X-Men | Moncton man says technology means you can be successful and still live in smaller communities
By SHANE MAGEE
The aisles in the back of Fredericton’s Strange Adventures shop on York Street were crowded as people lined up to talk with Nick Bradshaw, a Moncton artist who illustrates one of Marvel Entertainment’s top X-Men comics, Wolverine and the X-Men.
‘It was cool,’ said Nichole Saunders. ‘I’m an artist myself so it was great to talk to someone in the indu st r y.’ She was one of about 20 people in the store just after 1 p.m. on Saturday .
Bradshaw talked to her for about 15 minutes about his work, the comic industry and her own work.
‘He gave me a list of different comics and information to help me with my work,’ she said.
He offered Saunders advice on a web comic she’s producing, telling her that a lot of people in the industry keep an eye on new web comics as a way to look for people they might want to hire.
‘My stuff might get trashed online, but there’s a chance that someone important could see it and I could get to the point where he (Bradshaw) is.’ She’s hoping to land a job at a Moncton company that’s working on the Archie Comics.
‘I love the 50s. I’ve been doing a lot of drawings with a 50s style hoping that helps my chances,’ she said. Prints of work by Bradshaw could be signed and purchased.
Bradshaw said he signed more than 100 prints so he thought the day had gone well.
‘It’s just like when you hang out with your buddies and talk comics. That’s what I like about these things, it’s very casual.’ Bradshaw got his break in 2003 when a small publisher hired him to illustrate comics based on the Army of Darkness movie.
He said after an editor at Marvel saw his Wolverine illustration he did for charity, he was contracted to work on a new X-Men comic.
‘I’m really happy with where I am now. I’ve always wanted to draw superhero comics so the past year has been great because I can finally do that. I don’t see myself leaving this genre because I’m just having so much fun with it,’ he said.
Strange Adventures manager Jason Arnold said the store had a steady stream of people coming to see Bradshaw.
Arnold said the event was a success, especially for a long weekend when there’s a lot going on and some people are out of town.
He said these kind of events show people anywhere can break into the comic industry.
‘Having any guest is great, but the fact that he’s local, and that he stays here in New Brunswick when he could go elsewhere is great.’ ‘It shows kids you don’t have to be in a big city, you don’t already have to be famous. People in our region are succeeding.’ Saunders also said the event was good for showing people that locals can get hired, giving her hope. ‘You don’t really think that someone around here can do something like that. It’s one of those jobs that you just dream about as a small kid but say, ‘Oh, I’m just from a small town, I’ll never get a job,’ but he’s right here.’ Bradshaw said technology has meant people can do the work from anywhere and post it online for the comic industry to view and hire the artist if they like the work.
‘I’m able to live and work out of Moncton and I can work for any company,’ said Bradshaw.
A comic convention is being planned for next year in the hub city. ‘We’ll be looking to fund raise over the next year to be able to invite creators and vendors to the city,’ he said.
‘We’ve already begun and have a great group of volunteers organizing events to get the word out, local professionals and fans investing their time and resources.’ He said they’ve picked the weekend of May 18, 2013, for the convention and will have announcements on guests over the next few months.
‘We’ve already lined up a venue, the Beaver Curling Club, and hope to draw a crowd of 1,000 plus in the hopes to expand on that the next year,’ he said.
‘I’m really happy with where I am now. I’ve always wanted to draw superhero comics so the past year has been great because I can .nally do that.
I don’t see myself leaving this genre because I’m just having so much fun with it.’
Comic book artist