The winner of the Hero for Leicester competition – part of the Blam! comics season organised by Leicester library earlier this year which included appearances by Bryan Talbot and others – was Fox Spirit by Giles Meakin.
Eight entries were shortlisted for the Hero for Leicester competition from all those received. A panel of judges including Matt Smith (Editor, 2000AD), John Freeman (ROK Comics), Bryan Talbot (Tale of One Bad Rat, Luther Arkwright) and Jay Eales (publisher of Factor Fiction) selected Fox Spirit for its sophisticated storytelling and graphic style. All the other stories received praise for their strengths but in the end there could be only one.
Talking about his strip to the Leicester Mercury, Meakin said he wanted to portray a more positive message about the city rather than draw a vigilante tackling alcohol-related crime.
“I thought that it detracted from the good work that regular people were doing behind the scenes and it was about time the unsung heroes got some recognition.
“I just needed something that linked all those people together and the idea of a guardian spirit struck a chord with me.”
The strip has been published by the local newspaper as part of their coverage of the Blam! events. “We’ve had great feedback on the BLAM season overall,” Literature Development Officer at Leicester City Council Damien Walter told downthetubes, “and we’ve already started planning another season of events next year.”
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.