Meredith McClaren [Local Artist]

Lazy Poison Ivy

Back when I first started Lightning Octopus, I went so see Daniel Davis of Monster Commute do some work at Samurai Comics. I couldn’t stay long because my two boys were being crazy, but on my way out I ran into Meredeth McClaren who had a table by the entrance, displaying her art.

Even though I had a two month old on the verge of a meltdown, her art was so striking I had to stop and get her card.

Recently, Meredeth let me ask her a few questions and spotlight her here on the blog:

So, how long have you been drawing?

Would it be cliche to say ‘for as long as I can remember?’

To be fair, my memory is weak and completely unreliable, but I can say with some certainty that drawing was a huge part of my childhood.

How would you describe your style?

Somewhere between manga/anime and bande dessinee, I think.

All of my roots go back to manga, but there’s definitely something about the fluidity and color of french comics that appeal to me too.

I think it all plays into how my work turns out.

BC+In+Her+Kingdom

What draws you to superheroes and villains in your art?

The fact that EVERYONE wants to be a superhero or badass villain.

No one is exempt from this.

We all grew up wanting to be super powered and awesome.  We all still want to be super powered and awesome.  And any way, shape, or form you can partake of it (for me, drawing them) gets you thaaat much closer to actually being a superhero.Superheroes Do It TooTell us about Scraps.

Scraps came about because of a old nagging problem with comic page dimensions.

Traditionally, US standard comics are drawn at 11×17 in.  But stores only sell 14×17.  (At least they did then.  I think Strathmore has gotten wise to the comic leaning culture of late.  And I’ve spotted a few 11×17 pads since then).  But anyways, for every page I drew, I had a 3×17 in chunk of paper left over.

With an average output of 4-6 pages per week, that really adds up, and I hated the thought of wasting so much paper.  So over a period of time I accumulated a nice pile of these scrap pieces – all the while hoping I could find a use for them.

Eventually I was turned onto the journal comics that my friends/peers were putting out (Kevin Burkhalter, Pranas Naujokaitis, and Shazzbaa Bennett to name a few).  And I realized it was the kind of project that was perfect for these remainder sheets I had been acquiring.

Plus it was something new to try out.

So there was Scraps. A tri-weekly journal comic, that I was initially sure no one would read or like, because basically all it was comprised of was my neurotic leanings towards work and food, and my devotion to (and constant lack of) sleep.
I was wrong, obviously, but I’m not quite sure why. In my opinion, I can be downright boring, but I’m glad other people like it.  And I’m told that I’m occasionally funny.

There’ll also be a book of the year one comics coming out round fall.

The+End

You can find all of Meredith’s colorful, fun, and beautiful creations at her blog, and make them your own at her store.

A big thanks to Meredith for her time! Go check out her stuff. I love it.