A Humboldt, Sask., comic book author has vanquished a real-life villain by creating a podcast for the superhero dubbed ‘Auroraman.’
Jeff Burton, a teacher and illustrator, bears a striking resemblance to the hero who finds a cosmic-powered staff in a meteor shower before going on a series of Saskatchewan-centric adventures.
“As a teacher, comic books in the classroom are just phenomenal,” Burton said.
Burton’s protagonist is a vessel for helping younger children learn how to read. For older, reluctant readers, Burton said comics can be more accessible than traditional material. Along the way, Auroraman’s story includes important messages about goal-setting, hard work and kindness.
After producing six issues, an annual edition, a 100-page collection and ten smaller comics, Burton encountered a true evil-doer.
“With the character, we had a small hiccup on the road – a small cyber theft,” Burton said.
By small, he meant the villain drained $9,000 of crowdfunded money from a bank account used to pay the expenses of his comic-making endeavor.
The mighty Auroraman and his creator refused defeat. They launched a podcast as way to bring the adventures to life at a fraction of the cost.
Melinda Burton, Jeff’s wife, went from being a behind-the-scenes supporter of the comic, to the narrator of The Audio Adventures of Auroraman.
“I just always want Jeff to be successful with Auroraman and to do what he loves,” she said.
Because of the theft, Jeff wasn’t able to release his annual Christmas edition of the Auroraman comic. Instead, the podcast version was posted online Thursday.
Kye Burton, the couple’s son, is involved too. While taking a course in communications media, he was tasked with creating a radio play. He applied those skills to the podcast.
“One of the things I like most, is the engineering of sound and graphic design,” Kye said.
The Burtons plan to continue writing and recording podcast versions of Auroraman.
Jeff’s ongoing crowdfunding page seeks to recover the losses he suffered at the hands of the cyber-villain.
He is also planning Auroraman’s “triumphant return” to comic book pages.