Carlisle-native Darin Henry grew up in rural neighborhood where he was one of the only children his age. Through a continuous effort to find ways of entertaining himself, he became drawn to comic books and comedy. As a young man, Darin admired artistic greats like Sal Buscema (Hulk, The Avengers, Captain America) and Jeff Shultz (Betty and Veronica), and these are exactly the creative people he turned to (and more) when creating his recent “TV You Can Read” series called Sitcomics, which is being sold now.
Darin was always a huge fan of British comedy in high school, which WITF Harrisburg showed on television every week. He began volunteering at the WITF station and by the end of college, he began working in the programming department with one of his biggest influences, Tom Keck. “I was really enjoying the job in television and production, and when I finished college, I was ready to move to L.A. to become a screenwriter,” says Darin. Mike Greenwald of WITF knew quite a few people who had made similar moves from central P.A. to L.A. (for example, the creator of Home Improvement). Mike mentioned to Darin that he knew Tom Cherones, the director of Seinfeld which, though it hadn’t quite taken off yet, Darin was quite fond of.
And so began Darin’s exciting career. Starting out on the set of Seinfeld as a part-time production assistant, in less than a year he was promoted to writer’s assistant and began working with Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld everyday during some of Seinfeld‘s best seasons.
Having also written for Ellen Degeneres, and currently writing and co-executive producing KC Undercover on the Disney Channel, Darin has built up years of creative experience. He now works within a well-rounded viewpoint when developing a script. “My whole philosophy on comedy is to keep the story as funny as possible and the characters as consistent as possible within that.” For example, the story in a show script can be written first before inserting the jokes, which many times comes naturally from the storyline.
Taking his admiration for comic books and love for writing sitcoms, he decided to blend the two together, creating his brand spankin’ new series “Sitcomics.” The first two comics of the series were released on July 13th, 2015: Super ‘Suckers and The Blue Baron. Super ‘Suckers is about two teenage girls whose two-timing vampire boyfriend left town after turning them into vampires. The Blue Baron is about a 300-year-old superhero who switches bodies with a 13-year-old boy in order to conquer the 8th grade. To Darin, it’s really important not to break the reality created in each story. The fact that the characters could be in serious danger has to be believed by the reader in order to become successful.
Using a clock rating system that Darin created, you can see on the front cover the particular audience each book is intended for. They also include “commercial breaks,” which of course pause the story right after a big moment, causing the reader to sit on pins and needles! A fabulous Lancaster-native (who now lives and works in L.A.), Renee Reeser Zelnick, contributed her beautiful artwork to one of the illustrated commercials.
Darin is slowly releasing the series in an extraordinary way. Instead of releasing the series nationwide, he is starting small—right in his hometown where his success was born. He has distributed his work to several counties in and around Lancaster. You can find his comic books at Mean Cup Coffee, 4th Wall Comics, and Comic Store East.
“One big lesson I learned is that you don’t have to be from Hollywood to start your Hollywood career. Figure out what you want to do and do it til you can’t wait anymore. Once you know what you want to do, start planning on how to make it happen.” Perfect advice, Darin. You must be a superhero, too!