition. That shows that my idea is a great one. I know that my hero is one that is meant to "excite a global audience", and "help the world", because he is a champion super star of the "global game", soccer, and most importantly, he takes action from inspiration, rather than the past popular trend of hate or revenge: http://www.talenthouse.com/creativeinvites/preview/a2f59e750fc5aaed004caee8c6e7c6d3/154
In this time I remember that Superman was turned down multiple times by every single publisher. Same with J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter. Stan Lee was told he was crazy for wanting to create Spider-Man, (until they finally got the sales receipts a year later, lol) Continued here..
02/26/11 UPDATE: Aaron's recovery is going well after his accident on Feb. 18th. He said on Facebook yesterday that he is
Artist Aaron D'Errico Hit by Truck
02/18/11 7:37pm BREAKING NEWS: Aaron D'Errico was struck in his scooter while crossing the street in front of Haley's. The accident happened this afternoon around 5:15. The truck, a late model Chevy was turning left onto Spring St. from Second St. when it hit Aaron throwing him about 10 feet and pinning his scooter under the truck. His head was bleeding, but he was conscious and talking to paramedics.
He was taken away in an ambulance. You may have heard about Aaron lately in the news, he is a local Friday Harbor artist that entered the
Sherry Otis Photos
(02/10/11) You can help local aspiring illustrator Aaron D'Errico of Friday Harbor win the
Ammon. Ammon is a daring quantum biology major with cerebral palsy. He seeks to heal himself against all odds because he dreams of being a champion soccer star -- like his father.has submitted a Super Hero called
VOTE HERE. Hurry! Voting ends Feb. 16th.
Bio: D'Errico, 31, graduated from Friday Harbor High School in 1998 and lives in Friday Harbor, he also lives with Cerebral Palsy. D'Errico is being mentored by Paul Chadwick of "Concrete" comic book fame, and is also a singer and a DJ. His desire to become an illustrator really caught fire when he met Stan Lee at the Emerald City Comic-Con. In fact, he took on the disc jockey moniker "DJ Hero" in honor of Lee. Last Sept. Aaron submitted a design in the contest to find a new logo for the Stan Lee Foundation and was in the top 3 in the world!!! More about that here..