Common Grounds hosts free Marvel-inspired concert

Local artist Ryan Thomas performed on Friday night as apart of Common Ground’s free Marvel-inspired concert. Acts also included original songs and comic books from a variety of performers. Elisabeth Thomas | Reporter

By Elisabeth Thomas | Reporter

Several local artists and freelancers joined forces Friday night to create a Marvel-inspired free concert at Common Grounds.

Ryan Thomas, a Baylor alumnus and local rapper and songwriter, performed songs from his album “Domicile,” artists sold their work based off the album, photographers and videographers recorded the event and the Tribe of Judah opened. The most notable artist collaboration was the complete comic book “Rhema,” based on the songs in “Domicile.”

Paris Beauchamp is a local teenage digital illustrator. She mostly designs characters, but she completed a 40-page comic book with chapters based on each of the songs in Domicile.

“Ryan has definitely gotten a lot of fame from this, and a lot of stuff has happened for him because of the comic,” Beauchamp said. “A lot of stuff has happened for me because of Ryan too.”

Thomas said that as he was finishing the album, a friend suggested he tell the story behind the album. “I don’t know if anyone would want to read my book, but it stuck in my head,” Thomas said.

“But then we sat down and I started telling her the meaning of these songs, and the album is a journey of someone having the expressions, thoughts and questions of someone finding a true, unshakeable sense of belonging and home. It mirrored two years of my life,” Thomas said.

Beauchamp had done animated cover art for Thomas already, so one day Thomas said he thought it would be awesome to make a comic book of the story, which was originally supposed to be only 12 pages.

“The year after I graduated, I lived in four different countries and I’d go there, settle there, feel called to leave, leave, repeat,” Thomas said.

He said he realized he needed to take care of something going on inside: through crazy adventures and relationships, Thomas said he was looking for a sense of home and permission to express himself with God as a friend.

“All the things that make me feel that sense of home that I felt, I think it’s that childlike home. A lot of desires I had as a child and the things I loved as a child are littered throughout,” Thomas said. Included in his songs are references to Pokemon, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Smash characters.

According to Thomas, Domicile was created with friends: “I think that is one of the best ways you can create anything. Because no matter how envisioned you may be about something, there’s always someone who has a different take on it. I don’t see why if you can collaborate with someone and highlight and empower them, I don’t see why you wouldn’t.”