A FILM fanatic has built on the success of his film-making career and published his first comic book.

Steven J R Lawson, who has won numerous awards at film festivals over the last few years, including best director for his fan film Westin Hills, has seen his new publication Night For A Kill hit the shelves for the first time.

The Prudhoe-based film and comic producer is hoping that his recent film success on an international stage will eventually lead to a career in film-making, but for now he’s broadened his horizons with a venture into the land of comic strips.

Steven has also held a masterclass at his old school, Prudhoe Community High School, to share his skills with the younger generation.

The transition from film to comic books was natural for Steven, and adds another element of enjoyment to his sci-fi horror hobby.

“When I was younger I used to read comics such as Oor Wullie, he said. “I never initially thought I would create a comic book, but it just came to me over time.

Steven’s success story started a few years ago when he began entering short films he created on his computer into global competitions.

He said: “I’m chuffed to bits with what I have achieved so far. I have always had a passion for film-making.”

Despite earning dozens of nominations for his work, Steven still creates all of his content from his computer with no professional help provided.

“I use Adobe After Effects to make all of the visuals, he added. “I self taught myself to use the programme. The characters in the comic are 3D models that I photographed at different stages.”

North-East events such as Nerd Fest, hosted at Newcastle’s Boiler Shop, are vital experiences for Steven in his research and work process.

He said: “I’m able to find all sorts of connections and people in the industry when I’m there. The events are a great networking opportunity to get new ideas and meet new people.”

The debut publication Night For A Kill, which is available to read at Prudhoe Library in the town’s Spetchells Centre, follows serial killer Billy Carnage while on death row in America.

Rotting in a cell on death row waiting to die, serial killer Billy Carnage tells the story of his last night of freedom, his last night before he got caught; his last night for a kill.

The publication is based on the award-winning animated short films Easy Prey and Manhunt by the Prudhoe-based LAW5ON STUDIO.

“I was watching a lot of Sin City and drew inspiration from the themes that are used in that a lot,” he added.

‘Only the strongest survive’ is a key theme used throughout the comic and represents a theme of survival of the fittest, Steven said.

“It’s a motivational quote that keeps the same theme recurring throughout.”

When asked what Billy Carnage’s final death row meal would be, Steven said a rare steak couldn’t be more fitting for the serial killer’s tastebuds.

Creating his first comic book has been a long time in the making for the award-winning film maker and something that he hopes to develop further in the future.

Steven added: “The comic book is something that I started many years ago, but kept putting down and I wasn’t able to finish it.

“I had one idea then it just grew and I found myself writing lots of different versions and putting them all together to create one story.

“It’s been a learning process where I have been applying new skills and understanding to use at a later date.

“I am in the process of producing my second comic book now. I don’t have any clear themes as of yet, but I’m excited to see where my imagination takes me.”

One of his latest successes came when he entered his 10th film, Diseased Freaks, into the Best Shorts Festival in California – and the Prudhoe native came way with an award of recognition from the festival.

The post-apocalyptic horror was filmed entirely in Prudhoe, and stars Richard Heslop of Ovingham Drama Group, Samantha Macbeth of Dragon Tale Theatre Group and Molly Page of Prudhoe Castle First School. All proceeds will be going to Prudhoe Youth Charities.

Steven’s films, including the Night For A Kill animation the comic book was based off, can be viewed on his LAW5ON STUDIO YouTube channel.