“Celebration of Life: A Cancer Anthology” comic project announced by Matt Crehan Comics

Meg and Matthew Crehan of Matt Crehan Comics at Thought Bubble in 2014. Photo: Jared of OK Comics

Meg and Matthew Crehan of Matt Crehan Comics at Thought Bubble in 2014. Photo: Jared of OK Comics


(Updated, added Kickstarter link): Writer, letterer and professional athlete Matthew Crehan is the man behind the Kickstarter-funded The Art of Running graphic novel, a biography of Steve Prefontain, drawn by Indonesian artist Sigit Nugroho which will will be launched on 30th May 2015 to tie in with the 40th anniversary of the passing of the famous American athlete.

He has also had numerous anthology pieces published and his own bi-weekly web strip S**t My Family Does, and was the creator behind the re-launch of “The Tough of the Track” in the pages of Athletics Weekly magazine, starring Alf Tupper, DC Thomson’s famous fish and chip-eating running star,

The son of 1988 Olympic Marathon runner Susan Crehan and a keen fan of merging comics with sport, Matthew recently set up Matt Crehan Comics – and is currently looking for proposals and submissions for his new publishing company’s first anthology, on the theme of cancer.

The deadline for pitches is 19th April 2015.


Promotional art for the "Celebration of Life: A cancer anthology " anthology by Iain Laurie

Promotional art for the “Celebration of Life: A cancer anthology ” anthology by Iain Laurie


Celebration of Life: A Cancer Anthology will feature short comic stories about the inspiring lives of those that have suffered from cancer, from amazing survival stories or saddening losses.

“The anthology is aimed at celebrating all of those wonderful people who have meant the world to us,” says Matthew.

A young Matthew with his late father, Jim. Photo courtesy Matthew Crehan

A young Matthew with his late father, Jim. Photo courtesy Matthew Crehan

The anthology’s connecting theme is personal to Matthew, whose father Jim was diagnosed with the disease in 2009.

Jim had been a top level athlete all of his life, competing at county level in athletics, and was an Olympic coach to Matthew’s mother.

“The day before being diagnosed with bowel cancer that had spread to his liver, he had competed in the Great North Run, raising money for British Heart Foundation, as he had suffered a major heart attack back in 2006,” Matthew notes on his blog.

“What he didn’t know at the time of the run was that he had earlier that week suffered from another heart attack, as well as about to be diagnosed with cancer. Even through all that he ran a time of 85 minutes, which for a half marathon is an impressive time, when healthy let alone after that.

“But in that enjoyment of running, of family and the wonderful man that Jim was, that even in the following dark years, he remained positive and inspired the hearts and souls of everyone he met. But in July 2013 Jim sadly passed away at the age of 59.

“It is for him and for others like him that this anthology is for, to celebrate their lives, the wonders that they have accomplished and to show that cancer can’t beat us.”

Matthew Crehan proudly showing off on of his "The Tough of the Track" strips featured in Athletics Weekly. Photo: Megan Crehan - www.goldandglitterphotography.com

Matthew Crehan proudly showing off on of his “The Tough of the Track” strips featured in Athletics Weekly. Photo: Megan Crehan (Gold and Glitter Photography)

For the anthology – which Matthew will again look to fund through Kickstarter after his success gaining backing for The Art of Running back in 2013 – he’s looking for comics that offer a positive message on dealing with cancer. The stories will need to relate inspiring true stories, about beating cancer and celebrating the lives of those suffering, who have overcome, or who are no longer with us.

Stories should be between one to eight pages, black and white or colour. Detailed specs and deadlines for art can be found on Matthew’s website.

Stories should not have been included in any other anthologies or collections before (although all rights will remain with the creative team).

“Once on sale 100 per cent of profits from the sale of the book will go to cancer charities to further help, beat cancer and provide care for those suffering with it and their families,” says Matthew.

This new project from Matthew sounds great – I doubt there are few of you reading this story whose lives haven’t been touched by cancer in some way, either directly or through seeing a family member or friend fighting this pernicious disease. Matthew is clearly a dedicated creator, and a fervent believer in sports comics, a genre of that was once a mainstay of many a British comics weekly.

The Kickstarter to raise funds to print this anthology is here

Find out more about pitching to Celebration of Life: A Cancer Anthology here

• Matt Crehan Comics

• The Art of Running: The Steve Prefontaine Story: Official Site

Buy The Art of Running Issue One (Digital Edition) here for just £1

Steve Prefontain, who regarded racing as a work of art, and was as famous as The Beatles in racing circles in his day, once held the American record in the seven distance track events from the 2,000 metres to the 10,000 metres and who died in 1975 at the age of 24 in an alcohol-related driving accident. The full graphic novel will be released on 30th May 2015 by Matt Crehan Comics

Read Richard Bruton’s review of The Art of Running on the Forbidden Planet blog

• Sigit Nugroho’s blog is at: http://wonderhand.blogspot.co.uk

Matthew Crehan: Why Sport Makes a Great Comic Book Genre

Runners World: Cancer Charities with a Running Connection

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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