Category Archives: Scar Comics

How to market a graphic novel

Well, one way of doing it anyway. For a few years I have been friendly with Matt and Fanos at Big Smoke Media, a south-east-based marketing company who specialise in distributing postcards across the London area. When you are next in a bar, cinema or restaurant, keep an eye out for a postcard rack promoting new films and exhibitions. These are Big Smoke’s.

Postcard promoting the new Mice graphic novel, Culture Shock. Design by Roger Mason.

Across London, and further afield I hope, are postcards like the one above, for all to pick up and take away. I have a box of them to distribute myself so these are placed at my studio in Dalston, which sees quite a footfall thanks in part due to Dalston Roof Park, as well as the sheer number of people who either work at or visit the Bootstrap Building each day. I am also placing them at SAE Institute on Kingsland Road, Hackney where I teach drawing skills to 3D animation and film students. Some have been placed on tube trains and last week I went to central London and placed them in comic shops Gosh! and Orbital, and bookshops Foyles and Waterstones. The latter were unexpectedly open to the idea, which tells you more about my prejudices than theirs.

Copy on the postcard promoting the Mice graphic novel Culture Shock. Design by Roger Mason.

I’d like to have a Mice website but am not prioritising creating one, and anyway I figure that Scar’s presence online will compensate for this. The ‘Welcome to Order Nine…’ strap line has served well, but now I am considering something along the lines of ‘Giant Aliens v World-class Pests.’

The postcard has been well-received. I am wondering whether it matters that both of Diana’s hands are cut off and whether Harry (left) resembles a well-built woman.

A short article about naming the characters in The Mice

Diana attempts to rescue Rowling from the soup vat in The Mice: The Factory Menace

The two lead humans are called Mulligatawny and Diana. Subsequent characters I have tried to name after obvious contemporary celebrities, although with mixed success (problems with readers making the link.) Diana is named after Princess Diana, Harry after Harry Potter (or Prince Harry). I have considered a ‘Becks’—David Beckham, or the beer?—and one of the children is named after Paris Hilton. The most overt reference to date is to Barack Obama as readers of Culture Shock will know. Unfortunately, if someone asks me what ‘Mulligatawny’ has to do with any of this I cannot say, as the name came to me while I was staring at a spreadsheet of soup cans heading to Tesco. He was previously called Fob… The woman called ‘Scooter’ also bucks the trend, but I could not resist it, and ‘Bailey’ is another name for a woman which I like and may use one day.

Cota extracts a badly-burned Barack out of an alien human-carrier. From The Mice: Culture Shock

As for the aliens, I am extremely proud of the simplicity of ‘Cota’ and I like also the ‘Black Chargehand’  although the latter has not been printed in the book so readers are unaware and probably wondering what his name is. A nod to Judge Dredd is that we never see his eyes, although this was making him too expressionless and so they are creeping in.

Roger Mason 2013


The Mice graphic novels available from Scarcomics.com/shop
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Graphic novel now available to buy

Cover art for The Mice in The Factory Menace, by Roger Mason

The Mice: The Factory Menace is now available to buy from Scar Comics online shop, here . £7.99, 80 pages, black and white, it is a complete story and also the first book in a proposed series of four, with the second book almost completed.

It tells the story of the giant alien factory Order Nine, and the humans who live there, who are treated like vermin and trying to fight off the aliens who, it must be said, don’t much care and hate their jobs. Humorous, action-packed, romantic and deadly, here are some reviews:

“Small press comics at its absolute best… 9 out of 10.”
Comics International

“This is a gem and worth seeking out.”
bugpowder.com

“Roger Mason’s fully-formed future scenario pits tiny terrorists in the Land of the Giants against occupying alien forces. A rollicking SF epic brought to life with splendidly fluid chiaroscuro brushwork by one of the UK’s most exciting young talents.”
Gary Spencer Millidge, creator of Strangehaven

A Preview can be read on my website , click on The Mice link, and here’s a couple of pages…

Page from The Mice in The Factory Menace, graphic novel by Roger Mason
Page from The Mice in The Factory Menace, graphic novel by Roger Mason

Leeds Thought Balloon comic con

Monday morning and just taken my brother’s crazy fun dog Barney for a walk in the hills around Sheffield. I went to Thought Bubble(Balloon?) in Leeds yesterday and sat on the Scar Comics table, selling copies of The Mice. A good day, if a bit quiet on the punters with cash front.

Treating myself to a spend at the Top Shelf table, I enjoyed catching up with Chris Staros and buying the big Alec collection by Eddie Campbell as well as Superfuckers by Kochalka. I caught up with Sean Azzopardi and read his diary comics, beginning with 100 Days of Winter which I enjoyed very much.

Scar Comics at Kapow!

It is with great pleasure I post this pic up on the blog. I found this online just now and as I do not tend to carry a camera I can miss moments like this, of which I am very proud so maybe it’s time to get a camera… Anyway, from left to right, myself looking knackered holding a copy of The Mice: The Factory Menace, Shane Chebsey holding Madame Samurai and Ben Dickson holding Slumdroid.

Shane is one half of Scar Comics, who are, in my opinion, England’s hottest independent publisher of graphic novels and Ben is the writer of Slumdroid as well as the acclaimed Falling Sky. My book is available only at conventions at the moment but will soon be more widely available and when that happens I’ll be blogging it.

This picture was taken at the amazing Kapow! convention in Islington, London, April 2011, which was the best UK con I have ever been to and well worth going to next year if you get the chance. The Mice sold really well and we at Scar had interest from a big figure in the UK comics publishing scene, which was tantalizing to say the least.

For a preview of The Mice go to my website, www.looksgoodonpaper.co.uk and click on the link.