DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — A new superhero has been created, right here in Ohio.
Created and written by Strongsville resident Ryan Drost, “Stealth Hammer” is an all-ages comic book series that chronicles the story of Jami Taylor, a college student who finds herself part of a grand legacy of protectors in a world of high-tech gadgetry and supernatural mythology.
Ryan said that the story’s heroine was inspired by his real-life hero: his wife, Jami.
It all started with a workplace nickname, he said.
“She got the nickname years ago as a graphic designer at companies she worked for,” Ryan explained. “At one place, a design option she came up with won over a client, and her boss said that next time everyone will need to watch out for Stealth because she swooped in out of nowhere. At another location, someone said she was one who had to lay the Hammer down. So, she combined the two nicknames, and she became known as Stealth Hammer.”
The nickname became an ongoing joke between the two, but it also set the stage for what was to come.
“One year for her birthday, I commissioned an artist to draw her as a superhero. She loved it, but once I saw a physical representation of what Stealth Hammer could be, I thought maybe this could be an actual thing,” Ryan said.
“Ideas rushed through my head, and I couldn’t type them out fast enough. Who was she? Who were her family and friends? How did she get her powers? Who were her enemies and what were their motivations? She became a real, breathing character for me.”
Ryan said the next step was to forge a team with the talents to make his vision a reality. Through his involvement in the Star Joes podcast, he had contacts in the comic industry.
With these contacts, along with connections Jami had made with former classmates, Ryan was able to recruit a dream team.
The series is illustrated by artist Joel Jackson, paired with colorists Luis Antonio Delgado, Christopher Sotomayor and Ross Hughes. Letterer Dave Sharpe focuses on drawing the comic’s text. Jami Drost is responsible for graphic design.
From there, Ryan said the series was funded through Kickstarter crowdfunding campaigns.
Ryan and Jami have self-published the first two issues and recently launched a website for readers to keep up with the series and connect with them through social media.
“We have been blessed with a lot of positive attention towards the characters, the story, the art, and the story behind it all,” Ryan said.
“We want to create a community that is fun to explore for anyone at any age, much like the intention behind the comic itself. We’ve had people from ages 6 to 94 read the story and enjoy it, and we have a lot more story we want to tell in the years ahead.”
The first two issues of Stealth Hammer, along with art prints and other series merchandise, can be purchased online here.