Comic Book Illustrator

by | Jan 9, 2014 | Biography

Comic Book Illustrator

Comic Book Illustrator at CM Comics

Comic Book Illustrator Chris Ryan. Ever since a small child in the early 60′s I collected comics. Not the boring British ones. With stories about Roy Of Some Rubbish Football team.

Nor the never ending propoganda comics about the 2nd world war.

I loved the flashy, full colour American comics. With heroes who had fantastic powers. Led soap opera type lives. My uncles were all in the Merchant Navy. So I was supplied with all the comics they could bring home for me.

Brit force comic

Spiderman and X-Men

The first things I drew were Spiderman and the X-Men. It was a love affair that followed me through my life.

When I left the world of Computer Graphics in the early 90s. I was unsure what I wanted to do next.

I’d gained a lot of confidence as the Artistic Director at Probe Research. I was determined to make good use of it. Being a comic book illustrator had so far only been a dream though.

cm comics

Brit Force

At the time my name was Chris Morgan . A long boring story, but it was my adoptive fathers name who I detested.

So at 50 decided I’d had enough of carrying his name around with me. I went back to my original birth name of Chris Ryan. Anyway – I put together a comic.

Brit Force was the comic. It was a take on the X-Men, but a British team of heroes. 30 pages, black and white, pencilled, written and edited by me. With the dummy copy in place I set about getting feedback and orders. It was good. I went for my first print and sold in this country through Virgin Megastore and Hamleys toy shop in London mainly.

Stray Dogs

The CM Comics Line

As well as all of the small comic book stores around the country. It went well which prompted me to look for distribution in America and I got it.

The Brit Force comic was handled through 2 of the largest ditribution companies. Diamond Comics and Capital City.

At the time in the UK no other comic company was doing what I was doing. Because Brit Force sold well. I thought hell why not do more comics. I took on some of the best freelancers around the UK. My home at Maybush in Southampton became a veritable comicbook factory. 12 different titles a month at our peak. Most of which I wrote but could never have drawn them all. We had Alley Cat, Wild Card, Stray Dogs, Death Heart, The Monoverse, Brit Force, Lionheart, Stonehenge. We were even able to start doing colour covers.

alleycat

Bubble Bursts

Comic Conventions in London followed as well as double page interviews and spreads in all of the popular comic book magazines including Comics World.

America has a top 100 list of comic books rather like the record charts and Brit Force was actually outselling the major British comic Judge Dredd/2000 A.D from IPC Magazines in London.

Looking back I was being over ambitious far too early. Which meant I was over stretched. When the bubble burst I had no protection. The bubble did burst.

comic books

Comic Book Distributors

Basically what happened was that the major distributors also handled the big comic book publishers like Marvel and DC Comics

The big boys were getting fed up of sharing their spots with the small independents. While they couldnt just wipe them out they had other ways of getting rid of all but the very cash rich ones.

They pushed Diamond and Capital to raise the limits of issues needed to be ordered by the American stores and almost do it overnight. They raised the numbers to something ridiculous. I didn’t meet that criteria. Along with many other companies and they dropped the CM Comics range.

monoverse

The reason it was chaos was that comics were ordered in advance so I had titles ready to be shipped that had already been printed that had to be recalled.

Titles at the printers that had to be paid for. All of them cancelled in one fell swoop. Trust me it was a lot of money.
To cut a long story short. CM Comics was bust and so was I. It resulted in me going bankrupt. Do I regret it? not even slightly. It fulfilled a dream and regardless of what happened it was a blast, and a brilliant experience!

chris ryan web designer

Comic Book Illustrator by Chris Ryan
Chris Ryan is a professional artist and web designer in Southampton. Owner of Hostcat Web Design and Hosting.Last updated: May 28, 2018 at 11:08 am

Hostcat Web Design

Hostcat is a Southampton web design and web development company.

I offer creative web design, web hosting and brand communication to clients across Hampshire and beyond.

Contact Details

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Chris Ryan
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Tel : 01983 539638
E-Mail : hello@hostcat.co.uk

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