Today marks the start of a new occasional feature on the blog, New Cartoonist, where we introduce you to some of the fine new talent we keep seeing on the scene and put the same set of questions to each of them, as well as showing a self-contained one-page example of their work – hopefully you’ll find someone new to you that catches your reading attention (and yes, if there is someone out there you think might make a good subject, do let us know, we are always open to suggestions). I’m delighted to say Daniel Humphry and Will Elliott have kindly agreed to take the time to be our very first New Cartoonist guests:
FPI: Could you introduce yourself and tell us how long you have been creating comics and illustration?
Daniel: Hello. I’m Daniel and I’ve been writing comic scripts for about two years. God, does that sound like an AA introduction? Anyhow I can’t draw and I normally earn coins in the murky world of journalism.
Will: And my name is Will. I’ve been drawing comics since long before my voice dropped and I got my first pubic hair (last Wednesday). I honestly can’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t drawing comics – it just naturally progressed from the margins of textbooks onto A2 Bristol board.
FPI: What influences have inspired you in the medium?
Daniel: For me it’s the slice-of-life writers like Clowes, Burns and Tomine. I like writers who can romanticise something one sentence and then punch you in the gut the next.
Will: Growing up it was the typical kid’s fare – the Beano, Asterix, Tintin, etc – that encouraged me to whip out the felt tips and get scrawling. These days I’m wowed on a daily basis by the myriad of talented artists and writers out there. Whatever I’m currently into seems to leach its way into my drawings.
FPI: What work have you put out so far and what plans do you have for future comics works? Is this a project you work on in your spare time or are you a full-time illustrator or writer?
Daniel: This piece is really one of the first few of mine that I’m happy to put out there – so I’m hoping publishers see this and are keen for more as I’ve a drawer full of scripts at home. I’m also starting a street press comic magazine over at OFFLIFE.co.uk that will feature selected stories from talented newcomers and be distributed free in bars/shops throughout the country come September. Sorry for the cheap plug!
Will: I currently work a 9-5 and draw full-time in my spare time. I run a webcomic (warning, puerile subject matter) with a friend, and I have a tumblr. Aside from that, I haven’t put myself out there that much…probably because I’m a bit intimidated by the crazy volume of talent out there. Collaborating with Dan was a blast, though, and I’m looking forward to working with him more in future.
FPI: What comics are you reading at the moment? Is there someone you’d especially recommend others have a look at?
Daniel: I’ve been finally buffing up on my modern UK comic creators thanks to Blank Slate’s Nelson. It’s lead me down a black hole of seriously talented artists like Jamie Smart, Luke Pearson and Adam Cadwell. My poor paypal account.
Will: I wholeheartedly second Nelson. It was great to discover some brilliant artists alongside my established favourites like John Allison and Warwick Johnson-Cadwell. Also, everyone needs to pay close attention to the self-published work of Becky Cloonan, which is really inspiring stuff, and keep a keen eye on Michael DeForge’s ‘Lose’ series.
(some frames from Warwick Johnson-Cadwell’s Nelson pages, published by Blank Slate Books)
FPI: Can you tell us a little about the strip you’re sharing with us today
Daniel: Well I wrote it after having neighbours who seemed to be loudly renovating their house for about a year but upon moving out the place was completely untouched. It was odd, what the hell were they doing in there? In comics I like to skew everyday situations with a little dark humour so this was perfect inspiration. Around the same time Will contacted me about collaborating on some of my scripts and, well, this is our first result.
Will: I was a bit out of my comfort zone drawing within the parameters of a ‘standard’ comics page, but I think it turned out okay! It’s all pen on paper, with some very minor digital tweaks. As I said, I work full time, so I snatch whatever time I can to draw – a lot of this one was drawn and inked on the bus to work. I probably got some odd looks.
(Loud Neighbours by and (c) Daniel Humphry and Will Elliott, click for the larger image)
FPI would like to thank Daniel and Will for taking time to talk to us – you can follow Daniel here on Twitter (check his OffLife project details here) and Will here, with more of his art (including some delightfully bad taste gags) on his website.