We had the good fortune of connecting with Stephen Kelly and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Stephen, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I was born in Houston. I spent the first few years of my life in 5th Ward where most of my family on both sides grew up. When I started school, we moved to the Spring area where I’ve been ever since. I’m the oldest of two and my parents raised us both to do the right thing. Those are lessons I still carry with me today in my job working with homeless people and living with the love of my life.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’ve been drawing since I was a child. I inherited my abilities from my Father of whom is also an artist. I’m also a rock musician. I’ve been playing guitar since I was 14; I’m 37 now.
I used to try to break into the comic industry so I could work for somewhere like DC or Marvel, but it’s a hard club to break into. They have a certain way of doing things and you have to hit that mark just right. I tried for a little bit until I realized what everyone else in the field knows by now; you don’t need to work for DC or Marvel to be considered a comic artist. The second you put a story to paper with a pencil, you become one.
Some of the challenges I face comic wise has to do with time and discipline. My life is much busier these days so I’m not at my desk as often as I’d like to be, but I’m at it enough to keep my skill up. One of the struggles I have is that I’m decent at making music. And while I can pump out songs at an alarming rate, it eats whatever energy I have to make comic art. Both skills take an equal amount of effort and I often have to decide which one is gonna get my attention that day.
I have a graphic novel I’ve been working on since 2013 called “Shane Longnshadow is Hungry.” It’s a revenge tale about a man who travels to Ireland to fight the person that killed his Father. I’m immensely proud of my work given how much I’ve put into it these last 8 years. The story is ongoing and can be read on Webtoons for free.
I am in a band called “The Heirs of the Supernova.” We’re a space rock band, but we try to cast a pretty wide net over a lot of things. It’s just me and my bandmate of many years, Zach Alkire. We live on two separate sides of the continent so we record everything over the internet. On March 20, 2021, we finally released our debut album, “Instruments For Declination”, on all streaming platforms. We have as many as 4 more albums planned with no end in sight. It’s been nice being able to make the music we want to make without regard to how popular it is and whatnot, but we do hope you enjoy it if you give it a listen.
The lessons I’ve learned is that it all comes down to me. It’s by my hand whether or not any endeavor I take on succeeds or fails. Shane’s story gets told only if I put the effort into it. It doesn’t matter if anyone else pays attention to it, all that matters is that I tell the story.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My fiancée and I like to hit up various spots in the city such as Stude Park, Rice Box, Crocker’s in the Montrose area, Super Happy Incredible Toys, Bedrock City Comics, and quite a few other places, actually. When things are safer, we look forward to going on the adventures we used to.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Wow, that’s a long list. I guess first on that list would be my fiancée, Tori, of whom taught me the value of an education. Next would be my family. And last but not least, everyone who has cheered me on in my endeavors.
Instagram: shane_longshadow_is_hungry and the_heirs_of_the_supernova
Other: You can find music for my band, “the Heirs of the Supernova” on Spotify and Apple Music. New music due out soon!
My profile pic on the initial upload page was taken by Isaiah Broussard.