Many Years, Many Influences

Posted by

Barry Linck of the many great comics in the Phineus universe on Comicadia wrote a retrospective about his work a while back. We thought we’d run it here as well.

You can read his comics Phineus, Phineus: Teen Wizard, and Magician for Hire one their respective sites.


I created Phineus and Sara as my version of Luke Skywalker and Pricess Leia. The modern myth was the story I decided to tell. I studied Joseph Campbell and the monomyth as well as all the fantasy movies of th 80s, like Excalibur and Hawk the Slayer.

Phin and Sara were not the same Phineus and Sara that we see today. They weren’t married, they didn’t work together, per se and Phineus wasn’t even human.

The story setting came about from watching too much “Highlander”, playing too much Dungeons and Dragons and reading too much of Matt Wagner’s “Mage”.

Frank Thorne’s work on Red Sonja is when I decided to teach myself to be a comic artist. My art style derives highly from the art of Matt Wagner, Bill Willingham and Mike Mignola.

Initially, Phineus was supposed to be some sort of extra-dimensional, magic wielding hero. He was sent to our world to track down and destroy demons whom had some to our planet to take over.

Sara was to be an innocent bystander, stuck in the middle of this battle, that Phineus was there to save, which is bullshit, because Sara doesn’t need saved by anyone. Frank Thorne and his verson of Red Sonja taught me, that.

During college, I had a few false starts. Phineus as an art student who discovered he had powers. A street mage who fought bad guys, randomly. A half-assed super hero, of sorts. Eh, it was the 90s comic craze.

It wasn’t until my senior year of school, when I took a comic drawing class that I found where Phineus would go. I was introduced to Will Eisner’s “Comics and Sequential Art” that everything just started to fall into place.

I was required to draw an 8 page story. I did a 20 page issue that ended up being the very first Phineus issue “Dismember Me When I’m Gone” (a nod to Bill Willingham’s Captain Cadaver from “Elementals”).

I did the story, for class, to finally get it out of my head. It turned into a 28+ year obsession.

As I continued to write about these characters, I borrowed the “Big Trouble In Little China” method of throwing everything cool you can think of into the story and it’ll probably work. So far, it’s worked pretty well.

This world is my Star Wars or Hogwarts. I have a very long story plotted out. I will always tell in, because I can’t NOT tell it. It’s hard-wired into my brain, at this point.

My characters grow and age. The world changes. My art and writing get better. It’s a road map of my growth as an artist. It’s fun and I hope everyone enjoys it.