Brighton, England native, Markk Carrington, better known by as anaseed, is an artist and podcaster using bright and bold renditions of his favorite tokusatsu heroes.
Where did you grow up and how did start creating art?
I grew up in the British seaside town of Brighton (where I still live, it’s a nice place).
From a really young age, as far back as I can remember, I’ve always read comics. They really spurred me on to try telling stories through pictures and draw my favorite characters. As it happens one of the earliest characters I remember creating was some sort of dark green Power Ranger, which I think I modeled off of a bootleg toy.
How did you come across tokusatsu? Do you have a favorite series?
It’s been ever present in my life in a way. I was 4 when [Mighty Morphin Power Rangers] aired originally and In never really stopped watching it. But my eyes were opened further upon going to a small Japanese festival at a local church– I must have been 12 or 13.
There was a table selling books and videos, among them were some Kamen Rider and Ultraman merch (that I still have!). I got them thinking,“This looks an awful lot like Power Rangers.”
After that, I was hooked! I’ve kept up with both Kamen Rider and Sentai ever since, as well as indulging in some older/ non-toei series.
In terms of a favorite series, it’s probably Dekaranger. That’s the Super Sentai series I first got into as it was airing in Japan, so it’s got a special place in my heart. That and the designs in Dekaranger are among my favorite. Everything about it is just so visually appealing!
What influenced your specific art style?
Mostly Dragon Ball, as well as tokusatsu, it’s been something that’s been pretty constant in my life. Although I never really emulated the style, or not for very long at least, it definitely left its mark. British 90s comics are another big influence. There’s just something about them. The styles in weekly comics like Deadline (original home of Tank Girl) were so bold and unique. I like to think my work channels that vibe a bit.
Do you have a favorite medium you like working with?
There’s a few things I favor over others: a brush pen, a fountain pen, and grey marker pens. Generally, I prefer using traditional mediums. It means you don’t really have an excuse not to draw most of time!
It’s easy to keep a small sketchbook and pen on you at all times.
I’ve never been too keen on digital. Even though I color a lot of my work digitally, I like to keep it simple- pretty much just flat color.
Can you walk us through the process when creating your comics?
My process is pretty haphazard. I don’t like to plan things too much. I’ll normally start off which a vague idea and start sketching out a character or two. Then I’ll jump straight in with a few rough layouts and get some pages done. If it doesn’t really work out, I’ll trying something else.
I normally end up going to back to projects if they don’t work out first time round. I tend to not write scripts either, unless it’s a big scene. It makes speech seem more natural that way– or at least, that’s what I tell myself.
What was the inspiration behind your tokusatsu card game? Is it available to purchase and play?
I love card games.
And I love tokusatsu.
The two were bound to meet at some point.
But it almost happened by accident. For a number of years I’ve been wanted to produce a game, but I was struggling with a theme. Bear with me, this link is going to become slightly convoluted.
I’m fascinated by local heroes. They’re great! Some of them have fantastic designs. I’ve designed one myself, Cyber Silva, whom I’ve made a costume for, but haven’t really done anything with. [He]features in the card game. (See? Bit convoluted.)
Last year, the local heroes had a promotion going on in convenience stores across Japan [and] I think they were cards? Or stickers? They had these cute SD [Super Deformed] illustrations of heroes on them and they looked neat. Inspired by that, I decided to draw my own toku hero characters in an SD style then that spawned the idea of putting them on cards! And thus Hero Booster was born.
It’s not for sale yet, but hopefully by the summer it will be available to buy and play. I just need to work out the kinks and give it a test run first!
Do you have any upcoming projects you’d like to share?
Everything I’m currently working is very much in early stages at the moment. I decided that this year I wanted to work on new things to mix things up a bit, but that ended up being more daunting than I thought it would be.
Something I’d like to very soon however is make a short comic to accompany my card game, Hero Booster.