What does U.K. comedian/TV host Jonathan Ross, Cartoonist Fred Hembeck, little old me and soon, BPRD illustrator, Tyler Crook have in common? We all have a copy of Marc Jackson’s HILARIOUS new comic, MAN FROM SPACE! I got a chance to shoot the breeze with the comic’s creator and got an insiders view of his inspiration and the work that went into publishing it independently. So sit back, relax and learn something new on this week’s segment of Indie Insider.
Tell us a little bit about yourself Marc.
No Problem! I’m a graphic designer and full time Dad by day, working with my wife Jane, and by night, or by anytime I can sneak it in, I’m the creator of everybody’s favorite outer-space adventure comic, MAN FROM SPACE!
What is your comic MAN FROM SPACE about? And what makes it unique?
Well, basically it’s an wild adventure into insanity! It originally came from a comic I was commissioned to do for Penelope Cruz‘s wedding. It was entitled Hombre del Espacio and was given to all guests after the speeches… My friend Che the tracer translated it into Spanish for me as a favour and a signed photo of the bride and groom.
I’ve always loved space adventures and comics, I wanted to bring the two together and using my design background, create a comic that looked and felt a little different. I wanted to create a comic that looked like a animated TV show from the 70’s that was only broadcast in Spain and Mexico.
Your comic could have easily stayed on your back burner indefinitely. What motivated you to create it?
Well, it started as a web comic last year and I ran it as a weekly serial type affair. Each week I produced a new episode and it kind of unfolded like that. Around the summertime this year, after taking a look at it and some comments that had been made, I decided to re-work the approach story wise, make it a lot funnier, focus more on the weirdness and also do a short print run. The last bit cost money, but thanks to some great guys I used to work with, they did me a good deal on print and after selling the idea to my wife (kind of…) we went with 50! It just seemed like the right time. I had made some good contacts on Twitter and I thought it was now or never!
I enjoyed the humor in your comic. Did you find it difficult to make it translate into the medium?
Thanks, that was a big part of the comic this time around. I basically started typing the first back and forth with Michael the fish and that set the tone, from then on I just tried to make myself laugh and hopefully the reader!
Any plans of publishing other comics?
Hopefully if all goes well, three more of this book. I should be doing a second print run in January of the first one!
How did you prepare yourself to publish independently?
Well, as I was spending hard earned money, I made sure I had a market. I’d contacted some comic shops who agreed to take it based on the final print sample, I showed it to some good friends as a pdf first and asked for their honest opinions and had talked a lot about it online. I managed to harass people like Jonathan Ross (TV chat show guy in the UK and big comic geek) into reading it and slowly built some momentum!
What great comics have you been reading lately?
Well, I’ve been really enjoying the new Kick-ass, but also have just discovered the joys of Mud Man and the fantastic Reed Gunther comic. Last year a good friend of mine just got me into BPRD which is so good. Believe it or not, I’m currently chatting to Mr Tyler Crook at this very moment too. I s*#t ye not! Pardon my French! I [also] recently revisited Calvin and Hobbes. I feel MAN FROM SPACE and Michael have a little of their vibe going on!
Can analog comics survive in a digital world?
Of course. Do I still buy vinyl? Yes I do!
Any last words?
Well, firstly thanks for taking time to talk to me, I can’t believe I’m getting the reaction to my comic that I’ve had. I didn’t expect to be interviewed, that’s for sure. Lastly, in the immortal words of MAN FROM SPACE… Holy s*#t I’m on Comic Booked!!