Jake Jetpulse: a collaboration between the dynamic duo of a father and son
A young autistic boy, gifted with amazing superpowers, embarks on an epic adventure to discover that he’s the galaxy’s greatest hope for survival.
Like every good superhero team, Led Bradshaw and his son, Jake have their own unique origins story.
Brooklyn-born Led was an only child. He spent lot of time lying on the bedroom floor drawing for hours, and watching Saturday morning cartoons like Spider-man, Superfriends, and Thundarr the Barbarian. Sometimes his father came home with a handful of comic books for Led to read and practice drawing from, which further inspired his love of comics, science fiction, and fantasy. Drawing and writing stories were all Led wanted to do, and there wasn’t a blank sheet of paper in the house that wasn’t doodled on extensively. Led looked forward to Halloween art contests the same way he looked forward to the World Series, Super Bowl, or even Christmas and he took any chance he could get to display his work.
Shortly after his son Jake was born in 2010, Led decided that his life needed a change. He wasn’t making much money in his current job, so he decided to focus his efforts into an art career. He practically begged his parents to loan him money to buy a new computer and software, and promised to pay them back once he learned to use them and landed a decent job. Led tried to teach himself graphic design, but quickly found that it wasn’t easy to do while simultaneously raising a newborn. Led enrolled himself in one of New York’s biggest art schools and studied while Jake napped.
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When Jake was in Pre-K, it became evident that he started displaying developmental challenges and his teachers began to notice that he struggled a lot in class and started falling behind the other students. Jake was soon evaluated and diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder at the age of 3 1/2.
As a self-proclaimed comic book geek, Led loved their father-and-son-playtime as the pair bonded over universal questions like ‘who is stronger; Superman or Thor?” But in the classroom, all Jake ever wanted to talk about was superheroes and it got to a point where his special interests became problematic for him and his classmates.
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Bringing a child’s imagination to life
Led needed to find a way to connect with his son and help him learn. Led added art therapy exercises that he found online into Jake’s daily routines. At first, Led would teach Jake how to use colors to express his emotions. Then he would teach him how to use those colors to interpret his feelings. One day they’d draw a happy drawing, the next day, a sad one.
“I was impressed with Jake’s vision and it inspired me to sit with him and join him,” said Led. “After several weeks, I got the idea to translate his drawings into comic book-style characters that he could relate to. To help him learn, I incorporated his daily school assignments with my artwork to make flashcards. Jake was always incredibly creative. He would draw his own comic books where he was the main hero. I took his stories and made comic book panels out of his creations.”
A hero arises from the ashes
One fateful birthday, his family threw Jake a birthday party, and sadly only one child showed up. Jake was very upset and Led tried to console him. He asked if there was anything he could get Jake to make him feel better. Jake said he wanted to be in his own comic book and this is how Jake Jetpulse came into being.
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Jake creates the story and Led does all of the illustrations using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. “Working together helps strengthen our bond,” says Led. “I understand how Jake thinks. It’s helped me learn how to communicate with him. I can finally speak his language. By creating the main hero in Jake’s likeness, I was able to pull Jake into learning. Communicating through our love for superheroes paved a way for Jake to understand, create, and discover.
“Purchasing the Wacom Cintiq was the best investment I ever made,” said Led. “Drawing on the Cintiq helped me become a more efficient artist. It was able; to cut down some of the time it took for me to draw each panel by hand. And it was able to keep up with the lightning-fast ideas in Jake’s head. The Wacom Cintiq allowed me to draw alongside Jake as he narrated and created the characters that he saw in his imagination.”
About Led Bradshaw
Led A. Bradshaw is making a name for himself as one of New York’s up-and-coming black comic book illustrators.
As the creator of Jetpulse Comics, his Flagship title “The New Adventures of Jake Jetpulse” is a comic book adventure story that was inspired by his son Jacob who was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder at the age of four.
Since 2018, Jetpulse Studios has published The New Adventures Of Jake Jetpulse: Reading & Math Activity Book, The New Adventures of Jake Jetpulse: Beginners Reading Book, and The New Adventures Of Jake Jetpulse: Hidden Heroes Workbook.
Bradshaw’s first mainstream project came in April 2015 when he was asked to create a comic book story line that would be attached with the “Iron Hell-Met” album for Darkstarz Records; an independent record label. The comic book story is based on the Kung-Fu and science fiction influences in the album.
The collaboration received great praise and also gave Bradshaw the confidence to showcase his work on a larger scale.
Led and his team is currently seeking financing to continue the Jake Jetpulse Animated Series that halted production in July, 2020.