CC: In the current world of dark and gritty comics, it’s good to see something light. What was your motivations for creating the book?
IM: I’ve worked a lot in all-ages licensed comic and television series and books, etc, etc., and I wanted to take something from my head and throw it into the realm of those properties where everything is very malleable and elastic, i.e. anyone is able to run with the characters and world without any restrictions. I wanted to combine elements of horror and all-ages material, as well, which isn’t easy, but I think we managed to hit a very slim spot that nails the demographic well. I’m extremely proud of Welcome to Showside and I can’t wait to see what readers think.
CC: For newbies to this type of book, where can readers find your previous work?
IM: I do a lot of comics for Boom Studios, a great group of people who I’ve really enjoyed working with. At the moment, we’re wrapping up the last issue of Bravest Warriors, of which I was the lead artist on (with Kate Leth writing, she rocks), and now I am the lead artist on their Munchkin line. I did the Adventure Time: Candy Capers mini-series for Boom, as well as a ton of covers and backups for other comics with them. I was one of the main artists for Hello Kitty from Viz Media, as well as the Uglydoll comic line from them. I’ve worked for Dynamite, Valiant and Oni as well, doing covers and issues. I’m all over the place and I love it, which makes Welcome to Showside that much more special to me. All these publishers I’ve done work for have been nothing but extremely supportive, especially Boom, Viz and Valiant. I’m floored that they are so supportive of the series, but they keep insisting it’s ‘cause they actually like it, so!
CC: Influence wise, I see a little Maleficent and maybe Adventure Time in there. Is that a fair reflection? What or who has been your influences?
IM: Definitely Adventure Time and all the other licensed properties I’ve worked on, in general. I’ve always sort of been a black sheep in that regard; I didn’t read a lot of comics beyond the newspaper comics, and so my influences were fairly limited. I was obsessed with Calvin and Hobbes,￼ I still am, and I love the humour and the terrible art of the Far Side. Even early Garfield was so, so great. But it was Johnny the Homicidal Maniac and Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing run that got me into really considering comics as a career, and I think/hope that translates to the monsters and the humour of Welcome to Showside. Later, it was Adventure Time and Bravest Warriors and Steven Universe that snagged me, and I’m so glad for it.
CC: I understand that a cartoon show based on the book is in the works. Is the comic a promo for the cartoon? Will the two run independently of each other?
IM: The pilot for Welcome to Showside isn’t a promo so much as a tie-in to the comic, an extension of the world and further exploration of the characters, plus a chance to show people what we could potentially do with a series. There’s a lot of potential there, and I’m amazed by the work of the animation team, voice actors, just everybody. Essentially, they’ll run independently of each in story and content, but with the same characters and within the same world. I’m following the basic structure that a lot of licensed comics run with, like Adventure Time or Bravest Warriors, and definitely excited to see how it all works out. Fingers crossed!
CC: Age group wise, what age is the book aimed at and who would you like to read it?
IM: Welcome to Showside is aimed at everyone. All-ages means everybody can enjoy it and, while I’ve included some horror elements, there’s nothing in there that would offend a sensible, thoughtful reader. My comic is for kids, teens, adults, parents, families, everyone, and there’s something there for everyone to enjoy.
CC: What’s next for you?
IM: I’ve been working on a graphic novel/cookbook for Top Shelf for a while now, so I’m hoping to release that soon. Next year, there will be a Munchkin Deluxe card set from SJ Games out with all new illustrations from me. I’ve been doing a lot for the Munchkin series lately and I really enjoy it. I just wrapped up a Steven Universe music activity book, and an Adventure Time card game set for Looney Labs’ FLUXX series. More importantly, the animated pilot for Welcome to Showside will be completed towards the end of next month and, if things go the way they seem to be going, I will be acting as show runner and voice of Kit for the series. Lot of great things are on the horizon, and I cannot wait for the future.
Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule Ian, and good luck with the book and the cartoon show.
Fans of Ian’s work can order the book via Diamond order codes:-
AUG151857 WELCOME TO SHOWSIDE #1 MCGINTY
SEP151765 WELCOME TO SHOWSIDE #2 MCGINTY
And don’t forget to keep an eye on our review section, for future reviews of the book.