The world of superheroes may be increasingly dark but comic-book illustrator and writer Scott “Scoot” McMahon is happy to bring light to readers with a style of comics that are silly, giggly fun for kids and adults.
The Mighty Super Kingz, for example, published by Aw Yeah Comics, is a comic-book series about a lion, bald eagle, and shark who band together as powerful heroes to protect Earth.
And the weekly web comic Spot on Adventure is the not-so-serious exploits of a superhero canine and his robot partner as they also endeavor to save the world.
OK, so maybe these anthropomorphic comics don’t feature mutants hellbent on revenge or brooding crusaders coping with personality disorders, but they appeal to a wide-eyed audience of youth and innocence and serve the creative needs of a 36-year-old who grew up with similar heroes for kids: Disney’s syndicated animated TV series Darkwing Duck and DuckTales from the late 1980s and early ’90s shows.
“I remember as a kid I wanted to do that and this is the best way to do that,” McMahon said. “It’s fun for me to get reactions by the kids. It’s always been natural for me to work in that realm.
“I do a lot of all-ages books today because cartoons were such a big influence on me.”
Raised in Rossford, where he still lives with his wife and young son, “Scoot” McMahon, a nom de plume for his comics that originated as a childhood nickname, is one of several artists with area ties including Toledo’s Dirk Manning (Tales of Mr. Rhee, Nightmare World), featured at this weekend’s annual Fantasticon at the SeaGate Convention Centre, 401 Jefferson Ave.
McMahon will sell and sign his comics, as well as draw his creations and others in the artist alley.
The event runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, with ticket prices ranging from $5.50 to $12.50 for a two-day pass if purchased today. Kids 5 and younger are admitted for free.
For more information, call 419-255-3300 or visit fantasticon.net.
McMahon’s backstory as a comic-book creator and illustrator is similar to most: He began drawing early in life, first Disney cartoon characters and then onto superheroes. Warner Bros.’ seminal Batman: The Animated Series from the 1990s was a favorite then and an inspiration now. “ ... The storytelling overall especially from Batman is still visible in my comics,” he said.
While McMahon was a student at Bowling Green State University, where he graduated in 2004 with a major in art and illustration, a class project led him to create his first comic book about a superhero, one who didn’t want to use his powers for good or for bad.
“I think I was just trying to do something different with the superhero genre at that time,” he said.
Nothing much came of that project other than a grade, yet the process of creating and developing a comic book through its completion served as early proof of his abilities to make his own comics, beginning with The Mighty Super Kingz in 2010.
The one-off comic sold well at comic cons and, more importantly, drew the attention of publisher Aw Yeah Comics, which hired McMahon as an artist and writer for other series including SAMI the Samurai Squirrel. He later rewrote The Mighty Super Kingz for publication by Aw Yeah Comics as well.
That “light bulb” that pops above one’s head right now, at least to those who want to be part of the comic-book industry, should be the big idea to attend comics conventions such as Fantasticon as an important step in the process.
“[It] is the way to meet people and network and to get things published and rolling,” McMahon said.
Meanwhile, he suggests to keep drawing and writing and working toward that end goal.
As McMahon noted: “If you don’t create anything, nothing will get picked up.”
Contact Kirk Baird at email@example.com or 419-724-6734.
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