Mister T & The Fools Of The Future From Marc Jackson, Via Jack Kirby

Cartoonist Marc Jackson is a favourite here on Bleeding Cool, especially the way he takes on and transforms nostaglic memories in a modern, quirky style. And he's doing it again with BA Baracus himself, Mister T. He writes on Facebook,

Back in 2020, spurred on by the mighty Sean Phillips, I created two comic books based around my love for the 80s TV show MAGNUM P.I. they have proved to be some of my most successful work, and I had a hell of a lot of fun creating them. I feel I turned Magnum into one of my very own characters, spinning the basic premise off into a mix of nods to the show, and MAD magazine-type spoof, plus adding things like using his 'thinking shorts' to help solve crimes, and wrestling with an Octopus! It was a blast and still is a strong seller to this day. Why not pick up a copy right here…

I've been fortunate this past two years to have worked with some great publishers, producing new comics, with new characters, such as Freaky magazine, Hey Kids comics, and the Brooklyn Red hook star revue, as well as using KO-FI to put out regular webcomics, but the itch is there to have some fun with another 80s icon

One of my other favourite 80s TV icons was and still is, the mighty MR T, and I was keen to see what I could create in both a similar, yet totally different approach to the Magnum comic. That strip was influenced by the concept of a TV show then getting its own cartoon series (like MR T did in the 80s) so this comic needed to be something different, and I wanted to go a little weirder with this one, a little more out-there.

Mister T & The Fools Of The Future From Marc Jackson, Via Jack Kirby
Mister T art by  Jack Kirby

I was fascinated by the fact that Jack KING Kirby was brought onto the MR T cartoon to develop visuals and concepts and I wondered, what might the cartoon have looked at, if Jack had just cut loose, not listened to the brief, and dig his king thing. Imagine having MR T fight cyborgs and riding dinosaurs in a truly cosmic caper?…

It's true, by the way, this is no invention of Marc Jackson. Kirby worked on a number of shows, apart from the expected Marvel and DC cartoons, including Lazer Tag Academy, Thundarr The Barbarian, Space Stars, Goldie Gold and Action Jack and Turbo Teen.

That wondering forms the basis of my new comic MR T and the FOOLS OF THE FUTURE! Which sees the TV star being frozen by the government in the late 80s as the A-Team's popularity waned, with a view to defrosting him when the need arose in the future, Captain America style! Fast forward to the 'far-flung' and the world has been taken over by 'crazy fools!' and chaos has ensued. Only one 80s icon can save stop them, enter Lawrence Tureaud himself!!

Mister T & The Fools Of The Future From Marc Jackson, Via Jack Kirby
Mister T & The Fools Of The Future From Marc Jackson, Via Jack Kirby

It's a big, bold 40-page comic, the kind that only MR T deserves. Launching in early Spring (all things being well) at a comic book shop in Lille, France called Croafunding (where I'll also be running drawing workshops in some local art schools and cafés whilst I'm there) I met the owner Xavier Lancel of the said store at last year's Thought Bubble: The Yorkshire Comic Art Festival, where he was on the hunt for self-publishers that the French audience has yet to discover. He was my first sale and bought five copies of every comic I had on sale, my greatest single sale yet! Since then he has been a strong supporter of my work, in fact when he opened his store for the first time, the first comic he sold was MAGNUM P.I. issue 1!! It's fate, it seems!

I decided to attempt to gain support for the comics actual creation (to help cover time spent on the pages prior to its release) using my KO-FI page. For just £10 a month support, for 5 months, you get a copy of the 40-page comic, a page of original art from the comic, selected at random, and a name check in the back of the comic. For those supporters, I'll also be posting pages as I create them, so you get to see it as it happens, plus behind-the-scenes sneak peeks too. You also get access to all my comics on there too, Magnum, SPOOKIDS, and lots of other cool stuff! I pity the fool, who doesn't want in on this action (sorry, I couldn't resist!!)

I'd better start planning for Thought Bubble now…

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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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