Before he wrote comic books and advertising, Chad Lambert was living his dream – and it nearly killed him.
Lambert was a radio host-producer for several Cincinnati and Dayton stations -- at the same time -- before joining Gary Burbank's afternoon radio show team on WLW-AM.
"For two years, I worked 70 hours a week at three stations in two cites for slave wages and free CDs," he writes in "Radio Gaga," his new comic about his brief radio career. "Once I worked every single day from March to November without a day off."
In 1996, he finally "landed an elusive gig behind the scenes writing and producing for one of my childhood comedy idols (Burbank). That's where I found my groove," he says.
Lambert will sign copies of "Radio GaGa" Saturday noon-3 p.m. at Future Great Comics, 528 Main St., Hamilton. Published by Old School Comics, the cover says that "the stories, characters and incidents mentioned in this publication are entirely fictional. Well, not really. Let's just say they've been fictionalized enough to not make any persons living or dead look stupid… except for me."
Lambert left the "Gary Burbank Show" in 2002. "Between the botched Presidential election of 2000, and Cincinnati race riots in 2001, writing and producing topical humor had become difficult. After the events of 9/11, it was impossible. Nothing was funny anymore," he writes. In one scene, Burbank producers are show brainstorming possible comedy bits called "Allah in the Family," "Mecca Me Laugh," "Play That Fatwa Music" and "Talitubbies."
"I loved radio, but I'm glad I wasn't there long enough to hate it," he says.
In 2014, Lambert wrote a comic book about the history of "WKRP in Cincinnati." He has won two Harvey Awards for comic books achievement for his work on "Dark Horse Presents" and small press comics, including "Possum At Large," "Kill the Revisionist" and "Return to Point Pleasant." He was one of the writers of the "Megamind" and "Kung Fu Panda" comics from Ape Entertainment and DreamWorks Animation, as well as "BloodRayne" for Digital Webbing Press.
He's also the editor of COMICS, a biography series that focuses on stand-up comedians, TV sitcom stars and other influential funny people from the past 50 years. Titles so far include "George Carlin," "Lucille Ball, "The Three Stooges," "Saturday Night Live," "WKRP in Cincinnati" and "Redd Foxx."
During the day he's a copywriter for Mercy Health's creative advertising and branding team.