Living on a small island in the Caribbean, we are far removed publishing mega-hubs like Los Angeles, New York or even London. Cities where, even if you are located there, the chances of getting your work published and into print is still a fantasy for many, as you shout against the void of thousands of others trying to do the exact same thing.
A hurdle such as this would deter most. The thought of creating, and having no outlet to showcase or to grow would tend to stifle creativity, and curb ambition. That did not stop local artist Matthew Clarke from following his dream however. He rather, just took the bring the mountain to you approach, and along with a few friends formed Beyond Publishing, a publishing company dedicated to the creation and marketing of Caribbean centric comic books.
Matthew, a man with many artistic hats, who also works as a fine artist and graphic designer has been writing for 12 years, starting in his secondary school days, and has created or co-created several works so far – The Hardears Series, The Heartman series, Mass Anthology and Life and Death in Paradise. The names of some, as you can see derive from some very Bajan themes, as he says that he draws from real life, Caribbean and historical events for inspiration.
Mr. Clarke, says that the response both locally and internationally has been tremendously positive, with people particularly fascinated to see the Caribbean culture and people in a comic book format. They also love the artwork and find the stories to be unique. He says that from here, they want to further expand on their distribution outreach throughout the Caribbean and beyond. Also, a dream of theirs is to get some of their works into a live action format. All of the works are available at Chattel House Books in Skymall, Indyplanet.com, Comicsfix.com, Gumroad.com, and Comixology.com.