Ryan’s novel idea lands him a new career in comics

IN PRINT Ryan Dodd with a copy of his Hippie Jonny and the Banality of Life comic
IN PRINT Ryan Dodd with a copy of his Hippie Jonny and the Banality of Life comic

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BUDDING graphic novelist Ryan Dodd’s life-long dream has become reality after his first comic book was snapped up by a national publisher.

The 21-year-old, from Portsmouth, has been writing and illustrating comics since he was a young boy.

Now his work is available online and across the UK.

Ryan’s debut arrival, Hippie Jonny and the Banality of Life, tells the tale of central character Jonny’s bid to escape the nine-to-five working lifestyle.

Ryan, who lives in Station Road, Drayton, said: ‘I started drawing as a hobby from about the age of five or six but not seriously until about 18.

‘I did art at school but I wasn’t really bothered about the assignments and was more focused on making my own comics.

‘When I started this book, I didn’t set out with any expectations.

‘But after writing about a third of the graphic novel I started sending it out to publishers and had interest back within a day, so I was excited.

‘After a year of writing the book and bringing it to publication, to see it finally online is a great feeling.’

To fulfil his ambitions, Ryan left his full-time job in a tax office in a bid to dedicate more time to the project.

It is a case of life almost imitating art because a similar thing happens to Jonny in the book, although he is sacked rather than resigning.

Despite the similarities, the young writer said he did not intend Jonny to be a reflection of himself.

Ryan added: ‘I was working for the tax office for around two years before I decided to leave.

‘My graphic novel is not totally supposed to reflect my own experiences.

‘But I did get some inspiration from them in that I wanted to do something I enjoy, rather than a normal office job.

‘It is more to do with just the idea of finding something different to do with your life as opposed to being about my life experiences.

‘Jonny isn’t clear about what he’s trying to search for and seems to amble around.

‘It’s not a children’s book and my aim was to make it for young adults upwards.’

The comic book has been printed by Dorset-based Tabella Publishing and is available to buy from book stores and websites including Waterstone’s, WH Smith and Amazon.

It is on sale now and is £5.99.