That's right, comic publisher, business magnate and all round nice guy John A. Short, the brain behind Kult Creations (http://kultcreations.blogspot.co.uk/ ), was kind enough to call by the rookery recently and answer all manner of questions that I put to him. Recently we reviewed John's excellent comic The Clock Strikes! If you have not ordered a copy yet-why not? This is excellent stuff and you are doing yourself out of a reading treat-and the artwork is superb. But enough of my blusterings, lets hear from the man himself.
My brother got me into comics when I was young. I don’t think we should put the storytelling mediums into a pecking order (as some often do.) Many people put films, theatre, prose or even opera at the top of the pile and comics are usual way down near the bottom (along with radio drama!) But I think they all do things that the other mediums can’t.
As I writer I love comics because they allow you to tell epic, fantastic stories with a tiny budget and little interference editorially (compared to TV or movies for example.)
How did I get started?
My first professional work was writing and organising comic strips for a local free newspaper called the South Coast Express. But I was soon sending strips to things like Rip Off Comix and Fantagraphics Magazines in the States. It wasn’t until I started selling scripts to kids humour strips in Egmont’s Toxic Magazine nearly ten years ago that I was able to turn fully professional though.
Who inspires you?
I get inspired by many things (a lot of them from outside comics.) 2000AD creator Pat Mills was an early influence, Alan Moore made me sit up and take notice on his Warrior strips. Garth Ennis and Mark Millar have shown how to break moulds. Outside comics, I’ve followed the work of (Doctor Who show-runner) Steven Moffat since his break-through TV series Press Gang in the 1980s. I love Joss Whedon’s work. Screen writing is often under-rated (no-one ever advertises a film by who wrote it… only who the actors are!)
Looking back what would you have done differently?
Maybe I wouldn’t have sold the rights to my Robin Hoodie strip to Egmont? You assume when you give away the rights to one of your creations that if you do a good job they’ll keep you on it… But the editor sacked me so that his little chum could write it instead (Not Egmont’s fault… I’m sure they never even noticed.)
What’s coming up?
We’re talking to some larger publishers about continuing ‘The Clock Strikes!’ (maybe into a graphic novel.) ‘The Clock Strikes!’ is a revival of the first ever masked hero in comic books – the Clock, from 1936. So far we’ve produced a one-off under the Kult Creations imprint… with fantastic art by Vincent Danks (currently drawing the Harker books for Titan Books.)
But in the next few weeks we’ll have the second issue of Savage! Jungle Princess out on sale. SJP is a full colour romp under the Kult banner (http://kultcreations.blogspot.com) featuring dinosaurs, Nazis and (in the second issue) ninjas! With colourful, fruity art by Gabrielle Noble who draws my strip Mayfair Magazine (Ms. Fortune.)
In a film of your life who would play you?
An actor, I hope. Long after I’m dead (so I won’t be embarrassed by the whole sorry mess!)
Thanks John. Modest to the end. Seriously if you don't know Kult Creations get over there now and have a good look.