Creator Spotlight – The Mysterious Maryland Indie Creator Dan Nokes from 21st Century Sandshark Studios

21st Century Sandshark Studios LogoThe Creator Spotlight shines the light over Dan Nokes of 21st Century Sandshark Studios of Paranormals, Pistoleers and Love Triangle in the Zombie Apocalypse fame. 

Dan NokesGreeting, salutations and hello to all!  This is writer/artist/publisher/founder of the Southern Maryland DIY indie comic movement: Dan Nokes! Who am I and what do I do?  Well those are some long, sordid, and elaborate questions. So let me try to sum it up as briefly and succinctly as possible.

The Reptile and Mr Amazing - OriginI am a small press indie comics creator who has been popping about the biz since 2002.  I broke onto the scene that year with a 67 page graphic novel one shot entitled: THE REPTILE AND MISTER AMAZING.  I had been working on it, off and on since 1996, and decided to have a go at self-publishing. So I hand printed out about 50 copies and set out for Baltimore Comicon to see what would happen.

Suffice it to say I didn’t land that cushy job at one of the big two, but I was successful enough to where I thought I could make it an entertaining and fulfilling side project.  So I continued with my day jobs while at the same time, putting out various projects such as THE PARANORMALS (2003-2008) THE PISTOLEERS (2008-2010), and ADAM AND EVE: BIZARRE LOVE TRIANGLE IN THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE (2010-2012).

Then in September of 2011 I got let go from my last day job.  At first the thought of going through the mental calisthenics and hurdle jumping of securing another steady source of employment filled me with dread and interpretation.  So as I contemplated that, another idea of making my part-time gig into a full-time career.

Tristan and the Cuddly DefendersNeedless to be said I chose the latter option, and decided to make comics my stock in trade.  It hasn’t been easy, but fortunately I have had some great friends and people who have believed in my talent and dedication.  People like Nick Davis, who gave me a shot at adding CHILDREN’S BOOK ILLUSTRATOR to my list of credits with THE TEDDY BEAR TALES SAGA (2011-Present), Brett Carreras and Guy Rose, who allowed me to be part of the Virginia Comicon as their small press organizer, and Jeff McComsey, Steve Becker and the guys at FUBAR who gave me a coveted spot on American History Z.  Not to mention all the amazing fans and folks who supported my crowdfunding campaigns, showed up at cons, and commissioned me for projects.

Well that brings me up to WHAT AM I DOING RIGHT NOW?  Well, first off,  I am working on the last few chapter remasters of aforementioned PARANORMALS for a 10th anniversary omnibus.  Which, Cthulu help me, will be out sometime in February!

Impossible Space Tales coverAfter that I plan on getting back to working on my current online webcomic: IMPOSSIBLE SPACE TALES OF THE LAST PIT STOP. Its basically a 12 part series that asks the question: WHAT IF AREA 51 WERE IN FACT-A CONVENIENCE STORE FOR ALIENS?… It for me is an attempt to try to eliminate the daring starfighter pilot, chosen jedi knight,  rebel princess,  swaggering rogue, starship captains, and other heroic sci-fi character stereotypes from the narrative and try to focus on the rest of the Universe, that most likely occupy crappy day-jobs, and have almost normal problems like the rest of us.  I tell people that its much like giving HITCHHIKERS GUIDE TO THE GALAXY and giving it to HARVEY PEKAR for a rewrite.

What happens after Space Tales ends?  Well, I will for the third time try to keep a promise to take a break from making comics for a year or two.  But so far that has been an unsuccessful venture.  Too many ideas too little time!  So that’s me as well as I could summarize?  Did I make Proust summary levels?  YOU DECIDE?!

Oh and to find out more by visiting  for 21st Century Sandshark Studios goodies, inside dope, social network info,  Space Tales installments, and MUCH MUCH MORE!!!

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About Nick

Just an Englishman lost in the USA who happens to write now and again... Anyone got a cup of tea?

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