This year, the Clarks Summit Festival of Ice scene will look a little different. There will still be more than 50 sculptures. There will still be businesses open for festivities. What's new: The superhero theme will take over State Street and abroad, featuring guest comic book artists such as Chris Ring. The 49 year-old has been invited as one of the guest artists for a comic book Convention during the weekend-long event.
Ring has been a comic book enthusiast since he started drawing in school. They were mostly humor strips about life in school, college, etcetera…, said Ring. I got a few offers to sell my strips to various college newspapers and I never looked back. As time passed, Ring, originally from New Jersey, began to infuse more adventure and sci-fi themes with a touch of dry humor into his stories. One of Ring's most notable comic series features a character called CarbonKnight.
He uses Pennsylvania's Centralia Mine Fire as inspiration. CarbonKnight weaves in a Sci-Fi/Adventure story in the vein of classic Silver Age comics where the character's origin is crucial to the story. The artist concluded that since the mine fire was discovered during the Silver Age of comics, it only made sense to start the story there and bring it into the present day. Ring's idea of placing fictional characters into historical setting launched his career.
The readers in Pennsylvania really embraced the story and that's what you really hope for as a writer/artist, Ring said.
Ring is working on a new piece for the show featuring Mr. Freeze from Batman's Rogues gallery. For me it's about being a story teller, said Ring. We are all storytellers to some degree. We share stories all the time, even if it's just telling someone about your day. Comics are my way of sharing stories inside of me. I don't write just to write, I write to release what's inside.