Lorna Irvine reports on a new graphic novel.
Comic book artist and Glasgow's Comic Con producer Sha Nazir and Shameless and Late Night Shopping writer Jack Lothian are laughing as only two friends can. “I wanted to write about a loveable loser-that's Sha!”
"Hey! That's not me,” counters Sha, chuckling. He goes on, “No, we have known each other around eleven years. What we have come up with, we describe as a 'sitcomic'. We wanted to appeal to people who watch TV, are into pop culture, who don't necessarily like or get comic books.
Collaborations don't come more interesting than this. The brains behind Black Hearted Comics and big and small screen gems alike have produced the graphic novel Laptop Guy, a smart and funny, and somewhat meta, story of a man who tries and fails to launch a comic and who is constantly haunted by his alter ego—the titular character.
Both cheeky and satirical, the graphic novel is unique as it doesn't contain the usual 'adult' themes of violence, heroes/villains and shock and yet isn't really aimed at children. That's not to say that older children wouldn't enjoy it though, as Nazir insists: “I was conscious not to have any swearing in it- although there is some dark humour.” Anxiety and mishaps give way to hilarious scenarios, which Lothian says, “often happen by accident- so it's a different approach to working, much more organic.” A story involving a character losing an arm ensues...but you'll have to read about said character for yourself- I don't do spoilers...
Using a naturalistic palette and a loveable yet hapless character (who isn't really Sha Nazir- he is much more successful and focused), a whole new cult figure is born. He even has his own puppet. Just get in there early and say you discovered him first.
Sha Nazir and Jack Lothian were in conversation with critic Gareth K Vile at the CCA as part of the Glasgow Film Festival.
Laptop Guy is out now on Black Hearted Press, priced 2.95.