Comic artist inks new home in Sequim

Taylor’s Jet City Comic Show runs Halloween-Nov. 1 in Tacoma

Sixth Annual Jet City Comic Show

When: Oct. 31-Nov. 1

Where: Tacoma Convention & Trade Center

Tickets: $10 one day, $18 both days, children 10 and under free

Guests include: Nancy A. Collins (Vampirella), Emi Lenox (Plutona), Jose Marzan Jr. (Y: The Last Man), Bob McLeod (New Mutants), G. Willow Wilson (Ms. Marvel), Vernon Wells (Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior), Terry Brooks (The Sword of Shannara) and more.

Includes: Trick-or-treating, gaming, costume contest and vendors.

On the web:


There’s a lot to balance when you are as busy as James Taylor.

By day, Taylor works a 9-5 job as a marketing manager for Batson Enterprises, and after his daughter goes to bed for the night, he’s back to the drawing board working on any number of his comic book-related projects.

“You are able to make a living in comics but it’s a tough living,” he said. “You do it because you love it. You don’t do it to get rich. There have been very few to get lucky like that.”

On top of his workload, he’s also readying for the sixth annual Jet City Comic Show on Oct. 31-Nov. 1, in Tacoma, which he co-owns with Brian Meredith, owner of Subspace Comics in Lynwood.

Taylor works on the show remotely now after moving from Mill Creek to Sequim 1½ years ago with his wife Elemi and their 6-year-old daughter Olivia with the desire to be closer to the water and nature.

But moving away from the city, Taylor remains as connected as before to comic books. Since 1997, he’s contributed to more than 100 books including his most recent effort “The Bully’s Bully,” a creator-owned graphic novel with writer Courtney Huddleston about anti-bullying that they funded through Kickstarter.

Taylor said prior to Sequim, he strictly was a full-time freelance designer/illustrator and he found there are “good years and really bad years.”

He’s never worked for the big-two publishers, Marvel or DC Comics, and found more of a home inking comic pages at Penny Farthing Press, now Penny Farthing Productions. He’s done several comics for them and continues work on newer comic series slated for 2016 like “Decoy” and “Loch.”

Along with comics, Taylor used to do freelance illustrations for books, magazines and licensing work for toys and games like Tonka trucks and Candyland.

In 2003, he started Rorschach Entertainment to help artists/writers create their own comics and he still releases new comics under the name here and there.

What brought him into starting his own comic book show was his time with Emerald City Comicon, considered the biggest pop culture event in the Pacific Northwest.

Taylor said he contributed much of the advertising and print design for the Seattle show from its beginnings through 2009 until the company grew, leading to less of a role for him.

So he and Meredith, an original founder of Emerald City Comicon, brainstormed and created the Jet City Comic Show in 2009.

“(Emerald City) was growing and we saw it becoming more of a pop culture show,” Taylor said. “So we thought, let’s do a stripped down show, keep the costs down (for tickets and vendor tables), with just comics. It’s still old school even with a few celebrities.”

The first three Jet City Comic Shows were hosted at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall before moving in 2013 to the Tacoma Convention & Convention Center. Taylor said they were experiencing scheduling issues and decided to roll the dice and move the show.

“In 2013, it just took off,” he said. “It got really embraced. We’re really happy with the move. We’re not the ugly cousin of Emerald City anymore. We’re our own show now.”

This year, organizers anticipate 5,000 unique people as they expand the show to two days on Halloween and Nov. 1.

Emphasis of show

Taylor said they draw in people from all over the Northwest for the show, even from the Olympic Peninsula.

“It’s awesome for new fans,” he said. “We have everything the big shows have — it’s just less.”

He said its main goal is to promote comic books and expand their awareness, however since it’s Halloween, they are bringing in some horror film actors like Michael Berryman (“The Hills Have Eyes”) and Linnea Quigley (“Return of the Living Dead”). They’ve also added several iconic sci-fi authors like Terry Brooks, Robin Hobbs and Brian Herbert.

Taylor said they try to bring in a different flair and not schedule the same guests as Emerald City Comicon.

But the convention circuit is a tough game, he says, as there are at least a few shows going on each weekend across the nation. “With so many shows, guests are hard to schedule,” he said. “Comic book conventions are changing. That bubble has to burst at some point. There aren’t enough guests to go around.”

But Jet City caters to a more low key crowd with more room, family friendly attractions, costume contests, gaming and more, he said.

Local readers

While Taylor may seem like a fish out of water here, Sequim and Clallam County aren’t detached from the comic book world. Recently, there’s been a comic book Swap Meet Show in Chimacum, the Clallam Bay Comic Con and the Clallam County Comic Con at the Port Angeles Library.

Taylor said a comic book store and/or convention could work in the area but it all depends on support of a local comic book store.

“The closest comic book store is in Silverdale and comic book stores are our biggest promoters (for Jet City),” he said.

With all the exposure from movies, TV and marketing, statistically, some comic book titles and the number of comic book stores have gone up, Taylor said, but not in a large number people may think.

“There’s only 2,500 comic book stores in the U.S. and we’re not on newsstands much anymore,” he said.

Taylor said he sees a lot of comparisons between the comic book industry and the fishing industry.

“A lot of comic book stores are started by fans but they don’t have a lot of business sense,” he said. “I see that a lot in the fishing industry. They say they can do it and they know a lot about fishing but not the business.”

If a small comic book convention were to work in the area, he would guess Port Angeles would be the best fit with Peninsula College nearby and Victoria fans coming over. But aside from answering speculative questions, Taylor is less than a month away from Jet City Comic Show and remaining possibly one of the busiest men in Sequim.

For more information about the show, visit For more about James Taylor, visit and Rorschach Entertainment at www.rorschach for his books.


He’ll be discussing “The Bully’s Bully” on Oct. 14 at the Boys & Girls Club during National Bullying Awareness Week.