Jimmy Broxton sprung onto the scene with Mess - favourite mini - series The Knight and The Squire, a brilliant evocation of not only Silver Age fun but also British comics of sainted memory, from The Beano to Viz.
Now, he and writer Guy Adams are preparing to unleash faux - retro ''newspaper strip'' Goldtiger, and we caught up with Jimmy recently for the Mess' Nine Questions...
1. Was there an inspiration for Jarvis Poker, the British Joker?
I'm sure Paul has his own story to tell; for me, visually at least I was trying to get the feel of ruined beauty you see in faded matinee idols, a little like Dirk Bogarde, but less sinister - he needed a more vulnerable side; he started off looking like a cross between James Mason and my Dad. In the end, as do many of my characters, he ended up looking a bit like me - but with purple hair.
2. I adored KNIGHT AND SQUIRE- how did it do with the Americans / American editors?
Thanks! I think some Americans "got it" totally, and enjoyed the references, the camp, and the whole Monty Python/Round the Horne vibe that Paul gave it; the rest of them didn't have a sodding clue what it was, or what it was supposed to be, but I think most folks enjoyed its "Englishness". The DC editors commissioned it, so obviously they liked it as a premise - I hope they liked how the art came out. Janelle Asselin was the editor, and she was a joy to work with; not sure if I was though.
3. Is self-publishing via Kickstarter a new hope in social economic evolution or does it not pay enough?
Impossible to answer that; some Kickstarter projects have gone stratospheric, others barely make it into orbit, and some fizzle out on the launch pad. Hmm, need some more space travel metaphors I think....seriously though, what Kickstarter offers is an alternative; a viable alternative to traditional / mainstream publishing routes.
As belts are tightened, publishers are prepared to take fewer risks, and are less inclined to cover upfront editorial costs - I do not blame them, it's business - but if you are a creator like me, who doesn't really fit into a neat DCU or Marvel superhero box, then I have to look to independent routes to market.
4. Is the "nU DC", sans Karen Berger less friendly to European writers and artists?
I think the dust is still settling after her departure; she leaves a void of course, but they have some wonderful people to carry on her tremendous work - the legacy is in good hands. Speaking personally, in terms of friendliness, I have detected no change whatsoever.
5. With the current boom, do you think every comic related project has to be a potential movie?
No - and by boom I assume you mean super-hero movie boom - I'm not a big fan to be honest; I think we see more now because SFX technology has caught up with what was possible in comics fifty years ago. I think any good concept, with good characters and a good story has the potential to be a good movie - films and comics are both visual storytelling mediums: they have more in common than many purists would readily admit to. My own favourite comic book movie is Cronenburg's A History of Violence. Closely followed by Barbarella. Film rights to Goldtiger are still available by the way.
6. That said, who would be your dream GOLDTIGER movie cast, both now, and say, in 1967?
Hmm... '67 is easy: Ollie Reed and Brigitte Bardot, now is more tricky; possibly Javier Bardem and Rooney Mara.
7. Was venerable Daily Mirror strip Jane, revived in the eighties, an inspiration for GOLDTIGER?
Not really; I'm familiar with the strip, and it was beautifully drawn by Norman Pett and then Michael Hubbard, but really it was a flimsy affair (as were Jane's clothes, which never stayed on for very long). The sauciness of newspaper strips in general is an influence - we forget: they were for adults, not children, as is Goldtiger to a certain degree.
8. If you could work on any classic newspaper strip, what would it be?
9. What compelled you to invent fictional backstories for GOLDTIGER'S creators too?
Actually I didn't; the writer, Guy Adams did. I'd had the idea of doing a faux/lost/unearthed newspaper strip in the classic tradition for years - I was very keen that it be presented in archival format, as an artifact from the '60s; I wanted a male and female lead, that is all I had (loosely based on a film idea I was developing a while back, called Civility Little - picture attached; yes, that is me as the male lead) - Guy created everything else, including the masterstroke of having fictional creators as well - who will prove to be much more than a gimmick; the backstory is very much part of the whole experience of reading Goldtiger.
I do see it as an experience; that's why we have our own theme tune, specially composed and recorded by the brilliant Clive Pearsall. Jack and Lilly, our two heroes in the strip, are fashion designers (at least that is what the world thinks), so for example we have items from their collection available with the book: exclusive shirts and bags, Goldtiger is the name of the strip, but it's also the name of the fashion house in the strip. Goldtiger branded clothes will exist in the real world, as they do in the strip, wearing such an item makes you complicit; you become part of the Goldtiger universe, we call it "meta-textural" - which was a made-up word, until
To follow the progress of Goldtiger, be sure to check it out over at Kickstarter.
Talkback Here: http://www.criticalmess.net/index.php?topic=18978.0