You may recall a self-published book we talked about early this week Man From Space, well we decided to do a follow up with creator Marc Jackson. I personally find self-publishing interesting so I couldn't wait to dig into it. CB) Before we get into where Man From Space came from I wanted to know what you were doing (or still doing) before self-publishing? Industrial Design for some corporate conglomerate?
Those words then led to the next page and so on. I did actually write and draw the last few pages as well and kind of connected them together. I had lines that I typed that I added in for extra laughs and stuff. The overall goal would be for someone who never met me to buy a copy and love it! I’d feel like Stan Lee.
MJ) Yep all computer in Adobe Illustrator but the very first drawing was done by hand of the main character (attached) then one day I just illustrated a page of weirdos and it went from there. Originally MAN FROM SPACE was a web comic that ran week by week with a cliff-hanger ending, in the grand tradition of the old Flash Gordon TV shows. Sometime around the summer of this year (the comic began March 2010) I thought about submitting it to a publisher. This made me take a good look at it to see if it actually was suitable. Would someone think it was good enough, or was I kidding myself. After a few comments about the web-comic over the past year, I decided that the one thing people really liked was the oddness.
CB) How long has Man From Space or creating comics been your goal/dream? I’ve listened to a lot of self-published indie creators and some of them jumped all in right away and produced material instantly and others seem to experience it at a much slower rate. A few indie books I’ve followed produced one book a year and yet you have issue #2 nearing completion?
MJ) Well for a long time I’ve wanted to make comics, the web-comic was inspired by an article I read about doing one new thing each day. So I thought I’d draw a page or two of a comic strip and then serialise it online. The comic took longer and actually pushing the button on print was a big deal, mainly down to this time it was actually costing money to do it. I got interest going before it came out and a lot of good folks, yourselves included, have said some great things. Issue 2 is only about 5 pages done, realistically, it won’t be out before February I would think. This comic took from August to November to actually happen and at least 85% was already drawn. Issue 2 will be worth the wait as I introduce an assassin who is a cross between Darth Maul and Nathan Lane in the Birdcage film, basically as camp as humanly possible, but also has a penchant for melting a brain or two. One main character will have his brain next issue, wow it’ll be a shocker!...
CB) What are your feelings about the indie market in the UK? Does it even matter or have a difference from the States due to the internet?
MJ) Well honestly I don’t really know much about the UK indie market, but I have been reading far more indie books in general these days. Back in the 80’s, all I read was Marvel, maybe a little bit of DC, but my main comic love was Groo the Wanderer which I think was my bible back then along with anything Fred Hembeck was drawing at the time! I was also a huge fan of Calvin and Hobbes, which maybe comes across with the ‘Man and his fish’ set up?...
Just recently since embarking on self-publishing, I’ve been enjoying the delights of Image books Reed Gunther and Mud Man, Dark Horse’s BPRD (which is so great) and discovering the weird and wonderful world of Heeby Jeeby Comix!
CB) What’s the biggest misconception you get as an English comic creator and please say that everyone thinks you know Alan Moore or someone equally ridiculous to know.
MJ) At the moment Weirdo comics is MAN FROM SPACE only, we’ll see. Cool story, Weirdo comics was the title I used for comics I sold my Grandma when I was about 11 years old. She bought them for 50p... er 25 cents?... currency conversion needed!!
CB) Thank god you did it, because I was going to.
CB) What’s your feeling on digital comics when it comes to self-publishing?
MJ) For me putting out a limited print run, digital is a fantastic way of getting more exposure, somehow I managed to get MAN FROM SPACE on Graphicly, which I’m discovering is quite a big deal!
CB) Well congrats on Graphicly, I think in a short time you will find that it's a pretty big deal!
CB) What’s one question you hate being asked?
MJ) Isn’t it time you were going home?...
CB) Last question, do you prefer Batman (1989) or Batman Begins (2005)?
Be sure to check out Man From Space either in print or digitally by heading here.