Inspired by Gerry Anderson’s Supermarionation adventures such as Stingray and Thunderbirds, Lancashire-based writer, artist, photographer and model maker Richard Dixon has been delighting a growing legion of fans with his children’s comic book series Seastar 5 Invaders from the Abyss – which is available to buy digitally through Amazon.
Seastar 5 Invaders from the Abyss – Strange Encounter, released earlier this year, was the first illustrated “Supermation” sci-fi graphic style storybook that Richard has created under his own name.
downthetubes readers may recall Richard’s photography work for titles such as Action Man comic in the early 2000s, but he worked on a huge range of other titles, too, including M.A.S.K., Masters of the Universe and Transformers.
Building on his experience in comics for a number of publishers, and various work for the toy industry, Richard is now busy writing and illustrating several projects, which he’s successfully promoting through his web site and various social media channels, his new work told in what he’s described as a ….”more grown up style” compared with material of the past.
Seastar 5 is an undersea action adventure story series, told over six storybooks, initially published via Amazon Kindle. A limited edition series of hardback book illustrated versions of the series has also been produced.
All the stories in the books feature the captain and crew of a supersonic speed capable super submarine in the undersea world of the 21st Century.
In “Strange Encounters”, alien invaders from the stars have returned to Earth from which they lost their Kingdom of Lemuria to humans millennia ago. Now, these invaders are back and they want the surface world as well….
Not resting on his laurels, Richard is already busy with the second story, Princess of Lemuria, due for release next year, although he’s juggling his work on his comics with work for the film industry, following a 2020 commission to design and create eight individual studio-sized miniature spacecraft models for two new British feature films currently being produced by Simon Cox called Of Infinite Worlds.
As Production Designer Miniatures on both two movies Richard says he’s finally achieved a childhood dream of one day working on feature films in the UK.
Masters of the Universe returns
In the early 2000’s Richard Dixon and his TPD STUDIOS were asked to create advertising images for “Masters of the Universe” for a new comicbook series by Toontastic Comics based in Oldham, and Mattel Toys UK. Richard and his team completed a number of photo-shoots for the new range of action figures which were launched and featured in the short-lived comic, which ran for about a year before it was cancelled.
During that time a “Photo-Style ComicBook Story”, which would use the action figures in an animation storyline was written and designed by Richard Dixon, but it was never released, recently unearthed in Richard’s archives.
“In 2024 on our website, we will turn the clock back and give you all a free to view presentation of the fantasy action adventure production that was never released into a comicbook,” Richard says.
“The new presentation will feature an upgraded visual animation style experience with the artwork that was done for the original storyline photostory together with new picture materials in Supermation RetroArt Images created for this creation of the story . We will release this new version in serial format appearing on our website over a few months.”
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.