Moose Kid Comics is a highly anticipated new online comic put together by Jamie Smart. It’s been a long time in coming (it was February 26th 2013 when we chatted to project creator Jamie Smart about it) but as you can see from the image above there’s less than a week to go until the launch.
Just in case you need reminding, Jamie Smart is a multi-talented comics maker for both adults and children who first came to attention with the Slave Labor Graphics series Bear, all about a teddy and a psychopathic blue cat called Looshkin (more on Looshkin in a bit). Mad didn’t cover it, although it does give us a benchmark for insanity, something Smart’s work, whether for over 18s or all ages, often comes back to. Brilliantly funny but deranged pretty much covers it.
Since Bear, Smart’s been all over, with a revamp of Desperate Dan for the Dandy that really annoyed the purists and delighted those not living in 1950, work in The Beano, The DFC, Doctor Who Monster Invasion Mag, Where’s Chaffy, the very adults only Corporate Skull and Koshi Wanaba, the brilliant Bunny Vs Monkey that’s been in The Phoenix Comic right from the start, now supplemented every month or so by the return of the mad blue cat Looshkin, cleaned up for an all-ages comic in The Phoenix. And every single one of those shares the same sort of manic, deranged style, funny and fabulous.
So, he’s a busy chap is Mr Smart, but he’s a busy chap with a plan, and that plan is Moose Kid Comics. The plan is to get everything online first, setting out the stall, getting a lot of creators together to put their work out there in front of an online audience (I can’t help but be reminded of Jim Medway’s great Comical Animal online comic).
After that the idea is to move into print, either through a publisher or Kickstarter. Or, as he said to us back in February….
Moose Kid Comics came about as a reaction to dwindling sales of children’s comics here in the UK, specifically, original content comics. We still have publications like The Beano and The Phoenix providing brilliant characters and stories week in and week out, but their competition is largely licensed properties – Simpsons, Spongebob, Moshi, etc.
Competing as a print comic, at the moment, is a bit out of our league. We are coming at it from an idealistic point of view, not a business one, because I think perhaps some big, initial ideas from artists are more useful at the moment than being limited by the minefield of distribution. So, we’re focussing on creating an online issue zero of our comic, also available as a free download. To offer up an entertaining read filled with wonderful, brilliant artists all using the space to develop their own characters. There’s no pay, and no price on it. We’re not doing this for profit, we’re doing this to show what CAN be done.
When that is completed, we can start looking into Kickstarter style fundraisers to produce actual printed, future, issues, and pay artists wages. As well as that, we can use issue zero to take to publishers and investors, to show the talent who could be creating great kids comics, just given the chance.
There’s a definite aesthetic in mind for Moose Kid Comics, the wild hysteria of Ren And Stimpy, mashed with the brilliantly charming Adventure Time. If we can hit a mark that high, then this comic will be the surreal, insane children’s comic that I think we’ve been missing.
Yep, sounds a bit good, doesnt it?
This was the blueprint, his call for artists…
So far we just have occasional snippets from various sources as to who’s involved, but I figure we’re looking at the great and the good of UK and further afield getting involved in this one…
Jamie Smart (obvs):
Most of my week is taken up with drawing weekly comics for The Beano and The Phoenix, and I’m on deadlines for those so can’t mess about. Alongside it I’ve been trying to launch this new children’s comic, to breathe a little more life into the kids comics scene, called Moose Kid. And it’s so close to being ready, we have maybe 35 artists involved (and really, genuinely, flipping brilliant ones), just waiting for the last few to send their work in. Then finally we can launch. I need that to happen before I can get back to Skull, especially since the artists have been good enough to contribute their work to it.
Exciting news! After much bursting to talk about it, I can now say that I’m part of the amazing and upcoming MOOSE KID COMICS! The official release wont be until March/April but I’ll just leave the main character of my strip here. Meet Cecil P. Wombat!
The Moose Kid Comics thing should be coming out soon, so I won’t say too much about that, but here’s a couple of panels i previewed before: