Being a big fan of British adventure comics from the sixties and seventies, some years ago I had a brief ambition to draw or maybe script my own comic strip ideas. I did write to D C Thompson with some ideas for their Commando pocketbook. They were kind enough to write back with what they wanted, with emphasis on correct spelling and grammar, and above all avoid clichés.
Of course, I really wanted to draw and script space stories, and did create a character called Frank Masters, a space patrolman who worked for the Interplanetary Security Commission. He and his co-pilot, Diane Travers would patrol the Solar System in the space cruiser North Star.
They were like the old law enforcing U.S. Marshalls who travelled the vast lands of the pioneering days of the old Wild West keeping some sort of order in the lawless wastes of space and the colonised planets.
I sent that idea off to the editors of 2000 AD, who promptly returned it unread, with a covering letter telling me what they wanted, with emphasis on correct spelling and grammar, and above all avoid clichés!
Well thinking back I’m not sure how my spelling or grammar held up, but I’m pretty sure I was so much influenced by all my favourite comic, TV and film characters, that my story was probably jam packed full of dreaded clichés.
Even though a career in comics never happened for me, I still have that script and some of the panels I drew all those years ago, and maybe one day I’ll dust it off and have another go.
I know some of you are lucky enough to have realised your dreams of professionally writing or drawing comics, and for that I take my hat off to you. It can’t have been easy.