Donavan Smalley, born Donavan Sekar Turner Smalley, is a writer and local actor. He is the creator, artist, and writer of two "freestyle comic" series, Jiran Adventures and Jack & Jim Adventures. Donavan has also created two crossovers between the two series and is planning a "tie-in" prequel to them both. Aside from his comics, he is also working on a novel. Donavan hopes to one day be an actor and, eventually, a creator, writer, and director of animated series.
Early Life Edit
Donavan Smalley was born in Atlanta, Georgia on February 22, 1991. He was born under mother, Aurelia Oliver, and father, Michael Smalley. Due to Smalley's lineage, he is African American and, roughly about 1/16 Native American. Donavan lived with his mother in Atlanta while, every now and again, going to live with grandparents in Vienna, Georgia. By the age of three, Donavan returned with his mother to her hometown of Vienna, where he remained since. At some point in time, Donavan's father left and had been absent in his life since then. Despite not having his father, he was brought up in a Christian home with his mother and stepfather, Willie J. Oliver.
Donavan grew up in his home with his mother, stepfather, a brother, and sister. Since he could remember, Donavan was always a fan of cartoons, especially Disney films. A favorite pastime of his was to re-enact movies and TV shows he enjoyed and placed heavy emphasis on perfecting them. This pastime was shared with his cousins and siblings for years and years. Donavan was always a fan of acting and entertaining.
Not only did he enjoy re-enacting things but he also loved taking ideas from shows and books and using them as models to create his own stories and shows. He would create his own "shows", most of them with toys, that followed a solid storyline most of the time. These shows continued on until his late teen years. During all of that time, he has created dozens of characters and several different stories- including a story that could branch off several shows. Most of these ideas are written down and he even has a website he created in 2011 to put them out there, called Smalley's World.
Donavan attended the Dooly County Elementary School and Dooly County Middle School, where his imagination fascinated alot of adults. This was also the place where he discovered his talent for writing- a hobby that has stuck with him since. His imagination and intelligence got several of his peers' attention enough to where they hung out with him but, most of the time, caused him to be an outcast and a constant victim of teasing by most other peers. Despite this, he continued writing and acting with hopes that it will pay off.
Donavan attended Dooly County High School in Vienna, Georgia. During his senior year, Donavan starred in his high school's production of Night of the Livid Dad. In the play, he played the lead role and it caught the attention of alot of people in high school. He graduated from high school in May 2009 and attended Fort Valley State University, taking up Mass Communications with an emphasis in Broadcasting. In the fall of 2013, Donavan transferred to Georgia Southwestern State University where he is currently studying Dramatic Arts with an emphasis in Performance and minoring in Psychology.
During his seventh grade year, Donavan created Jiran Adventures using the character he created a few months prior, Jiran. After drawing two full volumes, he put it on permanent hiatus. That summer, he began drawing concepts for what would eventually become Jack & Jim Adventures. While making Jack & Jim Adventures, Donavan also created a cross-over between his two freestyle comics. Both comics have, since then, begun to be revised and are still ongoing.
Aside from his freestyle comics, Donavan has a whole arsenal of characters and stories that he hopes to, one day, turn into television series with possible movies. Many of those ideas he posted on an ongoing website he created on Weebly.
Donavan is an artist who wants to stand out from the rest. He likes for people to be able to look at his works and see where he got the inspiration from, however see it in a different light. As a writer, Donavan puts alot of emphasis on character development and the psychology of his characters. He prefers to write in a simplistic manner, without using alot of huge words and complex sentence structure. He also tends to favor the adventure/fantasy genre for his works and will, every now and again, have something that isn't.
To Donavan, writers should answer the questions of: "Why is the character the way he/she is?", "What drives/motivates the character?", and "Has he/she always been that way?". He believes in the "bonds of destiny" and "good vs. evil" archetypes and tends to have his character share traits of an epic hero. When it comes to his villains, Donavan generally cares for them to be ruthless, sadistic, and evil. Every now and again he has villains that are comical and are in between sides.
1. Donavan says that Jack & Jim Adventures is his favorite freestyle comic to draw and it has his favorite characters to draw.