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 - - Contents -

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.

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