FPI: Can you pick three comics/webcomics/graphic novels which you especially enjoyed over the last twelve months and tell us why you singled them out?
Martin: I’ve barely read any mainstream comics this year – I much prefer indies and manga now (I just wish they came out more often!).
Windrush 1 - it’s a new series by T’Sao Wei, and I loved it. It’s about a young woman whose superhero mother has been killed. The art is amazing, really detailed and quirky. The comic reminds me of the classic Vertigo and indie comics I enjoyed in my 20s. Beautiful art and an intriguing story. Plus, my copy was hand-bound by Wei himself (he’s not hand-binding them any more – it almost killed him!). I think I’ve actually read this issue at least 10 times. I want issue 2 NOW!
Department of the Peculiar - this is a fun new series about a group of oddball government superheroes. We’ve only seen one issue, but there’s just something special about it. Rol Hirst is an excellent, experienced writer and Rob Wells‘ storytelling is so smooth and engaging – they’re a very good combination. Great chemistry.
Thunder Brother Soap Division – Paul Rainey is such a funny cartoonist and storyteller, and his comics are so engaging and entertaining. This is the new one from him and it delves into the murky world of soap operas, with lots of mysteries and comedy. I have no idea what’s gonna happen next, but I’m looking forward to finding out!
FPI: Can you pick three books which you especially enjoyed over the last twelve months and tell us why you singled them out?
Martin: I’ve barely read any books this year – I’ve just been reading big indie comic books, manga and re-reading Love & Rockets! So all I can really pick is this (it’s kind-of a book – c’mon Richard, you always let me cheat!):
Bakuman – this manga is nearing the end now (nooo!), and the characters (a cast of manga creators) are simply leaping off the page. They are so loveable and well-rounded. It’s a pretty incredible experience, and a must-read for anyone with a creative bone in their body. I’m so sad it’s coming to an end!
FPI: Can you pick three TV shows and/or movies which you especially enjoyed over the last twelve months and tell us why you singled them out?
Martin: The Walking Dead – Okay, this show can be a tad slow at times, but with season three it really raised its game, and created some jaw-dropping moments that you used to get in classic genre TV shows.
The Dark Knight Rises -such an incredible movie, and it made me weep at the end both times I watched it…
The Big Bang Theory – so much fun! I’m worried it’s losing its edge – especially now they all have girlfriends, which kind-of defeats the point – but it’s still got it.
FPI: How did 2012 go for you as a creator? Are you happy with the way you got your work out this year?
Martin: It was a very good year! Titan Books published the first three issues of Spandex in a lovely hardback book – it’s not every year that happens! It was a great feeling after years and years of hard work! Sometimes, you just think ‘am I completely wasting my time?’ – especially when an issue takes you a whole year to do, and you pretty much sacrifice your social life to do it. So it’s good to know I wasn’t completely wasting my time!
I also feel that Spandex kept raising its game a bit as I found my feet more and more, improving and getting more confident. Plus I was getting to storylines that I’ve been wanting to do for ages, as the series is building to its conclusion. Exciting times!
FPI: What can we look forward to from you in 2013?
Martin: I’m planning to release a Spandex Special and O Men Book Three in late 2013. The Spandex Special will be about 50 pages, so it’ll be a lot of work! I just agreed to do a couple of pages in Too Much Sex And Violence 6 – I’ve read the script and it’s very funny! I’m also hoping to collaborate with T’Sao Wei and a couple of others on a new anthology title.
I’m also pitching a Spandex Book Two, so fingers crossed!
FPI: Anyone you think is a name we should be watching out for next year?
Martin: I picked Cristian Ortiz‘s Golden Campaign book up at Thought Bubble and I was really impressed. His art reminds me of a cross between Taiyō Matsumoto (Tekkonkinkreet etc) and James Jean – it’s really imaginative and impressive. He seems like a nice fellow too – so hopefully his popularity will grow!