HOW COMICS WORK - MY INTERVIEW WITH DAVE GIBBONS

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How Comics Work By Dave Gibbons & Tim Pilcher 'How Comics Work' is a 192 page illustrative guide that tells you what it takes to sit down and actually create a comic book. Well, it isn't a very easy thing to do! Just ask Dave Gibbons, one of the authors behind this guide, as he'd tell you what you need to know to create a comic book. Better yet, why not check out the following interview I did with him? Trust me, Dave is a really great guy, and he should know, as he told me so himself. Ha!





1) Tell us a little bit about yourself, Mister Gibbons?   I've worked in the comic book industry for over 40 years, and I'm probably best known for my work on Watchmen with Alan Moore, Green Lantern for DC, as well as for my time drawing and lettering numerous books for 2000AD. When I'm not working I have the usual family life in London, with a wife, some pets, a house, and that sort of thing.

2) What inspired you to create, ‘How Comics Work’, and how did you end up working with Tim Pilcher?   Tim and I have known each other for a long time now, and we're both big fans of the comic book medium. As a matter a fact, Tim's had a fairly long career in mainstream publishing and worked on a number of books about comics.

Green Lantern By Dave GibbonsNow if I remember rightly he approached me with the idea of doing a 'How To' book, which was something I've been wanting to work on for quite some time. This also meant that he would be doing the lion-share of the work as he would be the one to put it together for the publishers, but only after carrying out a series of interviews with me in my studio.

3) In your own words how would you describe this book?   Primarily I think this is the type of book for people who want to work in the comic book industry, especially if they want to write, draw, color, or letter them. Fans of the form should also find it very interesting, just so they can discover about what actually goes on behind the scenes. Although, having said all that, that's not to say that the general reader wouldn't likewise appreciate a different take on such a creative field.

From my point of view it's not like any other 'How To' book out there, and doesn't really focus on anatomy, materials, composition, or perspective, even though it does touch upon all of these artistic aspects. It truly is a glimpse about what it's like working in comics.

4) What song do you think would best represent this book and why?   Wow! That question has taken me by surprise. Though I suppose the best thing to choose would be something benign like 'My Way' by Frank Sinatra. Or I could also choose 'Life's Been Good' by Joe Walsh because the books a little bit like that.




Doctor Who By Dave Gibbons
5) If you could get a celebrity – either living or dead – to promote your wares, who would you choose, and why would you want to choose this particular person?   I should really choose someone who's pretty well known in the comic book field as well as someone who I admire as an artist. Jack Kirby and Will Eisner both spring to mind, because aiming high is something I've always believed in, ha!

6) During your time in this field, what is the one thing that has kept you in good stead?   I always say there are three qualities which you only need two of to work in comics. One: You've got to be really-really good as that way people will always want to work with you. Two: You need to be reliable because publishers normally work on a time-table. You know the old saying: Do you want it to be good or do you want it by Tuesday? Most publishers would want it by Tuesday. This is also good creatively as the time constraint can concentrate the mind and give you some focus. And Three: You have to be a really nice person because it is a business where you're interacting with other people, even if it is over the phone or the internet.

7) If you had a personal motto, what would it be?   The school I used to go to had a Latin motto that read, 'La Mediocre Firma', which means, 'The middle way is the firmest'. I also learnt Eastern philosophy so I know there's talk of the middle way there, particularly in the way someone conducts themselves, by positioning themselves in the middle so they can branch out either left or right when needed. So yeah, my old school motto can be mine, too.


And on that note, I'd like to thank Mister Gibbons for telling us about his new book, 'How Comics Work', before directing you towards his official website and twitter pages. And while you're at it, please don't forget to pick yourself up a copy via either Amazon or Quarto Books. Priced at £16.99, I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

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