Canyon Country resident Liam Dow says he wants to be the next Stan Lee. At age 15, he is taking strides to be like the comic book monolith, having published his own comic book series, produced a web series and operated the company that puts out both.
Dow created his own series, “The Adventures of the Gray Hat Hacker,” which is about an internet entity that protects viruses from destroying humanity by weaving in and out of the internet.
The series has four issues out, with a fifth coming out Saturday. The main character resembles Dow — a young man with a lithe figure and wavy blonde hair, who saves the world donning a Doctor Who-esque coat and goggles with wings.
Dow’s brother Beau directs the series’ web component, while his mother and father help edit his issues. He drafts the rough sketch illustrations before sending them to his comic book illustrator in the Philippines.
“I’ve thought about creating characters since I was a kid,” said Dow, who began thinking about the story of the Gray Hat Hacker when he was 11. “I thought it’d be cool to have an idea of someone going in and out of the internet, and then I started drawing out the universe.”
“He’s very detail-oriented,” said his mother, Cecelia Dow. “He doesn’t let anything fall through the cracks, and he’s a sweet kid with a lot of creativity. We just help out.”
Dow’s work ethic in meticulously sketching out all aspects of the storyline carries over to his day jobs. The teenager practices tae kwon do, cooks and takes acting classes.
The Dow family moved to Santa Clarita three years ago, when Dow took his acting career from plays in Virginia to spots on Los Angeles-based shows such as “Days of Our Lives.”
He is looking for more acting opportunities, as well as trying to create his own web series centering on American presidents including George Washington and Theodore Roosevelt.
Dow will host his first comic book signing in Santa Clarita on Saturday at Brave New World Comics, 22722 Lyons Ave. in Newhall. He has already done two in Burbank, and attended a few Los Angeles-based conventions. Now, he will get the chance to show off the Gray Hat Hacker to his hometown.
“I’m excited,” he said, holding up assorted Gray Hat Hacker merchandise, such as T-shirts, goggles and posters. “We launch our fifth issue that day, and I want people to see what we have.
“For my next comic book series, I want it to be less sci-fi driven and more of a superhero-type of story,” he said. “So, we’ll see what happens there.”