Comic Book Writing / mental health / Writing journey

Born at Age 27: Dominic Bercier’s SIGNAL Saga

At age 27, many a rock star has died. Hendrix. Joplin. Cobain. It’s the rock star curse. There’s something mysterious about 27 and burning too bright.

27 years ago, almost to the day, Adam David III was born. He longed to live up to his grandfather’s musical legend, and wondered if he’d ever get there.

Busker image

SIGNAL Saga by Dominic Bercier, with inks by Craig Yeung — Busker at the Bullet Train Station [2018]

The year was 1991, I was in Grade 8, and he was delivered fully formed on a letter sized piece of white paper from my black inking pen. He has since been a dear friend, imaginary, as it were. My inner-inner-inner circle knew, and no one else.

At 27 years old, he will finally be published in SIGNAL Saga #1, on June 6, 2018, from Mirror Comics Studios.

SIGNAL Saga cover

SIGNAL Saga by Dominic Bercier, with inks by Craig Yeung—Cover #1 [2018]

For myself, 27 was in 2004, and I nearly died then and there. I had been besought with the onset of bipolar disorder, and I was in spiritual and psychological agony.

I had just separated from my wife, and had moved back home. SIGNAL-related artwork covered the walls, sometimes even beyond the papers I’d taped to them.

Mania. Depression. Strange thoughts. Weird behaviour. And suicidal desperation. All these had been plaguing me for months, possibly years.

But I had made a bet with destiny, before I gave up…

I was so miserable that I’d lost all hope.

So, I dared myself to discover it anew—if it even existed

I asked myself: “What if hope exists, only I cannot see it?”

Ciberiom Cinder

SIGNAL Saga by Dominic Bercier, with inks by Craig Yeung—Ciberiom Cinder [2018]

And it returned. Not quickly. There was no parade or fanfare, but it did return in the end.

I turned 28, 29, 30 . . . 40. I survived!

It wasn’t the end of the carnage and mayhem mental illness brought with it, but it did give me one thing—hope returned.

Everything that emanated afterwards was built on this hope.

I worked like a fiend to discover SIG’s final shape. Drawings, etchings, paintings, maps, plans, outlines, scripts, whole novellas—spanning that entire 27 years.

A dozen new approaches were abandoned in the last decade alone. In 2015, I finally started drawing using a traditional approach.

I printed hundreds of custom grids on 11″ x 17″ cardstock and began to draw. 14 months later, I had 200 pages. Meanwhile, I perfected the story and sought out proper outlets.

Wake Up

SIGNAL Saga by Dominic Bercier, with inks by Craig Yeung—Wake Up[2018]

I decided the only way to see this through with my personal vision intact was to release it myself.

In June 2018, SIGNAL Saga #1 will launch at MCS, 27 years later exactly, which is weird, right?!

Mirror Comics Studios Butterfly Splatter Icon [2018]

Mirror Comics Studios Butterfly Splatter Icon [2018]

If the mysterious potential of Adam David III dies, then maybe its actual becoming will be his rebirth, or some sort of beautiful afterlife.

I invented him when I was 14. Now, at age 41, he finally comes to life.

Time to raise my kid.

Grandpa's Been Speaking to Ghosts Again

SIGNAL Saga by Dominic Bercier, with inks by Craig Yeung—Grandpa’s Been Speaking to Ghosts Again [2018]

Thanks for reading.

Dominic Bercier Self-Portrait [2016]

Dominic Bercier Self-Portrait [2016]

Classically-trained artist Dominic Bercier is the writer-artist-designer behind Mirror Comics Studios, a boutique comic book and graphic novel production and publishing entity from Ottawa, Canada. He produces stories of young heroes losing, longing, striving for and restoring the things they’ve lost, be they love, lives or souls, plunging characters into emotionally charged magical initiations that test their wits and their hearts. You can follow @DominicBercier@mirrorcomics and @SIGNALsaga on Twitter or visit, and

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