DoNorth

North Star: Local Comic Artist Makes It Big

(Do North/Kevin McAvey)    Andy MacDonald’s life headed north when he moved from Malone, New York, to Plattsburgh in eighth grade and found Fantastic Planet, Plattsburgh’s premier comic book store. This past November, Fantastic Planet invited MacDonald, now a comic book artist best known for his illustrations of Batman and X-Men, to hold a signing for DC Comics’ “The New 52: Future’s End #28,” an issue he had just recently completed. For MacDonald, this signing was a homecoming in both the physical and artistic sense. Fantastic Planet for MacDonald is both a place he can get comic books and where…

Comic books, North country, Andy MacDonald

(Do North/Kevin McAvey)

   Andy MacDonald’s life headed north when he moved from Malone, New York, to Plattsburgh in eighth grade and found Fantastic Planet, Plattsburgh’s premier comic book store. This past November, Fantastic Planet invited MacDonald, now a comic book artist best known for his illustrations of Batman and X-Men, to hold a signing for DC Comics’ “The New 52: Future’s End #28,” an issue he had just recently completed.

For MacDonald, this signing was a homecoming in both the physical and artistic sense. Fantastic Planet for MacDonald is both a place he can get comic books and where he can feel like a kid discovering his passion all over again. There was a thrill in finding comics and games you wouldn’t normally be looking for in today’s online shopping and big-box store world.

While attending high school and later Plattsburgh State, MacDonald became a regular at Fantastic Planet. MacDonald’s time spent at the comic book store helped fuel an interest and help him develop a certain style. MacDonald’s breakthrough came from his collaboration with writers Ivan Brandon and Miles Gunter producing NYC Mech. The first issue submitted to Image Comics led to more issues being requested. MacDonald has gone on to work for Dark Horse’s “The Terminator,” “Marvel’s Punisher War Journal,” and DC Comic’s “Future’s End #28.” “It was a chance to draw Batman fighting Batman and all sorts of crazy stuff,” he says regarding DC Comics’ “Future’s End.”

This February MacDonald got a chance to revisit “Future’s End,” penciling its 43rd issue. “I was excited to come back and mull around town,” MacDonald says. “Also, when it comes to comics, I was interested in what people are reading around here because I don’t know.” The artist still finds inspiration in the North Country. “There is a lot of nature here, stark winters from November to March. It’s barren up here, but there is something beautiful about that, too,” he says. “When I got serious with myself and started doing the things I wanted to do, like painting and drawing, I started looking around and saw the advantage of being so close to Montréal and Burlington.”

 

Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain

Poke-O-Moonshine in Chesterfield, New York, is one of the Adirondacks’ minor peaks with an elevation of 2,180 feet and has been called the “gateway to the Adirondacks.” The hike up is considered a great beginner experience with a breathtaking view of the Adirondack High Peaks, particularly Giant and Whiteface mountains. MacDonald always tries to find time to hike the mountain during his stays up north. (DoNorth/Kevin McAvey)

The Monopole 

Since opening in 1898, the Monopole Tavern and Restaurant on Protection Alley is Plattsburgh’s oldest downtown continuing commercial establishment. It is rumored Theodore Roosevelt once dined at the Monopole during his 1904 Presidential campaign. This tavern is MacDonald’s prime choice when it comes to relaxing and listening to local musicians, or meeting up with old friends while sipping on an ice cold brew. (DoNorth/ Kevin McAvery)

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Gus’ Red Hots

The 64-year-old mom-and-pop restaurant Gus’ Red Hots in Plattsburgh serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. The comfortable, casual diner offers the popular Michigan hot dog, a particular favorite of the North Country“It’s a tasty hot dog,” McDonald says, “and you can’t get a Michigan everywhere.” (DoNorth/ Kevin McAvery)

Fantastic Planet

Many places lack a local independent comic book store, but since 1987 Fantastic Planet has been Plattsburgh’s all-purpose comic book stop. With its friendly and helpful staff, it is a unique experience. (DoNorth/Kevin McAvey)

 

Issue 5: Summer/Fall 2015

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