Moose Kid Comics want YOU to create original comics for children in the UK, capturing the wild hysteria of Ren and Stimpy and the charming brilliance of Adventure Time.
Spearheaded by Jamie Smart, who has worked for The Dandy, The Phoenix, The DFC, Toxic, The Beano, Cartoon Network, Disney, Scholastic and Penguin, this is a call-to-arms from one of our generation’s most successful British comic creators for children. After the printed edition of The Dandy went under last year (with a cover, of course, drawn by Jamie Smart!) Smart felt like part of our heritage was beginning to fade, and Moose Kid Comics is his plan to change that. Licensed properties like The Simpsons, Spongebob Squarepants and Moshi Monsters dominate newsagent sales, fuelled by marketing budgets and brand awareness among children. Although Smart has no problem with the characters or ideas on show in such comics, what he wants is a future where strong new characters are creator-owned, giving artists an incentive to create their very best work for children and giving artists freedom to inject as much imagination as possible into every story.
Initially involvement with Moose Kid Comics will be unpaid, creating an online, free-to-read comic while the creators attempt to build an audience and work out the concepts of their new ideas. The online version will then be used to show publishers and investors while a crowd-funded printed comic is created, with artists paid for their work but the comic distributed to children for free. From there Moose Kid Comics hope to take over the world. It’s easy to be cynical about another endeavour asking artists to contribute their time for free, but with creators like Jamie Smart at the helm Starburst can’t think of any project so likely to succeed. According to Smart, “the problem with children’s comics at the moment is funding, distribution and marketing. Not talent. There’s TONS of talent. So we, as artists, want to show what we think comics should be, and show they can win an audience.”
If you’re interested in taking part in Moose Kid Comics then check out the website www.moosekidcomics.com for more information. Whatever comes of the idea, this is likely to be one of the most exciting things to happen to British comics in the past decade.
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