We’re excited to sit down with Mike Scrase today for a brief interview about why (he) makes comics and why inspires him. Mike is currently working on a webcomic called The Adventures of Zip and it is available to read online at adventuresofzip.co.uk
He’s also written for small press anthology The Psychedelic Journal of Time Travel, and illustrated for a kid’s book named Fairy Tails I Just Made Up: Snarky Bed Time Stories for Weirdo Children.
What were your favorite comic books growing up?
The first comic I was a long time reader of was one based on Sonic the Hedgehog, but not the American Archie comic. Actually, this one was published by a British company named Fleetway Editions. It began as a quickly churned out licensed book, but by the time I got hold of it, it had gone above and beyond the source material thanks to a handful of great writers and artists. Fun fact: Mark Millar worked on some of the strips before he became a big name in comics.
What books out now get the old creative juices flowing?
I’ve really enjoyed Dan Slott’s run on The Amazing Spider-Man so far (although it’s probably not news to anyone that Dan Slott is popular), The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl’s a lot of fun, as is Bill and Ted’s Most Triumphant Return. I think my favorite comic right now is Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 9. Both the writing and art on that book has massively improved since the early days.
Any “guilty pleasure” comics on your personal pull list?
Not current titles particularly, but I do know for a fact that there exists an Archie comic in which Sonic the Hedgehog and Sabrina the Teenage Witch team up, and every second that I know this fact to be true is a second that I desperately need this comic in my possession.
Outside of comic books, what media do you find inspirational?
This is going to sound like a cop-out, but basically everything. I get a lot of my ideas by researching various different topics and then asking what if questions about them. Sometimes that means listening to science podcasts whilst I work, other times it means goofing around on TV Tropes for hours until I think of a way to turn something that’s been played out on its head. I got the initial idea for the comic I’m working on now after I read an article on Cracked.com called 7 Awesome Super Powers (Ruined by Science).
What advice would you offer to writers/artists/creators on the ground level working to break into the industry and/or get their own book out there?
I’m personally kind of intimidated at the thought of working with the intent of gaining status or whatever, so rather than trying to aim for some fancy job title, I just do what sounds fun at the time and end up stumbling my way into opportunities. I’ve heard from lots of people about all these big plans they have for the projects they want to create, and most of them never get a single thing on paper. Planning things out isn’t inherently a bad thing, but don’t let it keep you from ever actually doing anything.
Tell us a little about your book
It’s about a superheroine who’s isolated from society because of the way her powers make her different. She juggles fighting crime with her super speed whilst trying to hold down a job and care for her centuries-old ancestor whose immortality has caused him to become trapped in a vegetable like state. A lot of the core themes are inspired by my lifelong experiences with disability, but I wanted to make the message broad enough that it would be relatable to anyone who feels like they don’t fit in with the world around them. Also: there’s a guy with brittle bone disease who’s a martial arts expert, and a different guy who is basically Ozzy Osbourne if he were a supervillain. So if you’re not interested in social commentary, you’ve still got that.