Many of us only know Heather Farrington as a very helpful pharmacy retail clerk, but the 37-year-old self-described “nerd” is also an amazing cartoonist, pinup artist and illustrator that is really starting to make a name for herself in the digital art world.
In fact this coming weekend Heather will be at the 4th Annual Vermont Sci-Fi & Fantasy Expo at the Champlain Valley Expo showing off her comic strip series with super hero qualities–Juvenile Diversion–and other creations.
“I’ve been drawing since I could hold a pencil and making cartoons since age 12,” says Heather, who was born in Massachusetts but moved with her Irish Catholic Family to California, Texas, New York and finally Essex Jct., Vt. “We were your typical nerdy stuff family that loved video games, etc,” explains Heather.
For the last 12 years she has lived in Barre with her husband and co-writer Arthur Dean Farrington.
“When I was younger I really wanted to be a famous musician,” notes Farrington, and she self-taught herself to play guitar, while also learning piano and clarinet, among other instruments.
But her illustrating talents began taking over more and more of her interest and she became focused on the development of a comic strip that in many ways resembled her own life and personality.
“It’s about an alternative rock band called Juvenile Diversion and features such fully outlined characters as Alicia (lead singer and guitarist); Jason (drummer); Kyle (bass player); Jenny (rhythm guitarist); and Meg (keyboard) among other well detailed “guests” that weave in and out of the series like Chris who is a small and nerdy guy with a high IQ.” The setting is a fictional town called Belharght.
“It’s a 1980s slice of life comic and the band sounds like INXS,” explains Heather, a real self-publisher who is joined by her husband Arthur.
“The storyline writing, which my husband does best, is the hardest part of the equation,” believes Heather, although looking at the detail of her drawings which are both stunning and mind-blowing.
Success in this highly competitive field comes slowly and Heather explains why she has 21 years in the retail sector to support this dream which is almost an obsession. “As an artist/illustrator you find ways to support yourself,” she acknowledges pointing to just one of her stories that has original characters “OCs” that have been developed over 18 years.
“Most of Vermont comic illustrators seem to come from Burlington or White River areas, but we all support each other–no one is excluded,” Heather points out, “it is a very comfortable group.”
Heather is very excited about this upcoming Vermont show Saturday and Sunday at the Champlain Valley Expo. You can buy tickets online at: VTGatherings.com. They are relatively inexpensive: Adults $20 for 1 day and $30 for both days; children 6-12 are only $5; and under 5 are free.
According to Heather you will see all kinds of vendors and spectators many in costumes and will meet comics and cosplay authors and artists, and enjoy gaming and more. It is estimated there will be over 100 vendors.
Other shows that Heather and Arthur will be at are: Rail City Fan Fest in St. Albans June 24-25; Terrificon in Connecticut July 28-30; Plastic City Comic Con in Fitchburg, Massachusetts on Aug. 19; and the Rhode Island Comic Con in Providence, Rhode Island on Nov. 3-5. –GH