Crowdfunding Spotlight: Jessica Martin’s Life Drawing – A Life Under Lights


Having created two comic biographical vignettes on the lives of actresses Clara Bow and Vivian Leigh, plus a full length graphic novel detailing the 1930s Hollywood life of the fictional Elsie Harris, actress, singer and comic creator Jessica Martin’s latest project is a full length graphic novel on her own life entitled Life Drawing: A Life Under Lights.

Jessica describes the book as “a graphic novel memoir about life as an actress, singer and artist in the big city.”

She says, “I am Jessica Martin, a ‘seasoned’ multi-faceted entertainer with a thirty-year career of many twists and turns. I have gone from teenage jazz singer, to television impressionist (in the days when light entertainment was at its Saturday night best!), to cult Doctor Who guest star, leading West End musical theatre actress and now, in the last four years, a comic creator and published graphic novelist.

“So I feel that I have, in the words of the great song, definitely lived a life that’s full!

“However, the glitzy, glamorous, showbiz journey is underpinned by a more unconventional family history…”


Jessica’s first comics title, It Girl, a biographical vignette of black and white movie star Clara Bow was released in 2013. Since then she has contributed artwork to two World War One comic anthologies, To End all Wars and To Arms!, produced a second ‘Hollywood heroines’ title in Vivacity featuring Gone With The Wind actress Vivien Leigh, as well as having her full length graphic novel Elsie Harris Picture Palace, which was shortlisted for the 2014 Myriad First Graphic Novel prize, published by Miwk in 2015.

In June 2014 Jessica told downthetubes how she got into comic creation, “I came across the Bryan Talbot book Alice in Sunderland in a bookshop and was so drawn in by the cover I picked it up, perused and bought it. It opened my mind to all the wild possibilities graphic art had to offer and truth be told, at that time I saw it more as a springboard to creative thinking for my cabaret projects.

“A couple of years on from that I found my inner drawing child again. I was reading a wonderful book called The Creative License by Danny Gregory which suggested ways of keeping a visual journal and teaching yourself drawing intuitively. So I got into the habit of sketching every day. I absolutely fell in love with pen and pad again and from time to time found myself rudely interrupted from my rapture by an acting job!”


This 152 page hardcover of Jessica’s life is being crowdfunded through Unbound, a specialist book publishing crowd funding organisation which allows crowdfunding campaigns to run for 90 days meaning that Life Drawing: A Life Under Lights has until mid-June 2017 to reach its funding goal.

There are more details of Jessica Martin’s Life Drawing: A Life Under Lights on the Unbound website.

Jessica’s official website is here and her Arty Miss Publishing e-shop sells copies of both Vivacity and It Girl as well as cards and postcards of her artwork. Elsie Harris Picture Palace is available from the Miwk website.

Jessica was interviewed on downthetubes about her comics work here.

The downthetubes review of It Girl is here.

The downthetubes review of Vivacity is here.

The downthetubes review of To End All Wars is here.

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News, reviews, interviews and features for print and on-line: Spaceship Away (since October 2005), Bear Alley (since February 2007), downthetubes (since June 2007), and Eagle Times (since October 2008). Plus DC Thomson's The Art Of Ian Kennedy, Titan’s Dan Dare and Johnny Red reprints, Ilex’s War Comics: A Graphic History and 500 Essential Graphic Novels, and Print Media’s The Iron Moon and Strip magazine.



Categories: British Comics, Comic Genres, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News

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