Living an animated life

EXPAT SPEAK

When a teacher asked her class, comprising seven to eight-year-olds about their hero, a boy said ‘Spider-Man’! In all eagerness to receive an applause, he got informed by his teacher that Spider-Man didn’t exist. The child was
left “devastated”!

Jason Quinn, fondly refe­rred to as a graphic-novelist today, learnt reading more or less because he wanted to read comics and today is a creator of superheroes. Currently working as Campfire publication’s Creative Head, Jason has his fingers crossed for his graphic novel Gandhi: My Life Is My Message . He is nominated for Best Writer award at the upcoming 4th Annual Comic Con India.  “To get a nomination is great but to win is even better,” says Jason. Ensconced in his office at Ashram, he holds forth about his past, present
and future.

“My elder brother used to read out a lot of American comics to me when I was three. We used to source it from one of our lodgers who was an officer at the US Air Force base,” recollects the British author who was born in Liverpool and later brought up in Yorkshire and Leeds. When he was a little older, he started buying comics by saving his pocket money. “The Mighty World of Marvel was the first in my collection. I still remember the free T-shirt that I got with it and had the sticker of a superhero which shone on being ironed.”

From the aisle of his childhood, Jason’s memories relocate to his days at Drama Centre London. “I wanted to be an actor but couldn’t understand my teacher who also guided Pierce Brosnan,” reveals the author who found philosophical things “stupid at the age of 18.” His teacher Yat Malmgram used to say, ‘A character is not good or bad, but like a sun which can either nourish or bu­rn you’. The place thus became a prison for me.”

Jason could not bear the gruelling sessions and drop­ped out after a year and found his way to the post of editor at Marvel Comics. “Occasionally, I feel it would have been better if I had continued the course as the school has produced many Hollywood stars.”

Nevertheless, he continued to implement what he learnt, “It was an amazing feeling to create superheroes and I did end up working on Spider- Man eventually. When I set to writing a graphic novel on Steve Jobs, I adopted the technique of getting into the skin of the character and took to Steve’s weird diets of apple which made me repel non-vegetarian food ultimately!”

The offer to migrate to India, came at a time when he was working on his graphic novel Gandhi... and he accepted the opportunity with open arms.

“There is something new every time you step out of the door here,” says Jason in context of Delhi. “It is an adventure to live here, especially in Lajpat Nagar which is always abuzz with something. There is always something odd, if you keep your eyes open,” he says while walking out of his office to leave for home.

“I love the Afghani naan available here and of course the momos and samosa with green chutney. I get aggressive if my colleagues gobble them up in my absence,” he bursts into an animated laughter and bids goodbye. 

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