Flashback Friday: Langford’s comic book artist

Local News

LANGFORD, S.D. (KELO) — A comic book convention, known as Siouxpercon, was held in Sioux Falls last weekend. Many collectors go to conventions to add to their collections. In this week’s Flashback Friday, we take you back to 1980 and introduce you to one collector creating his own character.

Some of the characters Rocky Hartberg knows best aren’t for real. His collection of 6,000 comic books includes Spider-Man, X-Men, and Hartberg’s favorite and member of The Fantastic Four, The Thing. Most people who have met The Fantastic Four stopped reading about them long before they reached 27, but not Hartberg.

“I like the moral code of comics. You know, their rights and wrongs. How they live by a certain code. And that’s still maintained today even. And it doesn’t necessarily present life the way it is, but maybe the way we’d like to see it.”

Hartberg was an art major in college. Since then, he’s made his own contribution to the world of comic book characters, The Adventures of Detective Cole Black.

“It’s my own character. Most of the books that are on the market today are superhero books, and there wasn’t that many detective stories. So, I wanted to try a little different twist. It’s all my own ideas.”

Black almost made it to the big leagues last year with Marvel Comics. But editor who accepted Cole Black was let go, and so was Cole.

Hartberg has sold copies of Cole Black, but part of his frustration is that connections aren’t made in Langford, but by traveling to comic book conventions in New York City. Rocky stays in shape by reading a diet of 15-20 comic books a month.

With his eye on the goal of a comfortable living doing what he enjoys the most, his stories. Dan Manson, KELOLAND News, Langford.

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