When we were pairing up writers and artists for Disconnnected 3, there was one match-up that was obvious: putting the gothic storytelling of Max Deacon with the twisted visions of Aaron Moran. The combination is everything we could have expected: chilling, atmospheric and liable to keep you away from most small towns (apologies in advance to the Lake District for any loss in tourist trade).
So let’s meet Max and Aaron:
Max: I started reading comics as a teenager, but my local shop was rather limited, and I was left reading back issues of Xena: Warrior Princess. When I went to university to study Creative Writing, I made friends with Owen Johnson, who encouraged me to get back into them – but as a writer rather than a reader. After reading some of his work (and some of his favourite graphic novels), I decided to try it out for myself.
Aaron: I got into comics by blind chance, I was buying From Hell at Whatever Comics in Canterbury as a gift for my sister. I mentioned I would love to have a stab at it. The owner saw my work and gave me an invite to a little gathering. There I met Cy Dethan and he got me my first job.
How do you work?
Max: With any piece of writing, I always start by doing research. For The Serpent’s Egg, I read books on Cumbrian folklore and watched as many Hammer Horror films as I could find. This usually leads me on to asking questions about the story: What’s the purpose? What are you trying to express? How has the protagonist changed by the end of the story? I then plan the story out in detailed bullet points, then storyboard until I’m satisfied.
Aaron: Nothing glamorous: just sit, draw, paint etc. My style I call ‘layering’ as I progressively add more. I use a range of mediums to help me.
What’s your comics dream?
Max: I would love to get involved in long-form storytelling. The longest comic I’ve ever produced has been 12 pages in total, so it would be both challenging and exciting to create something much longer. I would also be interested in looking at some other aspects of the industry, particularly editing [Ed: You’re hired!]. I’ve had some experience editing comics and prose, and I’ve always found it quite rewarding.
Aaron: When I was a kid, I really wanted to be a artist for Sonic The Comic; I still do probably. But a historical project would be fun, as I’m a big researcher and finds these fascinating. I am currently also working on two graphic novels in which I’m writer, artist and letterer on both; my dream would be to have at least one published.
Max Deacon has contributed to Accent UK anthologies and was a contributor to Who On Earth Was Thaddeus Mist?, published by Accent in 2012. He is currently putting the finishing touches to a gothic horror novel.
Max Deacon and Aaron Moran’s story The Serpent’s Egg will feature in Disconnected Vol 3, out this month from Disconnected Press. Pick up your launch weekend copy at the Lakes Comic Art Festival or order online from our Shop.