So what’s so special about Start Again? Jamie hit the nail on the head with something which rarely features in comics. Start Again features sexual scenes of a interracial relationship between Ajay, the British national superhero and Natalie. This is shown within the preview on the Kickstarter page. Ajay and Natalie are not side characters, they are integral to the story and Jamie is brave to portray some of the anxiety and social pressures that interracial relationships may face, based on some of his own experiences.
Jamie explains: “Start Again is a love letter to British comedy, and to the comic industry in which superheroes play such an iconic role. I wanted to fuse those two elements together, and explore themes of anxiety and social pressure too”.
The preview for Start Again touches on light humour and is inspired by modern British comedies such as Peep Show. The project also covers the superhero genre by infusing unfamiliar settings, elements and characters. The combination of superheroes and British comedy has made my mind reflect upon Ardal O’Hanlon as Thermoman in the BBC’s My Hero. That was 15 years ago!
*Please be advised of NSFW content
Jamie has described that he has been driven to create something “fun, serious and just British to the core”. This is despite drawbacks he faced whilst working on Queen three years ago. He had shared the news that he had been diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Behaviour. Since then, he has risen above adversity and has addressed issues such as anxieties surrounding being in an inter-racial relationship and fears about being targeted in social media:
“It was a rough time in my life. The cleanliness stuff was tough, but I never really explained the internet side of things. Some people once made a cartoon video mocking me, and they spread it around online. I found out on Christmas day from a mate, and at the time I didn’t realise how much it affected me. I became deeply paranoid about putting myself out there creatively. It sucked, people can be incredibly cruel on online”.
I really appreciate the fact the Jamie has drawn on his invaluable life experience in Start Again and that he raises the point about creative expression. Surely it’s not unreasonable to feel even a little paranoid about how others may criticise creative work you publish on the internet?
As I was curious to learn more about Start Again, I asked Jamie to share more about the characters, Ajay and Natalie, and collaborating with others for producing comics. I've also provided a link to the Kickstarter, where all six preview pages can be viewed. Reward tiers include the opportunity to read Jamie’ s other comic Queen and a range of unique one-off rewards such as selfie drawings of backers with the main characters.