Meet the Author.
Good evening! (Or morning, depending upon when you read this). I am Nathan Rackley. Some people call me Nathan, some people Nate. And some people skip those altogether and simply call me Rackley. But online, I’m known as Droakir. I am a professional computer programmer, as well as an accomplished artisan and cartoonist.
Don’t let the screen name scare you – Droakir is simply the name of one of the characters from my cartoon strip that I started using because “Nathan” ended up always being taken for some reason. Nevertheless, I’m pleased to meet you!
Programmer by Day, Cartoonist by Night
That’s the story of my life. All day I slave away in front of a computer. Then I go home, and all night I slave away in front of a computer. What a joy it is, however, to have the security in knowing that all of that sitting, typing, and the unrelenting torture of burning eyes and painful wrists results in something – money.
Getting paid to do computer programming was one of my dreams ever since I wrote my first BASIC program that printed “Hello, World!” in white, vibrant letters on my old MS-DOS computer. Luckily, not too long after that I was hired to do a little bit of freelance, and then landed myself a decent job at a local corporation… where I’ve been ever since.
I suppose that life might be where I drew a bit of the inspiration for my cartoon strip, Lakewood. John, the main character, slaves away all day at work, school, and home. I must have some sick desire to see my characters work more than I do, I suppose, because it always appears that John’s only respite is to visit his favorite little coffee shop, Sam’s. There, he walks in, picks his nice comfortable little seat by the window, and orders a large mug of hot chocolate. And once he’s finished, it’s back to slaving away again.
I’ve had many questions from readers and friends over the years, and I’d like to address them here, so that you can all get to know me just a little bit better.
When did you start drawing?
I started illustrating short cartoon strips back in the mid to late 1990s, however I wasn’t really good at illustrating back then. As a result, my first cartoon strip, JOE, lasted only around thirty strips before it died because I couldn’t draw any more of a human being than a shoe. I think that was when I gave up drawing for good.
Or so I thought.
I started to get back into drawing once I was a sophomore in high school. I have yet to take any formal drawing courses, though I have been formally educated in photography, jewelry, and abstract color theory. But at least I began drawing again!
When did you start doing Lakewood?
This one is a tad sticky. You see – Lakewood started originally as a cartoon strip known as Designation Se7en. I know it’s a mouthful, but it ended up getting shortened to D7. The strip started randomly when I was sitting in an early morning class and doodled a cartoon strip making fun of the Nintendo DS. Later that evening I re-drew that strip, as well as a few others on my computer and posted them on my internet gallery. And thus my comic was born!
D7 lasted for more than a year and a half as a daily cartoon strip, and then for another two years as a weekly/monthly comic strip while I was living in Mexico. While I was out of the US, I refined my character drawing techniques, and I drew several mini comic books, called “The Adventures of Sharky”. Later on, Sharky, as well as the other characters from D7, found their way into one single strip: Lakewood.
Lakewood was officially launched on October 31, 2008. It ran as a weekly/monthly strip until March 1, 2009, where it became a daily. It has been a daily ever since.
Do you get paid to do Lakewood?
As a matter of fact, I do. And it’s a recent achievement.
Lakewood is printed in a local newspaper, and I make enough off of my small amount of royalties to be able to support these web sites as well as continued comic illustration. Of course, it’s not enough to live off of – hence the slaving away all day in front of the computer as a programmer thing.
What else do you do?
Well, as I said, I’m a programmer. And I like video games, table-top games, and technology. Because of this, I am a co-founder and co-host on the GEEK Talk Radio podcast. Other things I do are concept art and illustration, technical writing, and music.
A brief conclusion.
Anyways, that’s me in a nutshell. Thank you for letting me introduce myself! If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a line at nprackley <at> gmail <dot> com, or on my Twitter account at @droakir.