Meeting their favorite superheroes is nearly every kid’s dream. Twelve-year-old Bryn Cimino, of Waltham, got the next best thing: She was hired by the man who created them.
Cimino, an eighth-grader at Carlisle Public School, had her artwork chosen to appear in the November issue of Alter Ego magazine, a comic fan magazine edited by Roy Thomas, the first successor to Stan Lee as editor in chief of Marvel Magazine in 1972, and the co-creator of many beloved superheroes, including Wolverine and Iron Fist.
The connection was made, Cimino said, when she dedicated one of her drawings to Thomas and his wife, the comic book writer Dann Thomas. Cimino’s father, John , is a lifelong comic book fan and artist who owns a comic book store called Saturday Morning Collectibles in Raynham and works as a promoter and agent for writers and artists, including Thomas. John Cimino sent his daughter’s drawing to Thomas, who was impressed with her work, and asked her to draw a portrait of him to include in the magazine, making her the youngest person to have contributed artwork to Alter Ego.
“She’s a talented young lady — I just thought it’d be good to encourage her by showing her it was good enough to be printed,” Thomas said, adding that one day he may be able to boast being the first one to have published her.
The portrait is of Thomas at a movie theater, holding a bucket of popcorn that’s labeled “Petunia Grimm’s Popcorn” — a nod to the character Petunia Grimm (the Thing’s aunt from the Fantastic Four), and a detail Thomas said he appreciated. In his front shirt pocket are movie tickets showing the names of characters Shazam (also known as Captain Marvel), Wolverine, and Star Girl — one of Bryn Cimino’s own superhero creations.
Bryn Cimino, the president of her eighth-grade class, said she’s been drawing her whole life. She and her father share a love of comic books, and she said she has fond memories of reading them together.
“I was so honored to be in Alter Ego,” she said. “I can’t explain my emotions. I was just so happy to be able to have this opportunity and to be with a legendary person like Roy Thomas.”
Father and daughter traveled to South Carolina last weekend to attend Thomas’s Halloween party, where Bryn Cimino got a signed advanced copy of the magazine, which was released over the weekend.
John Cimino was deeply proud to have his daughter featured in the magazine and said he got “so choked up when he saw his daughter’s drawings hanging in a poster set in Thomas’s home study, alongside other famous comic artists’ original artwork.
“[Roy and Dann Thomas] both told me that my daughter’s exceptional,” he said, sounding emotional over the phone. “That’s a very humbling experience when you hear that Roy is saying that about her.”