Wednesday, 28 December 2011

A-Z of Awesomeness

C Is For... Captain Britain Cuddling Cerebus
from the A-Z of Awesomeness (2009)
Art by Neill Cameron

My name’s Neill Cameron, and I make a living by writing and drawing stuff. Why not go and look at some of it? My Mecha Action Schoolgirl Comedy Opus Mo-Bot High appeared in weekly children’s comic The DFC, and I’ve recently been working on some comics stuff for Panini, the BBC and a couple of educational publishers. Anyway, a recent rash of deadlines had left me feeling a little tired and burned out, so I decided I needed to just draw something for myself. Something fun. Something… Awesome. Which brings us here.

This project was inspired by my friend and fellow creator Garen Ewing, (whose book The Rainbow Orchid is being published in a couple of months by Egmont UK and is going to be absolutely fantastic, incidentally). Last year Garen did an A-Z of Comic Strip Characters, drawing a character each day based on suggestions from Facebook. I thought this looked like a fun challenge, and decided to give it a go myself, but widening out the remit from just comic strips to characters from the wider world of pop cultural entertainment: film, animation, TV, literature… anywhere, really, so long as it meets the basic requirement of being AWESOME. I decided it would be fun to encourage people to include imaginative alliteration in their suggestions. As you will see, this rapidly got completely, spectacularly out of hand. It ended up being a lot of fun, with over 600 people joining the Facebook group and coming up with all manner of insane suggestions every day.

You can now buy poster-sized prints of the A-Z of Awesomeness, with all profits being donated to SSNAP (Support for the Sick Newborn And their Parents), a charity which supports the Intensive Special Care Nurseries (Neonatal Unit) at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford. It's a place and a team of people to which I owe more than I could ever hope to repay in this lifetime, but maybe a few quid from selling some silly posters will make a start. 

Neill Cameron is a UK-based writer and comics artist who has illustrated projects ranging from Doctor Who, Thor and Transfomers to Shakespeare and comics about traffic safety. His first graphic novel, the giant robot school comedy epic Mo-Bot High, is available now as part of the DFC Library series. Neill is currently working on new projects combining dinosaurs, pirates, monkeys and numerous other Things That Are Awesome for new UK weekly children's comic The Phoenix, launching on 7th January 2012.

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