Thomas J. Hall
Photo of Lance Briggs, superhero, by illustrationist Thomas J. Hall. View more of his work at http://www.myartspace.com/artistPHome.do.
Picture a 6-year-old Lance Briggs walking into a card shop in Sacramento, Calif., with his mother Brenda. Mom was happy to help pick out the newest rookie card for her son, who had recently received his first bat and glove. But it was the bright, colorful and shiny comic books lining the shelves that caught the younger Briggs' eye.
"They always had comic books laying around, so I'd (browse), pick one up, and read it." Briggs explained.
The comic books were so cheap and inexpensive Briggs' mother would buy them every time, and the first time young Lance read "XMan" he was hooked.
"Wolverine was always appealing as a kid" said Briggs.
But what about now, as a 29 year old, 6 foot 1 inch professional football player?
"It's not football, and when I read comics I don't think about football. I love the creativity, I love that it's somebody's imagination that takes you to this place."
Briggs says he has boxes and boxes of comics at his north suburban Chicago home. "The Darkness" especially appealed to him as a young professional athlete trying to get through the rigors of training. He says he discovered it during his second season after the coaches were giving him a tough time on the field.
Briggs attends the Comic-Con conventions when possible, sits in on panel discussions with fans, but mostly loves meeting the artists and creators like Mark Silvestri of Chicago, creator of "The Darkness." And while Briggs was eager to talk about plot lines, Silvestri, a Bears fan, wanted to talk football!
So Briggs decided to merge the two worlds together with a new website www.lancescomicworld.com.
"I really want to bridge comic book fans with football fans. They're two different arenas for me. I'm able to communicate with those that have a passion for what I love," Briggs says.
But Briggs says its not always easy marrying the two worlds, even though his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, might like comic books even more he does. It's a different matter when the topic comes up in the sweaty locker room at Halas Hall?
"It's not a long conversation," he laughs.
Briggs' comic life doesn't overlap into his NFL world, though we suggested he strike an Incredible Hulk pose after sacking a quarterback.
"I don't know, that's a lot of pressure for me. You should do a survey and ask (readers) what they think I should do when I make a big play!," Briggs says.
So we will. Participate in the survey on this page or leave your thoughts in the Comments section below.
In the meantime if Marvel comics came to him and wanted to base a character on #55 of the Chicago Bears?
"No tights," he quickly answers.
After all those are reserved for Sundays at Soldier Field.