Seattle's Electron Boy story inspires new comic book
Erik Martin joined the hall of superheroes this month when his adventures as Electron Boy were turned into a comic book.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Electron Boy in pictures, music
The Electron Boy comic can be viewed online for free, or ordered through CCP Comics for $5, at http://ccpcomics.com/electronboy/index.html. The Martins plan to give donations to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
The Electron Boy theme song: http://virginiaashby.com/electronboy.cfm
After Erik Martin saved the city of Seattle from the forces of darkness and evil this year, the story of his heroic deeds raced around the globe.
Thousands of people became fans of Electron Boy — Erik's secret identity — and, by extension, the Make-A-Wish Foundation that made the Bellevue 13-year-old a hero for a day.
Now, there's another reason for Electron Boy to join the hall of superheros: He has his own comic book.
The 10-page tale was put together by a group of independent comic-book creators who wrote, drew and inked the panels in their spare time. Without giving too much of the story away, we can tell you it includes dark matter, a series of microscopic wormholes, the Space Needle, Experience Music Project, the potential destruction of planet Earth and Jimi Hendrix.
Erik received a copy in November, when some of the comic's creators — Rob Bass, Matt Campbell and McLain McGuire — flew up from their homes in Colorado and Texas, and spent a weekend with Erik in Bellevue.
"It was so exciting," said his mom, Judy Martin. "They were like part of the family."
And the comic book? Erik "loved it."
The comic's creators placed "Electron Boy" online this month and began selling glossy print copies for $5. Proceeds will go to the Martins, who plan to donate the money to Make-A-Wish.
Erik, who turned 14 this month, has a rare form of cancer, called paraganglioma, and a host of other medical problems. He is being cared for at home by his family and hospice nurses, and he has good and bad days, Judy Martin said.
On the day his wish came true, in April, Erik had enough energy to save the Seattle Sounders from Dr. Dark and his sidekick, Blackout Boy. He rescued a Puget Sound Energy worker trapped in a bucket truck. He freed people stuck atop the Space Needle.
He was driven around the city in a DeLorean sports car, accompanied by a police motorcycle escort. Hundreds of people at Puget Sound Energy's Bellevue headquarters, and dozens at the Space Needle, cheered him on.
The story of Electron Boy's exploits traveled around the world — aided by Facebook, blogs, newspapers, TV and social-media sites.
"On a national level, this is one of our favorite wishes to share," said Jeannette Tarcha, spokeswoman for the local Make-A-Wish Foundation chapter. "It is one of those wishes that resonated with people not only within this community, but really worldwide."
It certainly resonated with Bass, a comic-book script writer. "The whole thing blew me away," he said. "I forwarded it to everyone I knew, and said, 'We should do a comic.' "
Bass spent three days completing an eight-page script that he sent to Campbell, McGuire and other members of CCP Comics.
"The trick is to pile on insane ideas," said Bass, who is inspired by the so-called Silver Age of comics, a period around the 1960s when comic-book scripts became wildly imaginative and "often barely made sense."
When the comic book was completed, Bass, McGuire and Campbell flew up to Seattle to meet Erik and surprise him with their gift. They had dinner with Judy and dad Jeremy Martin, and met Erik's brothers Juan and Kenny.
All three are foster children. Since 1995, the Martins have been foster parents to more than 30 medically fragile children.
"There was so much love in that house," Bass said. "It really bowled me over."
The comic book is just one thing that has extended Erik's special wish by months and months. His fan page on Facebook has more than 11,000 members. A band created a theme song for him. In August, before the Sounders' game against the Chicago Fire, he received the team's Golden Scarf award. He was reunited with a long-lost half-brother, and he and current foster-brother Kenny went to Camp Goodtimes, a Vashon Island summer camp for children with cancer that is run by the American Cancer Society.
Eric's superhero deeds were recognized on the floor of the U.S. House by Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Auburn. The boy has become a hero to the Make-A-Wish Foundation and to cancer patients and foster families alike.
The cover of the Electron Boy comic is featured on the state's Department of Health and Social Services website, which notes, "Some of the greatest superheroes are raised by foster parents."
After the wish, "our lives completely changed," Judy Martin said.
On the Electron Boy website, Bass recounts the story of the day Electron Boy saved the city of Seattle. And he sums it up with these words:
"What really got me about the whole story was what it proved ... that our imaginations are pure and boundless and can take us anywhere that we let them, no matter how much these bodies might fail us."
Katherine Long: 206-464-2219 or email@example.com
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