Hotdog and Mustard, Putting the Condiments Back Into Comics

Marc Jackson writes,

A month before Christmas, I decided to create an all-ages comic that was designed to be a youngsters first comic book. Comics can be a tricky thing to read out loud, they are (more often than not) something you read to yourself. I wanted to tackle that, strip the idea back to basics and create a fun and engaging story told in comic book form.

The first thing I decided was that each page (which then soon led to each spread) would be a single panel. When you opened the comic, you’d be hit with a wonderfully bold and bright image, with large balloons and lively lettering. Part of the idea came from visiting my daughter’s school for story time, which wouldn’t usually involve comics. I’m always out to fly the flag for the medium so, armed with the concept, I approached her teacher and we arranged a visit from me just before Christmas where I’d read my new comic. The date was set, I just needed to make it, and Hotdog and Mustard were born!

It’s the simple tale (tail) of two dogs, a robot, a carpet, a fire, an aeroplane, and Don Johnson! I wanted to inject the spirit of Ren & Stimpy with a nod to the Cat in The Hat all at the same time, whilst injecting my own trademark approach to comic making for children. I knuckled down, created the comic within the month, and did just what I set out to do and more. First up, a visit to the school which was great fun and, as always, very inspiring. Then two live reads at my local libraries in both Macclesfield and Bollington in Cheshire. Children could also pick up a copy at the end, and it was great to see them engaging and looking forward to reading it again later with their parents.

I plan to do more live reads both locally (Sunday 27th at Macclesfield’s Treacle Market) and in Kendal in association with The Lakes international comic art festival in the next few months.

Check out a few pages below and copies can be ordered here.


About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.

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