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D'Errico places third and eighth in balloting for Stan Lee Foundation logo contest

Aaron D
Aaron D'Errico autographs a photo during a recent visit to The Journal office. The aspiring illustrator placed third and eighth in voter and judges balloting in a logo contest for the Stan Lee Foundation.
— image credit: Richard Walker

Someone needs to buy Aaron D'Errico a lottery ticket.

He meets Michael Madsen on the set of "Free Willy," and the actor-poet writes about him in "The Crooked Prince." He meets his idol, Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee, and a woman in a Catwoman outfit takes him in her arms when he hyperventilates.

His latest adventure: The aspiring illustrator's design placed third in voter balloting and eighth in judges' balloting in the logo contest for the Stan Lee Foundation. That's right — he placed in the top 10 twice.

"It built up my confidence as an artist. But I've already received the grand prize," he said, referring to his introduction to Lee. "He told me he expects great things from me and is looking forward to seeing my work."

The Stan Lee Foundation was established to support art, education and literacy throughout the world. Entries were posted on Talenthouse, a sort of Facebook for artists, designers, filmmakers, musicians, etc. Voting was Sept. 17-22.

D'Errico, 31, is the son of Cynthia Elliott, a massage therapist on San Juan Island; and David D'Errico, whose career in professional soccer included three seasons with the original Seattle Sounders and four seasons on the U.S. team.

The younger D'Errico graduated from Friday Harbor High School in 1998. As an artist, he is being mentored by Paul Chadwick of "Concrete" comic book fame. By day, D'Errico works at Browne Home Center; in his off-time, he is a singer and a DJ. His desire to become an illustrator really caught fire when he met Lee at the Emerald City Comic-Con in March. In fact, he took on the disc jockey moniker "DJ Hero" in honor of Lee.

D'Errico said his goal as an illustrator is "to uplift people with my characters."

Pat O'Day was certainly uplifted by a retro depiction of him that D'Errico did. The pioneer rock DJ hung D'Errico's piece in his real estate office, near a large framed poster of Led Zeppelin.

"He's got class, he's got soul, Pat O'Day is Mr. Rock 'n' Roll," the picture states.

"The kid is so dedicated, he has such a great positive attitude," O'Day said in an earlier interview. "I loved it. The depiction of me is a retro thing, going back to when I was 21 years old — some 23 years before Aaron was born. It's hard to look at a depiction of yourself and be an impartial judge, but I give him high fives. The kid is good."

About that introduction to Stan Lee. In his blog entry, titled "Stan the Mensch," (March 21, 2010) Chadwick wrote about attending the Emerald City Comic-Con with D'Errico — and witnessing his protege's meeting with Lee.

"Aaron, bless his heart, was hyperventilating and so emotional that the gathered crowd looked a little alarmed. In fact — and this is the cherry on top! — a woman in a Catwoman outfit (and the figure to pull it off) took him in her arms and asked if he was okay, held him as he calmed down, even kissed his forehead. There's a sweetness about this guy that has that effect on people.

"I told Aaron that at this rate, we were buying a lottery ticket ..."

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