Soaring Penguin Press & Mark Stafford Raise Money For Cartoon Museum

by James Ferguson

With the COVID-19 pandemic throwing everything into chaos, it’s no wonder the comic book industry is also affected. That includes London’s Comic Museum, temporarily closed since March. Soaring Penguin Press and creator Mark Stafford have decided to do something about that by donating 50 signed copies of their latest graphic novel, The Bad Bad Place, written by David Hine and illustrated by Stafford, to the museum.

That would have been pretty cool on its own, but Stafford went the extra mile by creating 50 unique paintings to accompany the books. He says:

After Soaring Penguin Press generously donated the books to the cause I immediately thought that including a little bit of art would be a great idea, but I didn’t really think through the logistics, and naturally made things insanely complicated for myself by deciding that they all had to be different from each other.

Fortunately, the Cartoon Museum also received a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant, allowing it to open again safely.
Stafford continued:

I have gone through the point where I thought this was the worst idea I’ve ever had and am now coasting comfortably into the ‘maybe I’m not an idiot’ zone. But it has been fun actually using all the art materials that I’ve been compulsively hoarding over the years, so there’s coloured pencil, acrylic, magic marker, watercolour, and inks in there, and I’ve found techniques in the process that I’m definitely going to pursue. It has been a workout. But not one that includes much cardiovascular activity or sunlight. I still have the use of my hands. I may need to get my glasses seen to. I’m running low on tea. Onwards!

It does help that The Bad Bad Place is a stellar (and super creepy) comic. Having the added personal touch of a unique painting to go along with it is pretty cool.
Writer David Hine said:

In November of last year, the recently reopened Cartoon Museum hosted our launch of The Bad Bad Place. Then the Bastard Virus arrived and now the museum is fighting for survival. Mark has done wonders with his sell-out limited edition sketches from The Bad Bad Place. Sketches? These are major works of Art! But there is still a long way to go. The Cartoon Museum isn’t just important, it’s a vital part of our cultural lives and a Good Good Place…

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