Panel Borders: Martian Comics and Ocular Anecdotes

Martian Comics #3

Starting a month of shows about comic book creators who have used crowd funding to launch various titles on Panel Borders, Britain’s only regularly broadcast radio show about comics, Alex Fitch talks to writer and Sequart’s founder, Dr. Julian Darius and artist Peter Cline about the Kickstarter campaigns for their respective anthologies Martian Comics and Ocular Anecdotes.

Alex and Julian discuss the latter’s work for the academic publisher Sequart Organization and the organisation’s comic book imprint Martian Lit, and the cross-over audience between the two, while Peter discusses his background in print making at the London College of Communication and editing titles by other creators.

The broadcast comes with news from Sequart of a further edition of the trippy sci-fi comic book that harkens back to early Vertigo in its blend of genre fiction and literary intelligence. Martian Comics  – the third issue currently seeking Kickstarter backing – appropriates retro sci-fi tropes, recasting them in humanistic narratives that interrogate issues of Otherness. It’s an alien invasion of the soul.

The comic is written by Julian Darius, who’s spent his career promoting comics as a legitimate form of art and considers this the next step and is published by Sequart’s sister company, Martian Lit, and receives no corporate support.

After two standard issues, Martian Comics is continuing as a 52-page special with seven stories illustrated by three different artists.

In 1996, while still an undergraduate, Dr. Julian Darius founded what would become Sequart Organization, which publishes non-fiction and documentary films on comic books and promotes the medium as a legitimate form of art. After graduating magna cum laude from Lawrence University (Appleton, Wisconsin), he obtained his M.A. in English, authoring a thesis on John Milton and utopianism. In 2002, he moved to Waikiki, teaching college while obtaining an M.A. in French (high honors) and a Ph.D. in English. In 2011, he founded Martian Lit. He currently lives in Illinois.

With a great eye for detail, Peter Cline’s playful observations inform a classically influenced yet contemporary, visually arresting aesthetic.  A love of art & newsprint comics from the early 20th century & a knowledge of traditional drawing and printing techniques inform his graphic approach.

Working on a range of commissions, his diverse skill set is instrumental to the projects he undertakes for a large number of well respected clients.

He has a website here and a Flickr and Tumblr for his Otto Press with a load more.

• Panel Borders: Martian Comics and Ocular Anecdotes airs at 11.00am Thursday 4th June, repeated 7.00am Saturday 6th June 2015, Resonance 104.4 FM (London) / streamed at / podcast after broadcast at

• You can view the Martian Comics #3 Kickstarter here


Categories: Audio, Creating Comics, Crowd Funding Projects, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News, Features, Other Worlds

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