- Associated Press - Monday, August 25, 2014

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) - As a kid, Troy Brownfield found an oasis inside the supermarket: a spinner rack full of comic books.

He’d never budge once he got there.

“In the course of Mom’s shopping trip, I could read everything on the rack, and she would give me 35 cents to buy one book,” Brownfield recalled.

A few years later, he visited a full-fledged comic book shop on Wabash Avenue for the first time. “It was akin to someone going to the record store and realizing there were all these bands he’d never heard about. It was mind-blowing.”

Today, comic aficionados pore over stories in those vivid books written by Brownfield, now 40 years old. Last month, his new fantasy-horror comic series, “The Blood Queen,” debuted in stores. The publisher, Dynamite Entertainment, also produced the iconic “Green Hornet” and “Lone Ranger” series.

Brownfield also penned a new Gothic romance novel, “Prince Dracula,” for Dynamite this year and now available through Amazon. He’s written two comics mini-series: “Clash of Queens” and “Grimm Fairy Tales vs. Wonderland,” for Zenescope Entertainment. His repertoire also includes two webcomics, “Sparkshooter” and “Solo Acoustic.”

So far, 2014 has kept the Terre Haute native busy.

“The fact that all that - and ‘Blood Queen’ and ‘Prince Dracula’ - all happened at the same time… I’ll get hit by lightning next,” Brownfield quipped to the Tribune-Star (http://bit.ly/YUxhAq ).

The storyline of his writing career follows a path from freelance work for Web and print publications to seven years as an assistant professor of journalism at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, covering the world of comics for pop-culture websites such as Newsarama and finally crossing over to writing those comics himself.

He’s found his niche.

“Troy has written ‘Batman,’ and that’s about as up as you can get,” said Pat Shand, a writer and editor for Zenescope, based in Horsham, Pennsylvania. “I’m pretty sure that Troy is going to keep getting work and doing it well.”

Yes, Brownfield’s credits include an “80-page giant” issue of the legendary “Batman” series. That work, co-written with friend and frequent collaborator Matt Brady, served as the “Batman” ”annual,” a larger-than-usual, once-a-year issue. Brownfield and Brady had pitched two “Batman” story ideas to editors at DC Comics previously without success. In 2011, their third try, “Short Straw,” told from the viewpoint of Batman’s rival, charmed DC.

Getting that “yes” from DC Comics was a “surreal moment” for Brownfield.

“I joke that it’s ‘tombstone stuff’: ‘Father, Husband, Wrote “Batman” Once’…,” he said, laughing.

The opportunity sounds magical, even three years later. Brownfield and Brady previously collaborated on another annual for the “Buck Rogers” series. That constituted their list of comic credits as a duo, before to sending their “Short Straw” story idea for “Batman” to DC.

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