We’re well into development of Disconnected Vol. 2, a further volume of stories about the curious and strange things that happen in small towns but don’t make the big city press. We’re launching Vol. 2 at ThoughtBubble in Leeds this November and we’ll have more detail about it here on the blog over the coming weeks.

To whet your appetites, here’s an introduction to one of our new creative teams:  Jon Lock and Sarah Jones who have joined forces on a story called The Remarkably Normal Man.

Writer Jon Lock is well known to comics fans across the UK for his amazing and ever-expanding Afterlife Inc. He’s also worked on a crossover between Afterlife Inc. and Nich Angell‘s 7STRING and the Harvey Award-nominated anthology The Uniques Tales. We at Disconnected first met Jon in a pub in Birmingham, where we formed a band with some small pressers and comics legend Bryan Talbot (honest!). Since then, we’ve been convention buddies and it’s a privilege to have his words featured in our book.

Artist Sarah Jones is another convention buddy. She was our near neighbour at London Film and Comic Con earlier this year, and her work practically screamed at us from the table. Her book The Edge, produced with writer Ben Cook, is a stunning silent comic which challenges the reader to place their own narrative around a series of images. Sarah’s art genuinely made us both stop and stare and we did a little dance when she said she’d draw for us…

Anyway, here they are, in their own words:

How did you get into creating comics?

Jon: As a child, I was obsessed with the UK version of Sonic the Comic. It blew my young mind with its one-two punch of surprisingly complex stories and (gloriously) weird visuals. Before long, my friends and I had produced a comic of our own. It ran for four issues and, with a limited print run of just one, is now considered something of a collector’s item. As the only one who couldn’t draw, writing was the logical choice.

Sarah: I’ve loved comics ever since my Dad introduced me to Tintin and Asterix. When I was a teenager, my brother introduced me to manga and I couldn’t believe there were comics out there for girls! Ever since then I’ve been drawing like crazy.

How do you work?

Sarah: I start by researching; it’s really important and can inspire different ideas throughout the process. I then thumbnail and sketch out the basic comic layouts and then start drawing and painting. My backgrounds can take a while because they are painted and take time to build up. I then scan these images and add more textures and colour digitally.

Jon: My stories often begin as a series of bullet points and snippets of key dialogue. I’ll then rearrange and rewrite these as a more coherent synopsis. This block of text is then divided into chunks, which will each translate into a single page of comic. By the first draft, dialogue will be mostly complete, but with very basic panel descriptions. I then tweak dialogue and write more detailed art notes. One more rewrite before I send it to the artist and then a final one before the finished artwork goes to the letterer. The editing never really ends.

What’s your comics dream? What would you love to do?

Jon: My dream is to reach a point where Afterlife Inc. and all the other comics I’m making are the day job and I can do this 24/7 while hopefully earning enough to keep me in food and modest shelter. I’d like to gain the backing to take Afterlife Inc. to the level where I can tell the stories I’ve got planned on the scale they require. And it never hurts to think big, so I have a few stories in mind in the vastly improbable event that Marvel or DC should come knocking. A man can dream, eh?

Sarah: I would just love to have something published sat on a bookshelf in a comic book store. That would be amazing!

You can see Jon and Sarah’s work – The Remarkably Normal Man – in Disconnected Vol. 2, launching at ThoughtBubble in November 2012. To pre-order your copy, email lizzie@disconnectedpress.co.uk.

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