Jessica Martin is an artiste in the broadest sense of the word. She began her professional career as a performer. She was singing professionally with her father, jazz pianist Ido Martin, from the tender age of sixteen. After graduating from London University with an honours degree in English and Drama she found herself performing on the comedy fringe circuit as an impressionist with the likes of Rory Bremner and Harry Enfield. This quickly led to a successful television career as an impressionist on shows such as “Copycats” and “Spitting Image”. One of Jessica’s proudest moments was performing on the Royal Variety Show as her idol Judy Garland. She also starred in a Doctor Who story portraying an intergalactic werewolf in “The Greatest Show in the Galaxy” with Sylvester McCoy.
Jessica crossed over to the world of musical theatre where she played many leading roles, most notably Sally Smith in the Thirties musical “Me and My Girl” at the Adelphi Theatre. She also starred in several shows that celebrated the golden age of Hollywood including “Mack and Mabel”, “Sunset Boulevard” and her own one woman show “Sunset Bitch” about a fictitious Hollywood diva who remembrances are peppered with impressions of Hollywood legends.
In recent years Jessica rediscovered her latent drawing skills and has become an obsessive sketcher! She has now turned her storytelling and observational skills to writing and illustrating comics. Her main themes are film history and stories with a strong female protagonist. Her first published work was a short story illustrated by Mark Buckingham for the Thought Bubble anthology 2013. Jessica’s first mini comic “It Girl” based on the life of Clara Bow, was self published last year and was selected as one of the “Ten Must Own Comics of 2013” by Broken Frontier Press.
Her graphic novel in progress, “Elsie Harris Picture Palace” set in the Thirties film industry was recently shortlisted for the Myriad Editions First Graphic Novel Prize.
Jessica’s next published work will be art for the “To End All Wars” anthology published by Soaring Penguin Press and a complete comic story for “To Arms”, another World War One graphic anthology.
She is also creating a short comic about another favourite movie star Vivien Leigh entitled “Vivacity” to be published in November.
She also creates portraits of her favourite film stars in mixed media. The “Filmique” collection of postcards and prints is available from her website and on sale at the BFI Bookshop London.
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