Martin from Blank Slate Books sent over Nick Edwards latest work, a comic entitled Dinopopolous – and I think Nick is a genius! While he’s still studying, he’s also balancing it with professional illustration works for clients.
Read on for a quick little interview I did with him:
Could you tell us a little bit about yourself, and how you got into comics?
My name is Nick Edwards and I am currently studying Illustration at Brighton. I got into comics when I was about 11 and a friend in the year above lent me a copy of Squee (issue four) and it blew my mind. I’d read a lot of superhero comics up until that point, but a B&W comic made by just one person was just so appealing to me. I immediately started making my own terrible comics, done just in pencil. With the help of the internet I learnt a lot more about craft and got feedback on my work. Later on alt comics by people like Jim Woodring, Crumb and Dave Cooper mixed with other lively “all-ages” comics like Tintin, Krazy Kat and Dragon Ball (to name a few) would really influenced my way of thinking about comics.
I just read your latest comic – Dinopopolous. Could you tell me how the idea for the story came about?
I’d been doodling this boy and his dinosaur character for a while and when I heard from Blank Slate that they wanted to publish a comic by me I just grabbed that idea and ran with it. Most of the comic is planned, but long stretches were just made up on the spot. I like working that way. I hope it reads as being energetic and packed with detail as I intended.
What’s your process like, and what/who are you inspired by?
I tend to doodle and sketch around characters and stories for a while. It can take a year or a few months to nail a story down in my head. When I’ve got some of it laid out I tackle each page as it comes, changing things all the time. I use a mechanical pencil and a Hunt 102 nib with india ink. I’m very inspired by the comic artists I mentioned earlier, but I really love film, cartoons and music just as much as I love comics. Recently I’ve been re-watching Jim Henson’s Labyrinth and Dark Crystal, which are completely insane and incredible. I’ve also been listening to a lot of metal like Melvins, Metallica, Sabbath and Sleep.
You’re currently studying while illustrating professionally. How do you juggle the two?
With difficulty! I’ve really been feeling it recently. I’m not in a position where I can turn down jobs, so doing both successfully just means I can’t play as much videogames and drink as much beer. Real first world problems.
You’ve worked on character design for Disney TV and also published titles under small publishers – which is your favorite project so far and why?
I think Dinopopolous just because it’s mine. One of the best things about small press comics is the amount of creative control. Johnny Ryan’s “Prison Pit” is a good example of something that couldn’t really exist anywhere else (although it’d make an awesome animation) and its entirely his creation and his amazingly violent and filthy mind. The project I’m most excited about, though, is always my next project. If all goes well it’ll be a story about a beetle in a vast unforgiving universe with lots of monsters and jungles and lazer swords.
Can you email us a picture (or two) of your working studio? And perhaps a few shots of your sketchbooks?
What advice do you have for people who are looking to follow in your footsteps?
The usual. Draw every day. Draw for yourself. Keep healthy. Don’t listen to the haters and don’t believe the hype! Also watch a lot of cartoons and buy lots of comics.
You can get flip through a preview and pre-order Nick’s latest comic – Dinopopolous over at Blank Slate Books !