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Cross Eye Comics: Terrible Sight, Great Vision

Visually impaired comic book author Doug Knight shares how he became the main character in the world of Cross Eye Comics

Visually impaired comic book artist Doug Knight, at his art showcase at Fountain Bleu Toronto, put on by RAW Artists Canada, gazes critically at some of his work

I can still remember the bright light of the ophthalmologist shining in my six-year-old eyes. I also remember the look on his face as he turned to my parents to notify them that he could see a pesky little tumor lurking around my brain, nestled snugly on the optic-chiasm.

He would also explain that my eyes’ erratic movements were due to disruptions in my visual field. By six, it was declared that I was legally blind.

Put away your tiny violins and break out the trumpets. Although my dream of driving F1 or being a jet pilot were dashed asunder by the tumor, I became a pretty top notch visual artist!

My origin story

As you may imagine, or have experienced yourself, life in the hospital as a rowdy seven-year old can be a little droll. And school? Forget about it! The chalkboard was always too far to see, BORING! What was I to do? Put my head down on my desk? Nap my days away? I tried it. It wasn’t my cup of tea.

One fateful day in the craft room at the Hospital For Sick Children in Toronto, I happened to see this dude hammering away at a sketch of one of my favorite cartoon characters. This wizardry was astonishing. I had to know his secrets. I scooted my chair close to him and he let me in on the secret.

“Ya just do it!”

Seemed easy enough. So, I started drawing. Sure, I had to get a little closer to the page than your average aspiring artiste, but I was hooked. Now, the only books I would bury my head in at school were filled with drawings of my own monsters or comic and cartoon characters. This was my origin story.

Becoming the main character

In 2019, I created my own independent comic book publication, affectionately called Cross Eye Comics. It pokes fun at the fact that my nystagmus actually has my eye pointing outward most of the time.

While my son was doing online schooling during, y’know… “those years”… I was sitting right beside him completing issue after issue of my premier title Chiasm, the story of my life as a childhood cancer survivor – except for the fact that instead of chemotherapy, my alter-ego, Desmond Phillips, receives alien molecules to combat the tumor menace!

Chiasm isn’t my only story, either. “The Man: From Scratch” is a story about the journey of the creative process, from scratch. I also have a title coming up I am so excited to share with the world! “Super Wicked White Cell Squadron” (say that five times fast) is a love letter to giant robots and young adults dressed in space-age-battle suits, kung fu fighting big, bad, mega monsters!

A few samples of my work…

What’s next

My reputation around the indie comics community has started to spread rapidly! Having been asked to participate in three separate anthologies as well as being invited to pencil and ink a “top secret project” that is slated for release mid 2023, my “to draw” pile is rising pretty quickly!

On the heels of my first successful Kickstarter, I have been invited to participate and spearhead the illustration of a few very exciting upcoming books, too!

2023 is going to be an extraordinary year for me and Cross Eye Comics. Follow me on my journey! I’ll be announcing comic book conventions art shows and any other opportunities that pop up.

Keep ’em Crossed!
Doug Knight: terrible sight, great vision!

About the author

Surely, it isn’t all about work with this guy. It couldn’t be! Behind the books, the art shows, the street art installations, the tattooing. The home renovation?… don’t even go there, Doug Knight prides himself on being a family-first individual, pouring all of his love into his two amazing sons and his gorgeous wife! All he’s missing now is a couple Eisner Awards and a lake house… but who’s to say those aren’t too far away!

Learn more about Doug at his website, CrossEyeComics.com and follow him on Instagram and Twitter. He is always happy to add to his “to-draw” pile, so don’t hesitate to message him! Copies of Chiasm can be bought directly through him.

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