Dover’s Wolfer scares up career in comic books

DOVER –– For the past 28 years, Dover artist and writer Mike Wolfer has created his own comic books and distributed them across the globe.

“‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ had just come out and people were going crazy,” he said. “At the time, independent comics were huge and it was easy for people like me to start their own company and have a really wide distribution.”

Mike Wolfer, a Dover resident since 1978, has been creating comic books for the past 28 years and has successfully sold various original series, all fitting in the horror genre. He will be at the Aug. 8 Dover Public LIbrary Comic Con with his group, Haunt Squad. (Submitted photo/Mike Wolfer)

Mike Wolfer, a Dover resident since 1978, has been creating comic books for the past 28 years and has successfully sold various original series, all fitting in the horror genre. He will be at the Aug. 8 Dover Public LIbrary Comic Con with his group, Haunt Squad. (Submitted photo/Mike Wolfer)

Mr. Wolfer’s fascination with comics began at an early age with his earliest memories of going back to first grade.

Even at such a young age, he realized his favorite comic genre was horror, although by the time he entered junior high, Marvel superhero comics, especially “Spider-Man,” had also become a part of his regular reading.

“I don’t know why, but I’ve always been attracted to everything creepy and scary so that was the direction my own comics went,” he said.

But his work isn’t exclusively horror, having also created the Delaware State News mascot, Newshound, when he was an employee at the paper in the early 1990s.

“I still get a kick out of seeing the Newshound at different events in town,” he said.

After graduating from Dover High School in 1981, the next logical step was to improve his skills so Mr. Wolfer attended Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art in New Jersey for two years.

“At school, the primary focus was drawing and lettering and after that, I started my own company,” he said of Ground Zero Comics.

“I knew my work was substandard compared to most of what was out there but there was that support for small companies and the fact that people were reading my stuff gave me the confidence to keep working at it and to keep improving.”

As a comic book diehard, Mr. Wolfer does every step of the process from the storyline to the script and all the artwork.

“I don’t know where all my ideas come from. I guess I’m a prolific idea guy because I’m never at a shortage of new ideas,” he said.

After working independently for nearly a decade, Mr. Wolfer began creating for Avatar Press, an independent Illinois-based comic book publisher for 15 years.

Under Avatar, Mr. Wolfer worked on series like “Friday the 13th,” “Night of the Living Dead” and “Escape of the Living Dead” before going back to working independently in 2011.

Working for himself again, as Mike Wolfer Entertainment, Mr. Wolfer said he’s getting back to his roots, including returning to some unfinished works he began years ago.

“Actually, the project I’m proudest of is what I’m working on right now,” he said. “It’s a something I started in 1998

Mike Wolfer’s latest work, “Daughters of the Dark Oracle: Curse of the Ragdoll,” was an idea he came up with in 1998 but only recently got back to it. It’s a Gothic horror comic and takes place in late 18th, early 19th century Europe.

Mike Wolfer’s latest work, “Daughters of the Dark Oracle: Curse of the Ragdoll,” was an idea he came up with in 1998 but only recently got back to it. It’s a Gothic horror comic and takes place in late 18th, early 19th century Europe.

and it kind of got forgotten but I had remembered it was something I thought had a lot of potential.”

The work is called “Daughters of the Dark Oracle: Curse of the Ragdoll.” As the title implies, this comic fits in line with Mr. Wolfer’s favored genre. It’s Gothic, set in late 18th, early 19th century Europe.

Even in the age of technology, Mr. Wolfer still draws all his comics with pencil and ink. After the art is completed, it’s scanned onto a computer and Mr. Wolfer’s girlfriend, Natalie Jane, completes the captions and lettering.

When they’re done formatting the comic, it’s sent to a distributer and sold online and in comic book stores. Mr. Wolfer’s website for prints and comic books is ragdollonline.com.

His love of the creepy and supernatural doesn’t end at comic books, Mr. Wolfer and a team of friends comprise the Haunt Squad, a local group of paranormal investigators.

They will be at the upcoming Dover Comic Con at the Dover Public Library on Aug. 8.

“We do the same thing they do on shows like ‘Ghost Hunters,’” he said. “We bring our equipment to places where there’s been rumors of paranormal activity.”

The Haunt Squad focuses mainly on local historic sites, most recently the old W.T. Smithers Restaurant building on State Street in Dover, which will soon be home to the Grey Fox Grille and Public House.

The group reports is findings on a podcast but also talk about all things creepy and paranormal, both fact and fiction.

More information and sources to listen to the podcast can be found on their Facebook page.

Many groups such as Haunt Squad will be on hand at the second Dover Public Library Comic Con.

It will also feature costume contests, anime groups, exhibits, food trucks and more.

For more information on the free event, visit www.cityofdover.com/Comic-Con.

Reach staff writer Ashton Brown at abrown@newszap.com. Follow @AshtonReports on Twitter.

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