Jessica Martin is a British actor. She used to play the Queen in Spitting Image, a role she reprised in Doctor Who:Voyage Of The Damned. Not her only Who role, she played Ace’s cheetah-transforming friend Mags in The Greatest Show In The Galaxy a few decades ago. Considering it’s Doctor Who Day, thought it might be worth mentioning.
And while she wouldn’t be the only actor who has decided to write a comic book, she is one of the few who have also decided to draw it too.
Welcome to Elsie Harris Picture Palace. The project hasn’t got a publisher yet, anyone interested in seeing more should contact Martin here. Her work reminds me of somewhere between Bryan Talbot and Ilya, but it clearly has a voice all of its own and is rather pleasing. I’m certainly looking forward to seeing the whole thing.
The novel is an original story entitled “Elsie Harris Picture Palace” a coming of age, rags to riches romance set in the nineteen thirties. It charts the rise of sixteen year old Elsie, a waitress in a Lyons Corner House ( these were a chain of real tea rooms in London that were extremely glamorous in the 20’s and 30’s). Her life changes when she meets film director Cedric Hesketh , a regular customer at the Corner House. Impressed by her enthusiasm for movies and art, he invites her to visit his film studios and from there her adventures begin. Under Hesketh’s patronage she will progress from tea girl to storyboard artist and eventually become a Hollywood screenwriter with romance and heartache along the way.
The work has evolved out of my love of film history and the style is inspired by comics like Kirby and Simon’s “Young Romance” and the intrepid female heroines of comics like the British fifties periodical “Girl”. I think the story would appeal to sophisticated young adults who enjoy literature like “The Great Gatsby” and film and tv programmes like “The Artist”, “Mad Men”, “Midnight in Paris” etc.
Here are a few sample pages.