Interview with Ele Jenkins
by Amy Maynard
The Australian Comics Journal is celebrating the excellent anthology Starrytellers this week with creator profiles each day. Before today’s interview with the effervescent Ele, check out the project’s Kickstarter campaign, with great stories and great prizes from a great bunch of gals. Now, lean back in your best chair and read on as we discuss steampunk, bravery, and paint brushes.
In one sentence, describe your Starrytellers story:
Lone Wolf is about mental health and the dangers of isolation (and, well, stars).
Tell us more about your work in comics – what books have you made, which events have you been a part of?
So far I’ve mostly collaborated with other artists, which is great fun! I painted a page for the ACT Comics Meet-up’s Liedekijn exhibition and book, which saw 13 artists reinterpret an old Dutch fairy tale. The first piece I wrote and illustrated myself came out in Squishzine Brunstown last year, a weird little piece about a statue coming to life in Brunswick. Most of my work involves watercolour but lately I’m playing around with some mixed media.
My biggest project is the webcomic Soddenheim that I’m working on with my friend Andrew Milne – it’s a longer story set in a steampunk city we’ve created together. It follows some of the factory workers’ lives through a time of huge upheaval, which is all I can say without spoiling! Updates are about to start up again so now is a good time to start reading.
If you could invite three lady cartoonists to dinner, alive or dead, who would you invite and why?
I think I’d ask Kate Beaton (Hark, a Vagrant) first of all because she’d be such entertaining company. I’d also ask Marian Churchland (Beast, Arclight) and Linda Medley (Castle Waiting) so I could grill all three on their gorgeous linework, and how to capture body language and expressions so brilliantly. Sadly the answer is probably “stop planning imaginary dinner parties and get drawing!”
What advice do you have for women and girls wanting to break in to comics?
Be brave and seek out other women creators. Either online or in person – most capital cities seem to have comics meetups, and events like zine fairs are another place to look. They’re out there, and they’re a fantastically supportive bunch.
It’s an old superstition to wish upon a star. What would your wish be?
I’d wish for more paintbrushes. You can never have too many.