Billy Tucci – Don’t Tread on Him

GameStop, Inc.

by R.C. Samo


When we think of true patriotism, we reach back in time to the Founding Fathers. Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, John Hancock and whole host of other men, who declared that government was created for the people and by the people.

Deborah and Billy Tucci

Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence, “…We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government…”

No other artist is comic books holds these self-evident truths more closely to his heart than Billy Tucci; father, husband, artist, patriot.

“Our founding fathers were far smarter than who we have out there now. The family needs to raise the family, not the government!” boldly stated Tucci while saluting a Marine waiting eagerly for a sketch.

The outspoken Tucci, began his comic career in 1993, while standing online for DC Comics artist review with fellow unknown at the times Joe Weems. Tucci’s style was not the norm of the early 1990s, his style was from the fashion world, vibrant and full of colors…everything the comic book industry was not.

The heads of the Warner Bros. owned publication degraded his work, insulting Tucci to his face, sending him on it way. However, Brian Pulido saw talent in Tucci’s style, giving him a page to work on for Lady Death.

In true, rebellious, American fashion, instead of putting his tail between his legs and leaving the dream behind Tucci forged on. In March, 1994, Tucci went on to release the multiple time Eisner award nominated SHI, about a Hapa woman who is dragged into a modern shadow war between the decendents of the Sohei Warrior Monks.

That year, at the San Diego Comic Con, with Image Comics at the forefront of the independent books challenging the Big Two, SHI and Tucci’s publishing company, Crusade Comics were featured on the local NBC affiliate, from that day forward, Tucci never looked back and has been self-published every since.

“I saw guys on that line that Joe (Weems) and I were on 10 years later, still trying to make it,” said Tucci, while sketching a Navy pinup.

One year later, after the success of SHI, Tucci became one of the most saute after illustrators in the industry. The same people who shunned him in 1993, were begging to put him under contract in 1995. Tucci has never stood on another artist review line since.

“He always marched at the beat of his own drum. His success was indicative of what he was rejected for,” said Deborah Tucci, his wife and business manager.

Tucci, is far more than the exemplification of a modern day patriot. The father of two young boys, William and Matthew, lives off the coast in Long Island, New York, providing for his family, does not hide his religious faith or political beliefs in shame because of the views of the outspoken opposition.

“My wife Deborah is amazing. She’s half German on one side and half Polish, Lithuanian and mean on the other,” joked Tucci as his wife glared from across the booth.

Tucci, a devout Roman Catholic was tired of how Christianity was being shunned and cast aside as if having faith was a shameful act. He was disgusted in that, “Merry Christmas,” had become come a bad word instead of an expression of exchanging of blessings and in 2011, released, “Billy Tucci’s A Child is Born,” retelling the Christmas story, based on the Gospels of Ss. Matthew and Luke. Tucci had no agenda of converting others and received spiritual guidance from the now departed Reverend Father John Kefalas of St. John’s Greek Orthodox Church.

“The book came due to timing and how Christmas was being handled and which group was trying to take out nativity scenes and crosses. This was our way of spreading Christmas around,” said Deborah Tucci.

Away from his drawing desk, Tucci enjoys spending his time bow hunting, in what he calls a very natural and primal experience.

“That is my cathedral, watching the world wake up with the mist on the water and the deer walking up. It is real spirituality when you become a part of their world,” said Billy Tucci, with a glimmer in his eye.

During the Phoenix ComiCon, a young aspiring writer named Derek Marvin, walked up to Tucci’s table asking for advice on getting into the business, explaining he has an idea but did not know how to present it.

Tucci exclaimed, “Write your book! Get in touch with these other young, hungry artists and start a web comic! Do your book your way! I want to see you back here next year with something ready for the crowd.”

Family man, artists, writer, free thinker, independent, patriot. Billy Tucci, you are the exemplification of the American Dream.

For more information on Billy Tucci like him on Facebook at The Official Billy Tucci Facebook Battalion and A Child is Born, visit his official website at Crusade Fine Arts.

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