Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Comic Book Relief: Oklahoma Man Brings Childhood Dream to Life

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Comic Book Relief: Oklahoma Man Brings Childhood Dream to Life

Article excerpt

Editor's note: This is part of a series of stories on creativity in business, education and the arts in Oklahoma. Oklahoma City will host the 2010 Creativity World Forum in November.

As a kid, Aaron Ballinger loved reading comic books.

Ballinger struck up a friendship with Tim Lackey while the pair were in grade school.

"As kids growing up, we always wanted to have our own comic book," Ballinger said.

That passion did not fade as he entered adulthood.

The pair grew up. Lackey continued drawing characters, while Ballinger pursued other interests.

"I played drums," said Ballinger, a 40-year-old recruiter for Tulsa Community College. "I never dreamed I would go to college, much less work for one."

But adulthood did not dampen the fire Ballinger had to own his own comic book company.

When he graduated from the University of Oklahoma two years ago, Ballinger decided to put feet to his dreams.

In 2008 the pair joined forces to create Equinox Comics.

Ballinger and Lackey have been creating an entire universe of characters and stories, starting with Equinox, which features two stories: Genesis and Hellrazor.

In Genesis, the main superhero, Ebon, battles Ooze, a villain who received power from a dark god.

The title of the company, Equinox Comics, draws its meaning from the two times a year there are equal hours of light and darkness, Ballinger said.

"It represents the battle between light and darkness," Ballinger said.

In August, Ballinger and more than a dozen other entrepreneurs completed Tulsa Community College's initial Launch Your Entrepreneurial Journey program.

Tulsa Community College has introduced a philosophy in instruction designed to appeal to creative and emerging entrepreneurs, said TCC President Tom McKeon. McKeon wanted the college to take a nontraditional approach, teaching students the steps required to take an idea to the marketplace.

Ballinger and the class "graduated" during a ceremony at the Center for Creativity at the downtown Tulsa campus this summer after spending 16 weeks learning how to start a business from local "thought leaders," or coaches, who had experience in business development. …

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