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James O'Barr

From Academic Kids

James O'Barr (born 1960, Detroit, Michigan) is creator of the comic book series, The Crow. He resides in the Detroit suburb of Allen Park.

While living in Berlin, Germany in 1981, O'Barr began work on the series as a means of dealing with a personal tragedy: His girlfriend had been killed by a drunk driver. O'Barr was further inspired by a Detroit newspaper account of the senseless murder of a young couple over a $20 engagement ring. In The Crow, the protagonist and his fiancee die in a similarly brutal crime. He then returns from the dead to hunt their killers.

O'Barr's own hope that his project would result in a personal catharsis went unfulfilled, he told an interviewer in 1994 [1] (http://www.thecrow.info/granovel.htm). "(A)s I drew each page, it made me more self-destructive, if anything," he was quoted as saying. "There is pure anger on each page."

The book was adapted into a movie of the same name but it resulted in further tragedy. Brandon Lee, who played the main character to critical acclaim, was accidentally shot and killed during the making of the movie. This was 17 days before Lee's scheduled wedding. On Lee's death, and referring to his fiancee, Eliza Hutton, O'Barr said, "I relived the same pain and anger as before. I wished I had never written the thing .."

O'Barr said he felt guilty about the money he made from the movie. He used the money for international children's organisations, and hip replacement surgery for a Brazilian girl.

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