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â€œI know how to draw hands and all of a sudden, I gotta draw paws!â€ ~MW
MARCUS WILLIAMS, the artist on one of my favorite comics HERO CATS, came on the show to talk about the wonderfully organic journey of his career and how the team of HERO CATS came together. I posted a PREVIEWÂ of the first trade paperback previously.
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Marcus dropped out of art school when he make the decision that spending time with his daughter took precedence. He took a great internship and job making art as an illustrator. He had been freelancing and then took a job as an illustrator for HowStuffWorks.com where he learned some software skills. You can tell that Marcusâ€™ kids are responsible for so much in getting him to love stories and to make comics.
Kyle Puttkammer is a comic retailer at Galactic Quest which is where he met Marcus. They talked for months about making a superheroic team of cats and after working out the details, HERO CATS was finally self-published. They met the team of Action Lab at a convention and were added to the lineup of one of todayâ€™s top indie comics publishers. Marcus had a lot of self doubt about their place in comics because they were self-published and it was their first comic. Now itâ€™s published and distributed by Action Lab with a new issue every other month.
Created and written by: Kyle Puttkammer
Pencils by: Marcus Williams
Inks by: Ryan Sellers
Colors by: Omaka Schultz (Flatted by Julie Barclay)
Lettering by: Briana Higgins
Editing: Keek Stewart
Published by: Action Lab Entertainment
The message of diversity is somewhat hidden since itâ€™s a concept about cats, but the team of cats is made of different ages, breeds, origins, class, and experience level. The older cats are training less experienced cats trying out for the team. Each cat does have a thorough back story, however, that content comes out in pieces through flashbacks and special issues so far.
â€œYou gotta feed â€˜em. Make sure they poop. And clean up after them and all that stuff, I know intimately, that my children are not ready for that [pet ownership].â€ ~MW
Marcus said thereâ€™s a huge benefit to partnering with Kyleâ€™s family so that thereâ€™s a first pass of whatâ€™s suitable content; but then his own kids get to work as his test audience too.
â€œItâ€™s the challenge of a lifetime right now as an artist, because it takes literally me out of my comfort zone.â€ ~MW
â€œYou have to really, really understand yourself as an artist,â€ Marcus proffered advice to other artists looking to break into comics. â€œYou really have to check yourself as an artist. You have to look inward to say, if youâ€™re going to make a decision careerwise, ya know, what makes you happy? What do you want to do for five years? And Iâ€™ve been aspiring to be a comic book artist for years.â€
The Hero Cats will also be seen in a Free Comic Book Day issue with Katie Cookâ€™s GRONK from Action Lab. Marcus will be appearing at Dr. Noâ€™s Comics Superstore for FCBD.
Oliverâ€™s review of Issue 3
Caico featured Hero Cats at CaicoCon (aka the back porch)
Preview of Hero Cats of Stellar City volume one
Official Hero Cats of Stellar City website
Marcus The Visual marcusthevisual.com
Marcus on Twitter
The series Marcus discussed about anthropomorphized cats that has more violence is Warriors by Erin Hunter http://www.warriorcats.com/