Today, your loyal Blank Slate correspondant talks to Jamie Smart, the mad pencil-wielding professor behind SLG classic Bear, Scholastic’s Find Chaffy, Desperate Dan, upcoming Blank Slate book Kochi Wanaba and many more. Jamie is one of the 54-strong army of creators contributing towards Nelson, our charity book project for Shelter, coming this November.
Unmistakably a Jamie Smart original™, I remember Rob excitingly explaining just how quickly and perfectly you “got” the project when creating your chapter. How did your idea for 1971 come together?
I think perhaps it was easier for me because I started near the beginning of the story, so there was a lot of room to play around with the characters before they started hardening. That said, Rob and Woodrow did provide a helpful amount of background, and the pages running before me were excellent leaping points.
Actually I found it tricky at first, my instinct was to be quite rigid with the material for fear of spoiling it, but once I’d relaxed a little and started having fun with it, what I was doing began entering more fantastical places. Along with this sense of the ridiculous, I still wanted it to be rooted in reality, so I found balancing these two sides of a story on the head of a small child to be really enjoyable and authentic to how her worldview might be. Where the story goes from there I’ve not seen yet, but I’m intrigued to see how the tale will spiral on from everyone else’s contributions.
See more of Jamie (and 53 other brilliant UK comics artists) this November. Available for pre order from the Blank Slate webstore now!