Start Again is a superhero boy meets girl story, created, written and lettered by the Yorkshire born Me, and features stunning art by Toni Doya with the colours done by Sean Callahan. There’s a six-page preview on the Kickstarter page, but as it’s and adult comic I decided that with respect to our younger readers here on downthetubes, I’m only featuring the cover here – but hopefully just this will give you a sense of how brilliant this project looks, and the scripting on the teaser preview is great.
“Start Again is a love letter to British comedy, and to the comic industry in which superheroes play such an iconic role,” says Jamie. “I wanted to fuse the elements together, and explore themes of anxiety and social pressure too.”
Jamie is the creator of the Kickstarter-funded political thriller comic Queen, which was featured in NEO magazine in January, hosts the weekly Twitter chat #ComicTalk and runs a NSFW webcomic.
A big fan of British country’s comedy shows, Start Again draws inspiration from such shows as Peep Show and Catastrophe.
“I wanted to create something that was fun, serious and just British to the core,” he explains. “I drew inspirations from my own real life experiences to do with being in an interracial relationship, having a ton of anxiety and, which some may find hard to believe, having a fear of social media.”
Three years ago Jamie Me, as he explained in a development diary for his last comic Queen, was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Behaviour. He underwent therapy for the condition, and this saw him addressing his anxieties and ritualistic behaviours surrounding cleanliness, a fear of going outside, and additionals fears about getting targeted on the internet.
“It was a rough time in my life,” says Jamie. “The cleanliness stuff was tough, but I never really explained the internet side of things. Some people once made a cartoon video mocking me, and they spread it around online. I found out on Christmas Day from a mate, and at the time I didn’t realise how much it affected me. I became deeply paranoid about putting myself out there creatively. It sucked, people can be incredibly cruel on online.”
Spanish artist Toni Doya, who has been drawing comics for over five years and whose credits include recent issues of Salt City Strangers, the Niantic Project’s Ingress: Origins and Cain: First Born, first got into comics by reading Captain America when he was seven years old. He didn’t like the ending of a particular title, and so he picked up a sketchbook to end it the way he wanted and hasn’t stopped drawing since. The line specialist has even taught comic art in his time.
US colourist Sean Callahan claims he’s a comic colouring machine that somehow survives on just coffee and pizza. He’s worked on multiple successful Kickstarters, including Queen with creator Jamie anlong with No Wonder, HighWire and Halfworld.
Edited by Archie Dait, Start Again is live on Kickstarter, and you can read six preview pages right now. The reward tiers also include the opportunity to read Jamie’s other comic Queen, a British political thriller, and a range of unique one-off rewards such as drawings of backers with the main characters.
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. 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 “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.