Comics Anonymous


ART HEROES by Linsay @softlyspokenlas
March 30, 2012, 5:06 pm
Filed under: Features | Tags: , , , ,

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If you’re into comics and you’re on Twitter chances are you will have come across Mr Daniel Clifford. He’s a comics writer and workshop facilitator from the North East with a penchant for proactive online marketing. The fact that he is a lovely and genuine guy should cancel out any possible negativity. He’s a hard worker too, and in the last 12 months has attended more comic conventions than is probably sensible for the small press creator on a budget. I met with him back in December of last year at Canny Comic Con in Newcastle to talk about his projects past, present and future including the all ages comic Halcyon and Tenderfoot who’s number 1 issue launches this weekend.

Daniel is perhaps most well known for his comic series Sugar Glider which he co-cared along with Gary Bainbridge. It’s a superhero-esque comic with a strong and positive coming of age story at its heart. Spread over three issues, the first of which was launched at Thought Bubble in 2010 and has since sold out of two print runs. No easy feat for a small press comic. The regularity of the comic and the relentless manner in which Daniel has kept the book at the forefront of the UK small press scene is, I think, a large part of its success. A writer can only produce as many comics as he can get artists to draw them. Part time comic creators who make up much of the small press scene know this more than most. Sugar Glider Stories saw Dan circumvent this by supplementing regular issues of Sugar Glider with the Stories, a sort of anthology featuring the work of friends and other collaborators. Keeping the Sugar Glider ‘brand’ out in the market whilst leaving Gary fee to draw the main instalment.

Comic creators publishing their own work will cite every issue or strip as a learning experience and Dan is no different. Learning what has worked well, what hasn’t and where things can be improved both from past comic work and his night job as a youth worker has allowed him to put his all into his new comic Halcyon and Tenderfoot which is published by Art Heroes, a joint venture from Dan and his H&T co-creator Lee Robinson

Halcyon and Tenderfoot has been introduced through a special issue number zero which set the tone of the comic brilliantly and has hopefully garnered enough interest and more importantly subscribers. H&T will be published quarterly and available both in print and digitally. There are discounts and exclusive gifts for subscribers including free postage and packaging and original content.

H&T 0 gives readers the super secret origin story of a father and son superhero duo set in a science fiction future. It includes a little bit of romance, a helping of death, loss and desolation, a fair bit of humour and a whole lot of hope. All of this is rendered in Lee Robinson’s loose, expressive sketch style. There will be obvious comparisons to the incredibles, particularly with Halcyon’s huge chest and chin but it’s a fast paced and fun style that works well to tell this story. There are figures that would benefit from being much tighter but Lee’s panels looks best when they’re busy. His characters have great facial expressions, capturing emotion that might make some of the text obsolete.

You can find out more about H&T and the Art Heroes workshops at http://www.artheroes.co.uk

Linsay @softlyspokenlas


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