Tag Archives: Scottish comics

Creator Spotlight: Ell J Walker

So. Creator Spotlights! Every couple of months or so I’m going to be asking one of our ELC regulars (or anyone in the Edinburgh comics community who’s willing to do it) to update the banner for this blog. I’m also going to be featuring the banner’s creator and their work here, so you can get to know them/it a bit more if you don’t already.

This month’s banner is brought to you by Ell J Walker!

Ell is the co-author of Galdr, a fantasy thriller webcomic available to read here.

Galdr-title-page

Galdr is co-written by James D Parnell, who in his own words ‘mostly sits’ while Ell does all of the artwork for the series. Actually though, he does a bit more than that – James studied film and uses his knowledge to help lay out the panels in an engaging, cinematic way, while Ell’s background in sculpture influences the distinctive style of the artwork. Ell describes drawing Galdr as a challenge she’s set herself mostly to develop her art, and you can already see that happening as the comic progresses.

The comic is set in the fictional city of Rivers Pass, a historical merchant town with a dark and chaotic underbelly:

galdrriverspass

Tandy Tynan Fogg, clothing retailer and heart-throb, has a problem. Everybody close to him ends up going missing in mysterious circumstances (everybody except his pet iguana Marc, that is). He needs a lodger, but they don’t seem to last very long!

Eventually the post is filled by the enigmatic Mauve, who secretly begins to investigate the strange disappearances in his own gruff style.

Tandy Tynan Fogg
Tandy Tynan Fogg
Mauve
Mauve

As webcomics go, Galdr is still in its infancy. At the time of writing 22 pages have been published online. But the title might give us some clue as to the direction it will take – the word ‘Galdr’ is derived from the Old Norse for ‘spell’ or ‘incantation’. Just what is the mysterious power behind Mauve’s words? Will the secret of Tandy’s spare room disappearances be revealed? Is anything bad going to happen to the iguana? (Ell – it better not!) Galdr updates more-or-less every Tuesday, so check it out if like me you want some answers.

You can also follow Ell’s work on tumblr or twitter.

If you’re a Scottish/Scotland based comic writer and you have something to promote (or just too much time on your hands) then feel free to volunteer your banner-making services for the next Creator Spotlight!

Gill Hatcher on Comics: “There’s Still So Much Unexplored Territory.”

We had a chat with Glasgow’s Gill Hatcher, cartoonist and co-creator of Team Girl Comic.  Here she discusses her work, her influences, and the state of comics today.

What kind of comics did you grow up reading?  What has most influenced your work, and what kind of work do you aspire to?


My first comic was DC Thomson’s Twinkle (“specially for little girls”), full of lovely stories about teddy bears and kittens. I then moved on to The Beano (The Bunty was way too boring), and when I discovered my local library had all the Tintin books they were all I wanted to read. And like everyone else in Scotland, The Broons and Oor Wullie annuals made an appearance every Christmas.

Although I mainly create short comic stories rather than strips, I’m influenced by Peanuts by Charles Schultz and Amy and Jordan by Mark Beyer: Schultz’s perfect simplicity and Beyer’s far from perfect attention to detail. I’m also a great admirer of Peter Bagge. A lot of my stories are influenced by wildlife, growing up and, if I’m being honest ‘The Sooty Show’- I still find a lot of things I laughed at as a kid funny today.
I guess I aspire to develop my own unique style- still working on that!

Continue reading Gill Hatcher on Comics: “There’s Still So Much Unexplored Territory.”

From Scotland to Japan – An Interview With Sean Michael Wilson

Sean Michael Wilson is a manga and comics writer who grew up in Edinburgh, and made the move to Japan where he has made it big in the manga world.  He is the writer of a number of successful manga including ‘Yakuza Moon’ and ‘Hagakure’.  He is the editor of the Harvey Award nominated anthology ‘AX: Alternative Manga’.  We got in touch to ask him about his experiences as an international writer and editor.  Here he discusses his work, and also announces a very exciting opportunity for Scotland based artists.  Read on!

What comics did you grow up reading, and what has influenced you work most?

Like most kids in Scotland and the rest of the UK I grew up reading comics as a matter of course. It was Whizzer and Chips and Victor, ones like that at the start. Then, like a whole generation, I got the 2000AD benders! It was 2000AD that plunged me into the deep well of comics that I am yet to crawl back out of. And I don’t want to, there are many great wonders in it. But I also quickly got into even more mature comics, like Warrior and Escape. Interest in Superheroes was only a short concern for me, because the more indie stuff seemed so much more vital and moving. Of course Alan Moore, and also Eddie Campbell, Grant Morrison, Harvey Pekar, Joe Sacco. This is nothing new but Moore has deeply influenced me, as with many others. Not so much that you can see it in my writing, but in the stance of wanting to do work that matters to you, that has a high level of sophistication. The love of the medium as an artistic form of expression and exploration. Cheers big Al!

What was the draw of Japan for a Scottish born comic creator?  How important is where you live and where you come from in making comics?

The draw of Japan is still a mystery to me in one way, although in another way it’s very simple: the lovely women! I came here with a Japanese girlfriend and settled. Apart from that I also thought it would be useful to be in Japan to make an effort to get into working in the manga industry. Which has proven to be the case, through giving it a good go in approaching editors and publishers here, and a bit of luck.  But I often need to make it clear that I’m not an expert in manga, or in fact such a big fan. That sounds odd coming from someone who lives in Japan, works with Japanese artists and publishers everyday, and is the editor of one of the most respected manga anthologies yet to come out (AX), but its true! I’m too busy actually getting on with MAKING my books to have time to become an expert about manga in general. Paul Gravett is an expert. Ryan Holmsberg (who did the Ax bio section for us) is an expert. The only area of manga I am knowledgable in is the gekiga type, the mature, indie style. And even that is mostly because the Ax Japan editor, Asakawa-san, has told me about it.

YAKUZA MOON manga edition, art by Michiru Morikawa

Continue reading From Scotland to Japan – An Interview With Sean Michael Wilson

Graphic Scotland

A new organisation has just launched, with the aim of promoting and showcasing the best in Scottish graphic fiction.  There’s no content on their website just yet, but we’re excited by the prospect of more people taking an interest in promoting Scottish comics.  Keep an eye on their website, over at www.graphicscotland.co.uk

Also, it looks like they’re on the search for someone to design their logo and branding.  Email them at info@graphicscotland.co.uk if you want to volunteer for the task!