Media Release — James Mckay, artist on Marraquai from Independent British publishers Scar Comics has made the finals of the Arts Foundation Fellowship award for 2010.
This award is intended for those artists who are achieving a high level of quality and recognition but need a concentrated period of time working on their ideas in order to make a break through in their careers.
This is the first year that Graphic Novels has been a category in the awards: Fine Art, Jewellery, Cinematography are some of the other categories.
The prize is £10,000 and can pay for a period of time not working, equipment, trips to meet publishers etc. The entrants must detail what they will spend the award on.
The award is not open to application – the entrants are nominated by recognized experts in their field. The entrants are then short-listed down to four by a panel of judges, and the final award will be announced at a ceremony in London in January 2010.
The other three finalists were: Karrie Fransman, Kate Brown and Bill Bragg.
The four finalists were invited to present their work at the ICA on 15th November 2009, in interview with a panel: Paul Gravett, Pat Mills and Posy Simmonds.
The evening began with a discussion by the panelists about the comics scene today and the challenges facing newcomers trying to make a career in comics.
The finalists then gave presentations lasting about 20 minutes about their work. James talked about ‘City of Secrets’ and ‘Marraquai’, his background including freelance illustration including dinosaurs for children’s magazines, and concept designs for computer games, and then detailed his influences including Moebius, Frank Frazetta, Simon Bisley and illustrators such as William Stout and Charles Keeping. He then talked about his working methods, and future work including ‘Children of the Moon’ with Ben Dickson, and ‘ThunderLizard’ with Steve White (an editor at Titan).
The audience were excited about the future projects especially anything to do with dinosaurs, and Pat Mills discussed working with James on his major new project he has ready to go into production!
The evening closed with drinks and the chance for the audience to view the finalists’ portfolios and copies of their work. It was a great evening and all the artists enjoyed meeting each other regardless of the fact that they were in competition!