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Interview

Supanova p3

Comics artist Dean Rankine from Beano and Dandy, and Mark Sexton, story board artist and production designer from movies like Happy Feet, and Mad Max: Fury Road…

Dean Rankine gave some good advice to aspiring comics creators in the audience including to always try to finish projects. He said a lot of writers just didn’t have it in them at the time to complete their stories. Start small, he said. There was great satisfaction in having a completed work.
Mr Rankine has written and drawn comics for numerous kids magazines, like Wacky but True and KidZone in Australia. He also draws My Mum Is A Brain Eating Zombie, Flatman and Ribbon, and The Shrimpsons for Dandy (a UK kids comic). And he draws other comics for The Beano (also UK).
He liked Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot, The Autobiography of a Dangerous Man (1989), by John Callahan. He said the book had been optioned by Robin Willams. It’s a darkly humorous story of alchoholism, injury, rehab, and life as a paraplegic who made comics. Mr Callahan died in 2010. The cartoon series John Callahan’s Quads! was based on this book.
He also liked Saga a space opera comic created by writer Brian K. Vaughan and artist Fiona Staples, from Image Comics. It’s about two lovers from warring extraterrestrial races. Alana and Marko flee the authorities from both sides of a galactic war while trying to care for their newborn daughter, Hazel.
And he also liked the comic book Sex Criminals, first published 2013. Jon is an actor and Suzie is a librarian. They meet at a party. They discover they can freeze time when they have an orgasm. They decide to rob a bank where Jon works in order to save Suzie’s endangered library. Mr Rankine said it was great story telling.
Mark Sexton said he got a lot of his ideas on long distance drives. He’s worked on comics like the prequel comic to Mad Max: Fury Road. And he’s worked as a story board artist on movies like Star Wars Episode 2, Mission Impossible 2 and Happy Feet (also production designer). He liked 2000 AD and Judge Dredd and had since he was a kid. He liked Hellboy.
He also liked Blacksad, which has a panther as the main character. It’s set in 1950s America and all the characters are anthropomorphic. Juan Díaz Canales was the writer and Juanjo Guarnido the artist, both Spanish, although the comic was created mainly for the French market. It was first published in 2000 and Mr Sexton said it had beautiful drawing. Jim Steranko translated it.
He also liked Charley’s War, a British comic strip written by Pat Mills and drawn by Joe Colquhoun. It was originally published in Battle Picture Weekly from January 1979 to October 1986. He said he learned a lot about WW1 from the comic. He said he liked how all the characters had flaws, some irritating, like Charley’s friend.

-copyright Simon Sandall.