Creator Spotlight 2024 – PAUL FRY

Tell us a bit about yourself – how did you get started in comics?
Practice and persistence.
I was always drawing and always loved comics, so it wasn’t hard to put 2 and 2 together and once I was old enough to realise that drawing comics was a job, that was my goal.
Life takes people in all kind of directions and in my case getting my break took a lot longer than I would have hoped. Confidence being one factor and family priorities the other.
When I was in a position to seriously pursue comics, I was in my 40s and I just went for it. Editors from Marvel and DC used to attend conventions in the UK and I took the opportunity to get my work in front of them when I could.
Moral of the story is to never give up on your dream.
What is it, in particular, about comics that you love?
Everything. It’s a medium that’s able to tell any story and is visually entertaining. As I loved drawing, the art always astounded me and I was left in awe.
Your workshop last year was standing room only! This year you’re doing another (informal!) workshop on hands and faces and I’m looking for a cheeky preview… If you could impart one piece of advice for drawing hands (or faces) what would it be?
I was shocked that so many people turned up last year. That was scary but ended up being such an enjoyable workshop. Im looking forward to this years. Here’s the preview: hands can be difficult but with enough practice you can break it down, like most things, into specific shapes. Don’t forget that reference is always an acceptable way to help with difficult poses and using your own hand is an easy way to check. I like to claw the fingers in a lot of poses to give more of a dynamic look.
I was marvelling at your Spider-Man 2099 pages the other day, and couldn’t decide if your incredible figure work or amazing backgrounds were what most impressed me. How much have you focussed on either or both – were there any artists in particular that you studied?
Why thank you for the kind words. Both figures and backgrounds are important. I would normally concentrate on the figure but in Spider-man 2099, the cyberpunk setting was something I wanted to make sure stood out. This was spiderman in the year 2099, not just spiderman in a spiderman 2099 costume. Once I got those basic shapes broken down for futuristic buildings, there was no stopping me… well no stopping me until the second issue I did took place in a barren landscape!
You’ve worked with some great writers over the last few years – as an artist, what makes for a good writer or script?
Definitely worked with great writers. I’ve been incredibly lucky. I love reading scripts where the writers show their enthusiasm within the script. This comes with reference suggestions, their knowledge of past stories and making sure there are money shot panels that are in the perfect place.
What are you working on right now and what do you have coming out this year?
I just had a couple of Darth Vader issues come out where I helped with a few pages here and there. My main focus has been on a new series for Image Comics called ‘Blood Squad Seven’ with the brilliant writer Joe Casey. The first issue is due out at the end of this month. I’m also working on a short backup story for a Marvel issue (not yet officially announced) and there’s something else in the works for another company ( can’t say any more than that) so I’m extremely busy at the moment, which is great. That’s the problem though with these things, I can’t say anything until an official announcement is made.
What will you have for sale at the show?
I’ll be in artist alley with a few issues for sale, along with prints and I’ll also be taking commissions. Feel free to go to my website https://frysamazingtales.com and contact me if you want to get a headstart and be put on the list. Also, as you mentioned earlier, I’ll will be taking a workshop on the Sunday. It’ll be great to see all the comic book fans as Portsmouth comic con has always been such a great experience.