Michael D'Orazio, a short autobiography

It all started when I was very young. When I was in second grade I used to draw from a comic that was published in M.A.D magazine. It was called "Spy vs. Spy". I used to get off watching these guys blow themselves up. I used to draw them and bring them to class to show to my classmates. I was kind of introverted, and still think in a way I am. I tried to get attention, from my fellow students, and I did. I didn't have to talk much, all I had to do was draw. We all had competitions on who could do it the best. I won't tell you who won.

The next stage of my developement came when i started to play Dungeon, and Dragons. I used to draw my characters, and monsters in different scenes. That is when I started to notice that I could draw fully rendered compositions. I was still competitive with my friends though. I always felt like the third wheel. I was never the best friend. I was always the tag along which angered me and made me jealous. This made me work even harder to outdraw them. This was in the later stages of grade school.

When I went to high school (from 1985-1989), I made newer friends, and they introduced me to Japanese Animation. I used to like the blood and guts scenes, cause american animations we're too tidy and neat. They catered more to kids, than adults. I used to try to interest my family in them, but they just ignored me. They should have taken away the tapes. During this time I drew robots, spaceships, japanese style people(which are popular now), women's figures in the nude. I used to draw skulls alot in response to the music that I was introduced to. Somebody handed me a tape of the Violent Femmes, and Suicidal Tendencies. Another friend got me into "The Misfits", and "Samhain", which are really dark and scary. Some of these kids brought me to these underground clubs, which heavily influenced me. I listened to dark music from the 80's, and 90's. I used to dress in black, and obsess over other bands like "Bauhaus", and "Sister's of Mercy". Back in those days either you wen't to Popcorns, which the hip hop generation wen't to, or Bebop cafe, where all the rejects, and the punks went. I should have went to neither. I should have stayed at home.

I was always influenced by music, and in the club days I was in two bands. One was Feedback, and the next one was The Burning. Feedback never wen't far, but The Burning played clubs down the city of Philadelphia, and a few contests, one in kimberton fair, and one in pottgrove high school. This band also made it into a real studio, after they produced two three track demos in a guys apartment, on an eight track- reel to reel. During this time I lost a little interest in drawing, cause being a musician was kind of overwhelming. I used to be the singer. The band broke up, and I was left feeling a little hopeless, cause I worked really hard on the band. The guitarist left, without giving reason, and that kind of stunned me to the point I would never really want to be in a band, unless there we're people playing behind me.

After this experience I picked up the guitar, and practiced, while I was going to "The University of the Arts"(from 1995-1998). The only reason I wen't there was because "Tyler", a branch of "Temple University", denied my application. I found an application for U of A, in the back seat of some girl's car. I asked her if I could have it, and I applied, and I was accepted. Looking back, I think I was not like normal kids, and I didn't fit in with the other student body. I wasn't really accepted. I am lucky I made it through with dean's list.

During college time I was living with a friend in a house she rented in Northern Liberties. This is in Center City, Philadelphia. I left all my friends behind, and started to take my college life seriously, especially since it was so expensive. I had fun, but kept mostly to myself. While people we're partying on Spring Break, I spent 8 hours a day for five days a week, doing some project. I did wow people when I brought it in. This was the work ethic I had. I rarely drank during this time though, but experimented with marijuana from time to time. I was kind of reclusive, only going to coffee shops to draw, drink coffee, and play new songs I learned at open mics. This was very exciting for me to be on my own, doing the things that pleased me. It came crashing down after I got kicked out of the house I had been staying for the year.

When I came home I commuted to school in my pickup truck, and wen't to the new starbucks that openned around where I lived with my parents. I started to meet local people, which I had no interest in before. There I drew more pictures than I ever did in the University. When I was in school I did children's book illustrations, but when I got out of there it evolved into a comic book style. From there on in it was comics, and cartoons. I started to submit work to a monthly periodical called "The Philadelphia Funny Papers". I took it seriously, and worked hard to submit quality work. They did publish a lot of my favorites, so I am not complaining. The paper stopped running, I think in 2001. During the paper, I was developing a character called "Trixie, the Schizophrenic Girl". I wanted the paper to be dark, tread on obscure subjects, or just dig up reality. And I did do that, only now the subject matter makes me think, where am I going with all of this. Everything I draw now is dark, and I feel a little alienated with my body of work. Maybe I am straying from the positive path. Maybe I should get back to where I belong, which hopefully is the light.

I printed up some copies of Trixie, the Schizophrenic Girl, and gave them out to some locals in the town of Pheonixville, Pa. I kind of felt guilty about the subject matter, and asked people what they thought of it. People thought it was dark, but some said it still had a positive message. I hope the comic evolves into a more brighter format, cause I don't want to go down with the ship.