“Imaginations can run free” Jon Laight tells how you can design a character for his new comic Late Knights
Calling all kid comic creators! If you’ve ever fancied having one of your characters appear in the pages of an actual comic (and are aged between 5 and 15!) then Jon Laight and Matt Strott have just the competition for you. Send them your creation by February 5th or give it to them at True Believers and you could be in with a chance of it appearing in the pages of their new comic Late Knights: A Sense Of Steel! We catch up with writer Jon Laight to find out all about it…
You’re running a character design combo for your new book Late Knights – tell us a bit about the rules and how people can enter?
Jon Laight: The competition is open to kids aged from 5-15 years old with a closing date of Feb 5th, the day after True Believers. They can design as many characters as they want and there are no real rules…it can be a good guy or bad guy, young, old, human, robot, monster, ghost…imaginations can run free!! The best ones (judged by Matt and I) will get to be in the actual comic when its published. Entries can be written or drawn or both! All entries need to be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by an adult/parent/carer.
Can you tell us a bit about series as well and when it will be available? And how you and Matt came up with the idea?
JL: I’m intending it to be a comic series with the first book being an introduction to the Late Knights and a little look at what their super secret hero lives are like. Matt Strott is busy getting the artwork done and I’m hoping we can get it printed sometime during the last quarter of the year and into many shops as possible. I’ve wanted to do an all ages book for a while and when I heard the ‘Late Knights’ title during a tongue in cheek social media conversation, it sparked up the clanking machinery in my head and I came up with the concept. I sent over a few character descriptions to Matt in America and when he sent his sketches back, I knew he was perfect for our story.
What makes it different from your average superhero books and why should kids be getting excited about it?
JL: I’m very passionate about getting kids to read and write more. I have two daughters under eight and I want them to enjoy and want to read without being forced to. iPads etc can be a big lure and although there is some good educational apps, the lure of mind numbing youtube videos can be difficult to resist. The Late Knights are a family that hopefully kids can relate to and they have the same problems as everyone else…they just happen to be Knighted at birth and keep the world safe from super villains as a super skilled, super cool team.
Why have you decided to make an all-ages book (or rather a kids book!) as we know you for more grown up stuff like Brethren Born and Suited and Booted in Comichaus?
JL: There aren’t that many all ages books on the indie scene and I think that can be transformed quite easily. Opening up the ever growing con scene to kids will get them to engage more, want to read more and hopefully encourage them to want to create their own comics as the next generation of writers, editors and artists. I want my girls to be able to read what I do and right now they can’t do that, whether its down to ‘colourful’ language or content. Having a story that they and other children can enjoy will be fantastic.
You’ll be at True Believers and the compo ends that weekend, can you tell us what you’ll be up to and where people can find you on the day?
JL: You can find me in the main hall on table K3 where I’ll have the first two issues of Brethren Born, Comichaus issues 1, 2 & 3 as well as the British Showcase Anthology Vol 2. There’ll be the usual prints and original art available as well a few free postcards for customers. The Design a Character workshop is at 11:35am and lasts for half an hour where we will be talking to children and adults on how to design your own character and people can enter the Late Knights competition there and then. Its a busy day as I’m also part of the ‘Discover Something New’ panel alone with Chris Sides and Jay Martin starting around 13:15pm and we’ll be talking about small press and what we have coming up in 2017. We’d love to see as many people as possible at both events.