From living on the streets to a role in ‘The Dark Knight,’ actor writes his own hero story

WGN Weekend Morning News
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CHICAGO — Actor David Dastmalchian has worked on his fair share of super hero movies based on comic books, but now he’s following his dream of writing one.

“Count Crowley: Reluctant midnight monster hunter” is about an aspiring reporter becoming furious when she’s demoted to hosting the nightly creature feature at her small town TV station.

The comic is inspired by his childhood in Kansas City, which he says he spent in a comic book store called “Clint’s” as well as watching goulish TV on Friday night.

"The Kansas City version of Svengoolie was Crematia Mortem, and she introduced me to the all the old horror movies that I love so much; but my comic shop is a place where I belonged, I fit in, I could escape," Dastmalchian said.

A long line of fans waited to get their first copy Sunday morning at Graham Cracker Comics in Bucktown.

In the 90s, he moved to Chicago to go to school at DePaul, where he says he became addicted to opiates and heroin, and lost his home.

"I ended up living on the streets of Chicago, I lived out of a car, on the street," Dastmalchian said.

He said he got back on his feet thanks to a "number of miracles" provided by the people around him. One of those miracles came in 2007, when he was cast in "The Dark Knight," which was shot in Chicago.

"That opened this incredible door for me as an actor that I just have not looked back and not questioned since that miracles do happen," Dastmalchian said.

His roles in the "Ant Man" and "Suicide Squad" movies cemented the miracle for the comic book fan, who decided to launch his latest venture in the same city where he broke out as an actor.

"I’m sitting in a comic shop getting ready to sell a comic I created, and if you would have told me that 17 years ago when I was out there begging for money, I wouldn’t have believed you," Dastmalchian said.

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