Comedy capers from our kiddie crime-fighter. Cor. Plus an interview with his creator, comics artist Marc Jackson.
Marc Jackson is a Macclesfield-based cartoonist whose work has adorned the likes of Aces Weekly, The Beano and of course Comic Heroes, for which he created Ka‑punch! We decided it was high time we spoke to Marc to find out more
Comic Heroes: What can you tell us about the origins of Ka-punch?
Marc Jackson: He’s my cartoony version of Kick-Ass, but more all-ages. He’s also inspired by Adam West’s Batman. Initially, like Kick-Ass he was a kid in a costume, but then I hit upon the idea of Gene the Space Genie and the concept of what a kid might ask for if granted three wishes and it went from there. CH: When did you start making comics?
MJ: I remember first drawing actual comics at around 10 or 11, but I’ve drawn since I was little. I came back to actually trying to get into comics seven years ago. I had a webcomic I created called Man
From Space. I did a number of versions of this character, before I broke away from him and did lots of other characters and things really started to click. CH: Who are your influences? MJ: The Maestro, Sergio Aragonés – when I saw Groo on a newsagent’s shelf in my home town of Macclesfield when I was around 12, I was instantly hooked. Bill Watterson, who created my favourite comic strip,
Calvin and Hobbes. His work will forever influence my style. Closer to home, Lew Stringer. His strips in Marvel UK comics really struck a chord with me and, years
later, Lew put me in touch with The
Beano, which led me to creating two characters for them. I’m forever grateful. CH: Talk us through creating a strip…
MJ: The first thing I do is write a basic script. I break it up into panels and pages and write the dialogue. I add some notes for certain things that happen, but for the most part the initial elements like that stay in my head. I then start laying out the panels on the page; as I work digitally, I can drop the dialogue and text into the panels to get an idea for space. I draw all my characters on design sheets, copy and paste them into the panels they appear in, then take those basic characters and draw the panel based on what’s happening.
I treat dialogue as equal parts finished and loose plot that evolves as I work. I’ll add new jokes and new panels or split up panels to help the flow. Once I have the characters drawn up with the right pose and expression, I’ll add any background elements needed. Then I’ll adjust the lettering to make sure it’s fitting, re-sizing as need be and re-writing inside balloons. I’ll go into the text and increase the size of words for emphasis and randomly change case to give it a looser, more fun aspect. I’ll then make any final tweaks. CH: You work entirely digitally, right? MJ: Yes. I’m also a graphic designer and when I came back to comics I just naturally did them on the computer. I still draw by hand and it’s taken a while, but now my hand-drawn style and computerdrawn stuff are basically the same. I draw entirely in Adobe Illustrator, using the mouse and the pen and brush tools with pre-set strokes I’ve created. CH: What else are you working on at the moment? MJ: I’m working on new Goons of the Galaxy for Aces Weekly, which starts its third part in May. I have a new all-ages comic, Cat Stevens, that I’m hoping will be published later this year, but that’s all I can say at the moment. I’m also organising the second mini-comic festival in Macclesfield called MACC-POW!, which will be held on 1 July.
Goons parts 1 and 2 appear in Aces Weekly volumes 23 and 25.