The Norman Transcript


January 26, 2014

Comic book writer inspires art students with life story

Fruit Loops — cereal box after cereal box lined the kitchen cabinets. And box after box he ate. Lacking confidence and depressed, Sterling Gates sat on his couch with spoon in hand, thinking moving to Los Angeles was the worst mistake of his life.

Now a well-known comic book writer for DC Comics, the path to Gates’ success was full of challenging writing critiques and self doubt.

“I felt like I failed the memory of my father, failed my mother’s expectations and failed as an artist,” Gates said about the depression that encapsulated him after he moved to Los Angeles and couldn’t find a job.

But Gates said that sometimes luck changes at a moment’s notice and encouraged University of Oklahoma art students to do what makes them happy during his presentation Thursday night at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art.

“Good things can happen to you at your lowest — even when you’re sitting around eating Fruit Loops.”

From an early age, Gates’ life was about superhero comic books because running a comic book store was his dad’s business. Gates said his father would keep the back stock in their garage and boxes of 20,000 comic books would line the wall floor to ceiling.

“Comic books were the outlet for the trials and tribulations I had as a young man,” he said. “Bullies are mean ... I sought solace in my comics.”

After Gates’ father died in June 1998, his family got rid of the comic book store, but Gates’ love of comics never left him. Later, when Gates attended the University of Oklahoma School of Art and Art History, he began to think intellectually about comics and ask “What makes a good story?” and “How can I make it the most impactful?”

After graduating in 2005, Gates took a chance that he could start a career with gumption and his art degree and moved to Los Angeles.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Board welcomes new member

    In its June meeting, the members of the Mary Abbott Children’s House board of directors elected Barbara Henderson to serve the remaining term of Anne Ederington, who resigned from the board in May due to moving from Norman. Henderson and ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Pancake breakfast set

    The Police Explorer youth organization will host an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast from 7 to 11 a.m. Saturday at the Norman Masonic Lodge, 1700 N. Porter Ave. All-you-can-eat pancakes, sausage, milk, orange juice and coffee costs $5. ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Center will be more than a building

    Many volunteers who assist veterans and surviving spouses have driven more than an hour to be at the Goldsby Community Center by 7 a.m. each Thursday. The volunteer of the week is from Harrah and has made that drive for the last three ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Senior organizations that appeal to conservatives

    Dear Savvy Senior, Can you recommend any advocacy organizations for seniors other than AARP? I cut up my AARP card a few years back when they supported Obamacare and am now looking for another organization that better represents me....

    July 29, 2014

  • Seniors adjust to different sleep patterns

    According to the National Institutes of Health, older adults need seven to nine hours of sleep each night. However, sleep patterns change with age; this is often evident in the nursing home population. Frequent causes of interrupted sleep ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Ceremony marks opening of community center

    A July 23 ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the addition of another feature to the Chickasaw Nation Carter service campus in Ardmore....

    July 27, 2014

  • Chickasaw Cultural Center a terrific place to visit

    SULPHUR — The Chickasaw Cultural Center is a magnificent tribute to a proud people and their storied heritage. Located an easy hour’s drive south from Norman, it’s among the finest travel destinations in Oklahoma. Set on 109 scenic acres, ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Prisoner re-entry planning for offenders with mental illness

    People leaving incarceration face a variety of challenges even without a diagnosis of mental illness. But for those who face mental health issues, re-entry into society can be troublesome. That is the topic in the first of the 2014 Fall ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Exhibit takes families on food expedition

    If your palate enjoys culinary diversity or if you’re interested in introducing new flavors to your family, join the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History in tasting international delights and create your own treat during Family ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Resident makes art in new home

    There’s an old saying about a picture being “worth a thousand words,” which took on a literal meaning recently....

    July 27, 2014