By Matt Petras
Pittsburgh Current Contributing Writer
Marvin Wynn read a lot of comics in the 1990s. He loved titles like X-Men and a series from Image Comics, a company founded in that decade, but they left him wanting more.
“Some of the things that were coming up in those books I didn’t really like. I didn’t think it ever came to a really good conclusion,” Wynn said. “So I said, ‘okay, let me see what I can create on my own.’”
With Wynn’s comic The Edge, a continuing series following genetically enhanced characters that debuted in 2012, he hopes to add his own spin to the storytelling style established by the action-packed comics of the ’90s.
The Edge is written by Wynn, a 44-year-old Westview resident and drawn by Phillipines-based artist Mark VuycanKiat. It has gained a solid social media following, raking in more than 1900 likes on Facebook. The series reached its ninth issue this month, which concludes the “Reign of Chaos” story arc.
The book boasts a cast of characters with varied superpowers thanks to their exposure to the titular “edge,” a mysterious substance that genetically alters those exposed to it. The Revenant, a central character introduced in the first issue, serves as a villain of sorts who wants to take revenge on the people for loading his body with the dangerous compound.
He faces a team of ostensible heroes also enhanced by the substance, including Mystic, the leader, who wields an energy-blasting sword. There’s also the young Bolt, who lacks strong control of his own electrical powers. Interim, another team member, can wield portals and see five to 10 seconds into the future.
Wynn has been building a story with these characters that he hopes to continue for a long time. He originally envisioned the story ending after 25 issues, but now sees it lasting as long as readers will allow.
“It’s that longform storytelling where I’m not giving you the whole entire gamut of everything up front,” he said. “I’m pacing it out and letting the reader decide on what they want to absorb, what they want to put in the back of their mind for later and then only giving them little bits of nuggets of what’s coming.”
Wynn communicates back and forth with his artist over email and Facebook Messenger, he said. The two bounce ideas off each other as they collaborate. Getting the initial pencil art back after he sends out a script always pleases Wynn.
“That’s the most exciting part, because there are some times where he’ll make a change to something and I’ll be like ‘oh, that works better,’” Wynn said.
Wynn has worked in information technology since the late 1990s, and sees his comics work as somewhere in the middle of a second job and a hobby.
“It is a business, so you have to somewhat treat it like work,” Wynn said. “But if I start treating it more like work than a hobby, then it becomes a time sink for me, because then I have to schedule time to do it and I just want to be able to do it on a whim.”
Wynn had booths dedicated to The Edge at Steel City Comic Con and Three Rivers Comic Con this year, which greatly helped the series, he said. Some customers bought comics at one convention and then bought more at the next.
Meeting fans supportive of his comics at these conventions made him feel great. After pouring so much energy into the comic series, he said, it felt nice to get some love.
“It’s exciting,” Wynn said. “You spend a lot of time creating something, and it’s just nice to know that people appreciate it.”