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Comichaus Meets: Colin Maxwell

Today we meet creator, writer, & publisher, Colin Maxwell!

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Please introduce yourself and your team (if you have one).

I'm Colin Maxwell, from Dunfermline in Fife. I run the small indie comics studio, Maximized Comics. We've been running for six years and have published around ten comics in that time. I contract artists for projects, and recent collaborators include artists Michael Philp, Monty Nero, John Grieve, Paul Tonner, Graeme Neil Reid, Ian Kennedy and Dan Sant. 

What are some of the comics that inspired you to start creating your own? Any creators in particular?

I read war comics as a child. My dad read Victor and Hotspur, and that started my interest in comics. I then graduated on to 2000AD, to which I subscribed for many years. American comics were a rarity in the small town I lived in. Long before I knew his name, I could identify the artwork of Ian Kennedy, and always admired it. It graced the cover of many Commando comics, and also appeared in comics like Wildcat, Battle, Warlord and Eagle which I also read as a child.

I've also always admired Judge Dredd writers Alan Grant and John Wagner. I love their world building, and the humour they bring to stories. Their recent Rok of the Reds series is a favourite of mine. Garth Ennis, who wrote the hard hitting War Stories is also a favourite. He doesn't pull any punches in those stories and strips away the Hollywood glamour in his depictions of World War Two.

More recently I've really enjoyed the writing of Ram V (These Savage Shores, Paradiso, etc) - I think he has a really great sense of what will work in the comics medium, and has worked with amazing artists who have translated those ideas splendidly. 

How much of your own personality goes into your character(s)?

You transpose some of your personality into some of the characters, but endeavour to make them different too. Dan Sant (artist on ElectroMagnetic) drew an image of Professor Maxwell which looks quite like me, and a lot of me is in that character. The character is a scientist (I worked in several science environments in the past and did Chemistry at college). The Professor stands up to authority, he also has endless curiosity, but sometimes can't see things right under his nose. These again are traits I see in myself. 

Where did you draw your inspiration from?

The war comics of my childhood certainly influenced my latest book, Raid on the Forth. The comic has a simple layout which reflects the layout of a Commando comic. Professor Maxwell in my ElectroMagnetic series is based on the real scientist James Clerk-Maxwell, so there are some historical influences there. Sometimes influences happen when two events 'collide'. I wrote the Big Comic Con, a story about cosplayers stealing valuable comics, after being at my first comic con and hearing about the theft of valuable comics from a store in the USA. I've also drawn on the works of other writers such as HG Wells (War of the Worlds) and Jonathan Swift (Gullivers Travels). Inspiration is everywhere, but the trick is noticing it. 

What struggles have you faced with the creation of ….. and producing the final release?

If we're talking about Raid on the Forth, then I haven't struggled with it at all. I'd been wanting to tell that story for several years and I guess I had it planned out and visualised in my head for a long time. I pretty much did all the artwork in about six weeks. That isn't always the case. For example, I struggled with the script for episode three of ElectroMagnetic, revising the story several times. I know how the story progresses in the final two episodes, but this middle part was really difficult. There's a lot of talking between characters, and I found it difficult to keep that exciting. In the end I did change the story quite a bit, changing the motivations of some characters and revealing some secrets that help maintain the pace of the story. 

What do fans need to know going into their first issue of your comic?

ElectroMagnetic is set in the late 19th century during a war between Britain and India. The British Empire is struggling against an adversary that is more powerful than anything they have faced (a technologically superior India). Professor Maxwell has developed a new weapon that could turn the tide of the war, but there are hidden forces influencing and perpetuating the war, and the Professor is on the verge of uncovering their secrets. 

What have you got coming up in the future? Are you working on more issues?

Episode Three of ElectroMagnetic will be out by the end of the year and I hope to have the complete series of five episodes finished by Summer 2020. I'm also drafting a new war story, having been bitten by the bug whilst writing Raid on the Forth. It's the true story of a Polish submarine at the outbreak of World War Two that makes a miraculous escape from the Nazis before making its way to the safety of the Scottish coast. 


You can read Colin's titles over on the Comichaus App now, or purchase a print copy from the Comichaus Marketplace by clicking on the cover images below.

G-Man

Guardians of Scotland 2016
The Big Comic Con  #0
ElectroMagnetic 2018- #1

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