Marc Jackson writes
This week I’ll be once again visiting The Lakes International Comic Art Festival in Kendal, here in the UK. This will be my third year attending as a guest and I’ll be helping to run the all-ages drawing workshop U Draw, We Draw! A great fun activity where children get to draw with an amazing roster of comic artists, hosted by Robert Deas (The Phoenix), Ilya and me! Amazing creators such as Ken Niimura (I Kill Giants) will be dropping by and the lucky children of Kendal and beyond will get to draw alongside them and take home an original piece of art!
Not only will I be doing that, but I’ll also be launching my new comic GROW A PAIR. It’s my first foray into comics for an older audience, featuring violence, mild profanity and two (count ‘em) two glorious nipple shots. I’ve worked in association with both LICAF and WACOM on this project. Back in the Summer, I met Jens Kellersmann who works for WACOM and is heavily involved with the Lakes, supplying Cintiqs for live-draws, interactive cartoon cafés and more. Last year I was involved in the comics challenge where 6 creators (me included) had to create 4 pages of a comic in 4 hours, to be brought together and printed overnight to be launched on the first day of the festival. We all had to work on Cintiq’s and for me, it was the first time. I talked to Jens about the excitement and sheer panic I felt during that crazy afternoon working on my comic and getting the files to print by 7 o’clock that evening and generally using their cool products. The next thing I find happening is Jens offering to send me a Cintiq to make a brand-new comic on, that I would blog about during its creation and then launch at LICAF. The deal was set and on the 1st of September I began work.
The comic tells the tale of Dusty Danson, a 13-year old boy who is always getting beat-up. After seeking advice from his talking pin-up poster (cue nipples) he meets a Space-genie called Gene who grants him three wishes, one of which is ‘Cosmic punch-powers’ and the story continues in a gloriously bloody origin issue that results in Dusty’s first battle with evil.
Presented in glorious black and white with a splattering of red throughout (blood, bruises and yes, you’ve guessed it, nipples!) It’s a celebration of the fun and ridiculousness of super-heroes, all from the perspective of a 13-year-old comics fan.
During the creation, I’ve been revisiting Steve Ditko’s work on Spidey, looking at how Frank Miller used his solid blacks and re-reading Mudman by Paul Grist (again) Each of these guys have shown me how to craft a great Superhero comic tale with their unique graphic styles, whilst putting my own mark on the genre in my own weird way!
Using the tablet was a challenge, but by the end of it, became my best friend and loosened up my comics making in many great ways. I’m so grateful for the chance to make this comic with such amazing support and can’t wait to share it at my favourite comics event!
I’ll have copies with me at LICAF and you’ll be able to find them at the Guest liaison desk in the Brewery Arts centre, or you can pre-order them at my online store.
All images and content ©Marc Jackson and Weirdo comics 2018