AN Ayrshire College arts lecturer has been hired as the illustrator for Canadian comic book publisher, Under Belly’s latest graphic novel.
Gary McIntyre has started work on ‘Rattletrap’, a story about two lost souls on a quest through a treacherous galaxy that has been split by a brutal civil war, after the project successfully reached its $10,000 Canadian dollar target on Kickstarter.
He replied to Under Belly’s vacancy for an illustrator on the sci-fi based graphic novel because of his love of the genre, and now finds himself working with ‘Sanctuary’ actor, Robin Dunne, who is the author behind the project.
Says a spokesperson: “Under Belly originally started to promote the work of the two co-owners, but has since expanded to include graphic novels and comics of other artists.
“With Robin and Under Belly owners, Adam Jack and Kyle Joseph McEwan, based in Canada, Gary is utilising Skype to discuss his progress. He is working towards a completion time for ‘Rattletrap’ of June 2016.”
Gary said: “When I first applied to work on the novel we weren’t told who the author was but once we got the speculative script we found it out was the actor, Robin Dunne.
“I was lucky enough to be whittled down to the last couple of artists and was asked to do some concept sketches based on the script.
“Then, after I was chosen as the artist, we had a Skype session to discuss the feel of Robin’s graphic novel and what he envisaged for the characters.”
Gary – who has 13 years of service at the college – believes his lecturing job is having a positive result on his illustrating work for ‘Rattletrap’. He’s also hoping he can inspire his students to follow their passions in light of his latest achievement.
He said “The balance between the two is working great as both are creative. The creativity and interaction with the students while we’re working on photography and graphic design tasks makes it very worthwhile.
“Hopefully, I have shown the students that it’s about believing in yourself and having that perseverance. I’ve tried for many other comic books/novels before and have been rejected, there’s a lot of competition out there but it’s important to be patient and keep working hard.
“I will be integrating the industry experience I’ve gained into my lesson. The creative industries are constantly evolving so it’s good to know what’s going on. Be professional, keep up to date with the current trends within your field.”
On ‘Rattletrap’ being a crowdfunded project, Gary said “Adam found that the Kickstarter platform was the most successful route to funding comic projects that the public want to see.
It bases its funding around a reward scheme meaning that pledgers not only get the graphic novel – but could also get rewards like a t-shirt, original artwork from the comic, or their likeness rendered as a character in the novel depending on how much they pledge.
“The last week of the funding was the most nail biting as we were only a few thousand away from target and it could have went either way, but in the last three days it cleared the target and so we knew this was happening.
“Everyone from Robin, Adam and myself were sharing the project on as many social media platforms as we could and thanks to friends and everyone who shared, it’s happening.”
Gary is now working his way through the drawing, inking and colouring process and has deadlines to meet for each chapter.
It’s a different project to what he’s used to – as most of his illustrations until now have been fan art requests.
He said: “Up until ‘Rattletrap’ most of my work has been commission based fan art, but now I’ve been asked to do the programme cover design for next September’s Gatecon event in Vancouver, which is a convention for fans of the television shows Stargate and Sanctuary.
“All of these opportunities have come about because a good friend and colleague of mine Richard Scott said ‘why not give fan art a go…’ My friends and family have been really supportive, which makes it all worthwhile. The students at Ayrshire College who know about ‘Rattletrap’ think it’s a great opportunity.”
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Contact: Martin Currie