Jessica Martin’s comics career trajectory has been startling to behold since I first met her two years ago at the final and much missed BD Comics Passion festival at London’s Institut Français. At that point Martin was an unpublished artist taking her first tentative steps into the comics world.
Since then, of course, her place on the UK comics scene has become firmly established. She’s self-published two acclaimed minicomics – It Girl (an account of silent film star Clara Bow’s life) and Vivacity (a look at the career of legendary movie actress Vivien Leigh) – both of which made my annual ‘10 UK Small Press Comics You Need to Own!’ columns for 2013 and 2014.
She’s also been a part of a number of anthologies (To End All Wars, To Arms!, Thought Bubble Anthology) and, perhaps most notably, was one of the six creators to make the shortlist of the Myriad First Graphic Novel Competition last year, of which I was one of the judges. Her entry to the competition, Elsie Harris Picture Palace was subsequently picked up by Miwk Publishing for a late summer 2015 release.
And, need I say it… you heard about her comics work first here at Broken Frontier in my regular ‘Small Pressganged’ column.
Elsie Harris Picture Palace is described by Miwk Publishing in the following terms:
Elsie Harris Picture Palace is Jessica’s first graphic novel and was shortlisted for the Myriad First Graphic Novel Prize. Jessica’s love of film history and the golden era of Hollywood has already gathered an audience with her two comics It Girl and Vivacity. This volume of over 140 pages continues in Jessica’s distinct black and white film style with the tale of young Londoner Elsie who embarks on a journey taking her from Elstree to Hollywood in the 1930s. Inspired by the unsung genius of the art creatives of the film industry, this is a unique spin on the rags to riches story in the glamorous world of film. Romance, adventure and mystery await you at the Picture Palace!
Jessica has shared the top teaser image with us in anticipation of the book’s upcoming launch. She will also be talking about the project at London’s Gosh! Comics on Saturday 19 September. Full details here.
You can find out more about Jessica Martin’s work in my interview with her here at Broken Frontier last year. Visit Jessica’s site here and follow her on Twitter here. Her online store can be found here.
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