Staff by Day, Comic Writer by Night
Peter Espinal crafts creative tweets, memes, and other fun and informative posts for Pace’s social media accounts, but at night this staffer trades in his smartphone and let’s his pen do the work as a comic writer.
Peter Espinal may spend his days tweeting, Snapchatting, Facebooking, and putting his creative communication skills to work across a variety of Pace’s social media platforms in Marketing and Communications. But when he logs off for the day, Espinal’s composition notebook and pen come out as he brings werewolves, monsters, and other creatures’ tales to life as a comic writer.
Long before he grasped a smartphone in his hand, Espinal picked up pencils and doodled cartoons on anything he could find as a child.
“I love drawing and it was my first passion as a kid,” he says. “If you asked me what I wanted to do growing up, I would say cartoons.”
His love of television cartoon series such as Batman led to his interest in comics as a child. He recalls rushing home from school to watch his favorite cartoons and one day realizing that several of them originated from comic books.
As he got older, Espinal borrowed comic books from one of his friends—often for longer than expected because he was so fascinated by the creative works—and later, started buying his own copies at Midtown Comics in NYC throughout high school.
Though he loved being artistic through drawing, he decided to take a different path in college.
“I realized that I’m not skilled enough at drawing to become a cartoonist, so I just took that creative fire and put it into filmmaking, which eventually led back to working with cartoons through comic writing.”
Espinal majored in filmmaking and minored in creative writing, exercising his love of working in a creative space. Several years after graduating, he realized he hadn’t pursued a creative project and couldn’t wait any longer—he had to take initiative and make it happen.
“I had a younger friend who was a producer and actress doing her thing and landing amazing gigs, and she died in a freak boating accident,” Espinal says. “I thought, she died and she was making her dreams happen and doing her thing. If I die in a freak accident tomorrow, what is my thing?”
In September 2015, he decided to give comic books a try by writing a story that he had created in his head and thought about for more than 10 years.
The story, which turned into his idea for a series of comic books, details the adventures of a werewolf and a talking cat who go on an exciting road trip across the country, fighting monsters such as a demon ventriloquist doll and a rat king, as they attempt to make it to a funeral in Los Angeles.
Through his series, which currently consists of five, 40-page issues that he has drafted, he combines horror, humor, and his own life experiences into each story.
“What inspires me is that I like to be scared,” he says. “I was a film major because I wanted to make horror movies, so my ultimate goal with comics is to tell a really funny but gross horror story. I like catching people off guard or creeping people out with my stories.”
After a day of work, Espinal says he enjoys sitting in his bedroom, powering down his laptop and phone, and putting his ideas that strike him throughout the day onto paper.
“To create anything, if you only let it live in your head you are missing out,” Espinal says. “I carry my notebook with me and write down everything. I have gone through four notebooks over the last year and they are all in states of deterioration.”
Currently, he writes one scene a week, but he is aiming to produce 50 issues in this series and eventually have it published for the world to enjoy.
“I want people who wouldn’t read horror to check out my stuff,” Espinal says. “I find real life very boring. All the romance and comedy could come after, but monsters first.”
Are you a Pace faculty or staff member with a fun hobby, interest, part-time job, or passion? Know someone that fits the bill? E-mail email@example.com to share your story with us and other faculty and staff!
ITS is here to serve up some fresh info from the servers, including:
March 2017: ITS Connect
Students in New York City and Westchester discuss how the Pace Path has helped them make the most of their college experience, and prepare for what lies ahead.
Visualizing the Pace Path
Through a grant from the Dyson Foundation and funding from the Empire State Development Cooperation, the Pace Land Use Law Center is helping revitalize downtown Poughkeepsie.
Research: Planning in Poughkeepsie