Inside The Cave With Jordan Thomas

He’s never wanted to be a bastard. Coming in May of 2024 is the newest English crime series from Mad Cave Studios, Mugshots, written by Jordan Thomas (Frank At Home On The Farm), with inks and colors by Berlin-based artist Chris Matthews, and letters by Lucas Gattoni.

Mad Cave Studios’ marketing manager, Maya Lopez, sat down with Mugshots author Jordan Thomas to chat about his inspirations behind the UK-based crime noir, his creative process, the making of Mugshots, and more! Read on for the full interview!

Q: Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions today, Jordan and Chris! Can you please tell us a little bit about yourselves?

JT: My name is Jordan Thomas, I’m an English comic book writer but I currently live in Valencia in Spain. I’ve been writing comics since around 2016 but it’s been my full time job for around 15 months now.

Q: In Mugshots, we follow John Bannan, self-proclaimed bastard and loving uncle who is on the search for his missing niece. What was your biggest inspiration in creating this story?

JT: I’ve always loved crime stories ever since I was little and watching gangster films with my dad that I was way too young for. In terms of films UK crime movies like The Long, Good Friday, Get Carter, Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels, Layer Cake and Snatch are all definite influences on this story. When it comes to comics Criminal by Brubaker and Phillips is huge for me and Darwyn Cooke’s Parker books. But most of all the fact I experience this world growing up as my father was involved in a lot of crime and spent several years in prison probably had the biggest impact on the story.

Q: Can you tell us a bit about your personal connection to Mugshots?

JT: Continuing on from my answer to the previous question my dad was one of the most prominent criminals in the county of Sussex, which contains Brighton where are story is set, whilst I was growing up. So, although there’s nothing autobiographical in here, the kinds of events and the way characters speak and think is all taken from what I’ve seen myself over the course of my life. On a more positive note, the fact that I’ve made this book with Chris, one of my best friends since we were 11-years-old makes it extra special to me.

Q: What initially got you into comics?

JT: It was my dad really. Fittingly, we used to go to Brighton every weekend starting when I was not much more than a baby and we’d go to a place called Dave’s Books and I’d get packs of various trading cards, including all kinds of comics related ones. So, I got to know all the Marvel, DC and even indie characters like Spawn and Evil Ernie that way before getting into the cartoons and ultimately graduating to reading the comics.

Q: Which Mugshots character do you personally connect with the most?

JT: Wow! That’s a loaded question! I don’t really know. They’ve all got bits of me in them for better or worse. I can’t say I personally connect with any one more than the others but the general destruction that comes from the world of crime and how people who never made the choice to be part of that get caught in the crossfire is certainly something I connect with.

Q: In the past, you’ve said that Mugshots is a very personal story to you, featuring locales and people you’ve known growing up. Was there any additional research that went into creating this story?

JT: I’ve always kept notes of local news associated with organized crime in the area. So, the Albanian cartel for example, a lot of what they get up to during the story comes from news stories I’ve read over the years, but in general this was one story I didn’t need to do much research for.

Q: What do you hope for people to take away from reading Mugshots?

JT: I hope the characters really capture people. Good or bad a lot of work went into making them captivating people to spend time with, so if that leads to readers remembering them long after they’ve finished reading the series I’d really like that.

Q: Can you please tell us a bit about your creative process?

JT: I spend way more time thinking than writing. All the various stories I’m working on are always swirling around in my head. Ideas for characters, scenes, dialogue, settings, plot twists… so, I find that the story kind of builds gradually in my mind until I finally sit down to write and then that process is often pretty fast a lot of it is already in place before I actually type any words. I then like to get a first draft of the whole story down before an artist has really gotten to work on it. That way I can go back over everything and make sure it all connects and the motivations of the characters make sense and ultimately the story is a satisfying one.

Q: Do you have any recommendations for readers who are looking for more crime series much like Mugshots?

JT: Anything by Brubaker and Phillips, 100 Bullets, all the Darwyn Cooke Parker books, That Texas Blood, Scalped. There’s loads of great crime comics out there. But they’re normally set in the US, which makes ours a little special.

Q: Who/what are your biggest influences as creators?

JT: Repeating myself but Ed Brubaker, Darwyn Cooke, Jasion Aaron, Brian K Vaughn, Mike Mignola, Rick Remender, Brian Bendis, Alan Moore of course – all of those are huge influences on me in the world of comics. Then there’s all the directors and prose authors; Scorcese, Michael Mann, James Ellroy, Stephen King and Don Winslow.

Q: What are your favorite stories/artists/genres?

JT: I’ve listed an awful lot already but some of my favorite current artists in comics would be Jorge Fornes, Andre Lima, Matteo Scalera, Zoe Thorogood, Greg Smallwood, Martin Simmonds, Tula Lotay, Dan Panosian. I’m currently loving Monstress, Department of Truth and anything Mignola. Genre-wise I’m into anything as long as it’s a good story but I do love historically based stuff to throw something in I haven’t mentioned already.

Q: Any upcoming projects we should know about?

JT: Apart from Mugshots I think I’m sworn to secrecy of everything else. I have some shorts in some anthologies that will be cool, a sci-fi series I’m writing for a publisher that I’m excited about and I’m also writing two new series that me and Chris will do together.

Q: Any cons you’ll be attending in the near future?

JT: I have a very busy April and May for cons. I’ll be in Chicago for C2E2, England for Portsmouth Comic Con and MCM London and Spain for Barcelona Comic Con and

Q: Anything else you’d like to share?

JT: Please check out Mugshots! It’s great, I promise.


Writer, Jordan Thomas
Jordan Thomas hails from the South of England but is currently living in Valencia, Spain. His first published comics work was the 1920s post-war, farm-based horror series, Frank At Home On The Farm. Since then he has written the alien world crime story Weird Work at Image Comics and the dystopian western The Man From Maybe for Oni Press, both with Shaky Kane.


We’ve got a glimpse into the mystery surrounding the disappearance of John Bannan’s niece, Grace. Click through for an extended preview of our upcoming mystery series, Mugshots!

MUGSHOTS #1 is now available for pre-order on the official Mad Cave Studios website, and will be available at your favorite bookstore, local comic shop, and digital comic reader on May 8th, 2024!


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email

Keep Reading