‘Frankenstein Returns’ comic launch – Dundee Comics Prize 2018

Frankenstein Returns cover detail – Art by Dan McDaid, colour and lettering Phillip Vaughan.

2018 marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley, who lived in Dundee briefly as a teenager, partly inspiring her in writing her best known Gothic novel. On Thursday November 22nd at DCCS we are hosting the launch of Frankenstein Returns – the comic produced during the Being Human Festival celebrating the legacy of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. The comic features stories by Professor Chris Murray with artwork by Norrie Millar, Elliot Balson, and Ashling Larkin as well as a comic by David Robertson, and illustrations by Cam Kennedy and Dan McDaid. The comic also contains the winning entries from the Dundee Comics Prize 2018 and stories by young artists from DCCS’s weekly Comics Clubs. Chris Murray will open the event with an illustrated talk on a history of Frankenstein comics.

Part of the University of Dundee’s Being Human 2018 series “Frankenstein Returns“.

Suitable for all ages. The event runs from 6-8pm.

Introducing the Artists: Elliot Balson

eb-self-portraitTell us a bit about yourself.

I’m Elliot Balson, 23, I’m from the Scottish borders and came up to Dundee to study Animation. After that I went on and did the Comics MLitt course.

What made you want to become an artist?

The same as most people I guess, I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t wanting to draw. I suppose it mostly comes from  watching my favourite cartoons and reading comics as a kid.

Do you have a preferred style of art?

At the moment it’s mainly digital, but I’ve been trying to work in more traditional stuff now that I’ve got the studio as well.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Video games, comics, and at the moment a lot of watching film and video essays about storytelling techniques or film techniques. Mostly because I find it interesting but hopefully I can use some of it in my own work as well.

What is your favourite comic of all time?

I knew that was going to come up! There’s quite a few, but the most recent big one I love is Punk Rock Jesus by Sean Murphy – whilst reading it I was like, this is everything I want out of comics put in one nice little package.

What is the best thing about working in DCCS?

Definitely having the space – from uni I’m quite used to having studio space in Animation, but everybody is kind of in and out a bit more in this one, so you keep to yourself a bit more but there’s also the chance to collaborate. Like if you’re stuck on something you’re able to ask someone else if they’re able to help and vice versa. Also having a dedicated area, not only for working in but specifically for comics, is great.

What are you working on at the moment?

Probably too much! I’m actually working on one of the comics we tried to do as an animation in fourth year but we didn’t get finished, so I thought now was a good time to try it. I’m working on a comic – what was originally a short comic – where the writers made the script 150 pages, so I’m slowly working on that in the background. I’m also working with a couple of other people to produce a few short comics for pitching things they want to do, like short films; it’s a nice short way for them to show what they’re hoping it to look like.

How can we follow you on social media?

Instagram – @ellbalson

Facebook – Ell Balson Art

ArtStation – https://ellbalson.artstation.com/

Thanks Elliot!

– Caitlin


What we’re reading during Book Week Scotland – part 2

In our second Book Week Scotland post, DCCS artist Elliot Balson tells us what he has been reading lately.

“My pick is Head Lopper by Andrew MacLean. It’s a Mignola-esque fantasy set in the Highlands, featuring a stoic warrior called Norgal, or Headlopper, and his companion – the decapitated head of a witch. It’s a fun tale, with gorgeous visuals, with equal touches of Hellboy, Adventure Time, and The Witcher.”

– Elliot

Cover to Head Lopper volume 1 by Andrew MacLean