Graham Nolan is a comic book artist who resides in East Aurora, New York. He has worked with DC and Marvel, including a 6-year run illustrating Batman comics. You might know him as the co-creator of the iconic Batman villain Bane. Currently, he has been freelancing on comic book and creator-owned projects, as well as working on his humor comic strip, Sunshine State. Graham has a new comic in the works that is in the crowdfunding stage.
His new project, Return to Monster Island, is currently on Kickstarter. Return to Monster Island is a sequel to his brainchild from 20 years ago, Monster Island. The original is about two navy pilots, Mac and Duke, who crashland on a mysterious island and discover that it is being used as an alien repository filled with the universe’s most dangerous creatures and must escape before the island departs to another point in the galaxy. The sequel, currently being crowdfunded on Kickstarter, Return to Monster Island, has Mac and Duke returning to the island two years later, which has now been taken over by a new alien group, with the help of two Russian flyers to set things right before the island phases out again. Also, unlike the original, Return to Monster Island will entirely be in color.
Graham may have worked with legendary characters like Batman for a long time, but it is especially satisfying to bring one’s own creations to life, and that’s exactly what he’s doing with these adventures on Monster Island. This is his passion project. He is doing almost all of the work himself, including the writing and artwork. The only work that’s not being done by him is the coloring. It’s certainly inspirational to see Graham working to bring his ideas and passions to life. I find this extremely motivating for my own creative pursuits.
Graham’s work on Return to Monster Island looks incredible. Not only is the story riveting, but the monster designs are the perfect blend of scary and fun. They are reminiscent of classic monster flicks, but with a personalized splash of originality. If you’re a fan of monster movies like Godzilla, The Blob, or The Creature from the Black Lagoon, this is the ideal comic for you.
When asked about his motivation to create this Monster Island series that’s been living in his head, and leave the bigwigs of comic books behind, Graham says that he wanted to create something that his kids could enjoy, and people of all ages. Much of the comic book industry has turned to using excessive violence and sex instead of story, so he wanted to bring this brilliant idea of his to the page, to provide the world with a comic book that had exciting action, relatable characters, and riveting story that was meant for readers of all ages. There really aren’t enough all-ages comics, so it’s refreshing to see such a great one out there.
Even though it has been 20 years since the original Monster Island, there couldn’t be a better time for Return to Monster Island. According to Graham, and I certainly agree with this, now is the best time to get your own comic books out there. Crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter, along with simple do-it-yourself advertising on social media, make getting indie projects off the ground much easier. Because of these amazing tools that we now have access to, anyone can get their comic ideas made. If you are someone who is looking to do the same, Graham has one piece of advice for you: Find the right audience. Every story has its audience. You just need to find that audience, and communicate with and advertise to them.
Graham Nolan’s Return to Monster Island is currently on Kickstarter at this link. By pledging money to the campaign, you’ll be supporting the art of someone local to WNY, and gaining some goodies in the process. For various monetary amounts, there are different incentives. For just $20, you’ll receive a digital copy of Return to Monster Island single issues. If you pledge $165, you can get both a digital and physical copy of Return to Monster Island, a digital and physical copy of the original Monster Island colorized, a Monster Island t-shirt, and a set of Monster Island prints. There are plenty of other pledge amounts and incentives on the Kickstarter. If Return to Monster Island is successful, we can hopefully expect to see Escape from Monster Island at a later date. Who knows, maybe someday we’ll be watching it in a movie theater?
Return to Monster Island is certainly worth supporting and checking out when it releases, along with reading the original Monster Island and everything else Graham Nolan has created. He’s a great guy who does incredible work. Definitely read and support his work, and if you ever see him at a convention, feel free to say hi, tell him how much you enjoy his comics, and show off your Bane cosplays.