A Student Artist’s Comic Book Tells More Than Just a Story

Art student Angelo Amador-Lacson ‘22 creates his first comic book focusing on drug addiction, with hopes of having it published once complete


Amador-Lacson’s front cover of his comic book, which is the only artwork done in color ART BY AMADOR-LACSON.

Anastacia Laux, A&E Editor

Aimed with clenched fists toward the onlooker, a colorful character pops out of the bold front page of Angelo Amador-Lacson’s hand-drawn comic book. The superhero’s face is determined, hiding his struggles of overcoming drug addiction.

Amador-Lacson ‘22 has high hopes of publishing the comic as his first book, addressing difficult issues around drug usage and recovery. Inspired by his own experiences, he puts his feelings onto the pages with the intention of showing others who are fighting against addiction that improvement is possible.

“A lot of [the story] comes from my own life. I’m trying to convey where [the superhero, Powerful Person] is at mentally because he’s in denial that he is an addict and he doesn’t want help, which is something I feel like a lot of people can relate to,” Amador-Lacson said.

A page from the comic near completion, with only the letters left to finish.

Amador-Lacson became inspired to create the story after struggling with addiction himself. He especially became committed to the comic book after fighting his way through rehab in January.

“Making the comic has definitely helped me come to understand myself better,” Amador-Lacson said. “For a while, I was just doing realism art, but when I got into comics, I realized I could actually express myself through it.”

Exploring the plot of the story had been an idea of Amador-Lacson’s for years. He wanted to tell the story of a superhero who did not conform to all the typical protagonist stereotypes.

“Most recently, what inspired me was the show called Invincible. I really liked the idea of a non-traditional superhero. There was also the movie Hancock with Will Smith; it had a similar idea about a superhero who is an alcoholic,” Amador-Lacson said.

The young artist plans on publishing the comic in several parts, with around ten issues in total. Publishing this book would be the first step to achieving his goal of becoming an author in the comics industry.

“I think it would be really cool if I could do this professionally,” Amador-Lacson said.

Every panel of the comic is done with tones of gray, intended to convey the difficulty of overcoming addiction. Despite being only done in shades of black and white, Amador-Lacson describes how the process of creating the comic has been a lengthy one.

“I use pencils for the first sketch, and then I use ink to go over it. Then, I scan it and use Photoshop to add the colors and gray tones and clean up the liner,” Amador-Lacson said, going over the tedious steps involved in designing each page.

After making five drafts for each page, Amador-Lacson can finally call one complete. He intends for the final result to leave an inspiring message on readers going through similar challenges.

“I’m trying to show that it is possible to recover [from addiction],” Amador-Lacson said. “That recovery is possible and anybody can do it if they’re willing to put in the work.”