Tell us a bit about yourself – how did you get started in comics?
I have always loved comics as long s as I can remember and by the age of 10 I had pretty much decided that was all I wanted to do for a career. I had a few diversions after art college – being in bands, working as a graphic designer and working in comics shops and a comics distribution company but I have always circled back to comics. In the 90s I started self publishing after being inspired by the series of essays Dave Sim wrote in Cerebus which I did with my writing partner Martin Shipp for three years. My work got seen by Shelly Bond at DC/Vertigo and I was offered work on The Dreaming which led to drawing Howard Chaykin’s American Century for two years. Since then I have worked with some of the best writers in the industry and drawn for Boom, Dynamite, Valliant, Dark Horse, IDW, Ubisoft, Marvel, DC and Humanoids – I have been lucky enough to be in work almost continually and have several creator owned projects lined up in the future.
What is it about comics that you love?
I fell in love with comics very young reading Playhour and Yogi Bear comics. I was very much encouraged to read by my parents and they happily bought me books and comics and the habit stuck long after many of my friends had stopped (this was the 70s when every kid read comics until they went to secondary school), Comics that had a big influence on me growing up were Countdown/TV Action, Planet Of The Apes, Star Wars Weekly, UK Marvels, Warlord, Bullet, Asterix, Tintin, Conan The Barbarian, Action, 2000ad, Warrior and Bill Sienkiewicz’s work on Moon Knight the list could go on and on…
I’ve long been a fan of your work, and have often remarked that most artists would be satisfied handing in the roughs and pencils you post on Twitter. What is it that drives you to aim for perfection? And what sort of training and discipline did that level of mastery require?
Sheer stupidity probably 😉 I was brought up on UK weekly comics and the wonderful work of artists like Frank Bellamy, Brian Bolland, Gary Leach and these guys all set the bar very high and made beautiful looking comics. This was what I thought the average comic looked like so that’s always been the standard I have aimed for. I later discovered the Studio artists Barry Windsor-Smith, Michael Kaluta, Jeffrey Catherine Jones and Bernie Wrightson, Blueberry by Jean Giraud who were all making extraordinary looking comics and this is art I feel I have to live up to, I’m not sure I get close but I try. In terms of discipline it is always striving to be better and not being satisfied with my work if I haven’t pushed myself to get there.
What are you working on right now / what do you have coming out this year?
For the last two years I’ve been doing Star Wars Covers for Marvel and James Bond & Dejah Thoris covers for Dynamite and finishing up drawing the long form Graphic Novel ‘Eden’ for Humanoids written by Christopher Sebella. After that I’m working on another Graphic Novel with writer Nate Cosby.
What will you have for sale at the show?
At the show I will have a selection of trade paperbacks and Hardcovers of work that have been published in the last few years, some signed comics, limited edition prints and art books for sale. I will also be taking a few commissions over the two days and doing remarks.