Hello and welcome to this week’s installment of “British Showcase!” Each week will be taking a look at some of the best British talent working in comics. We will focus on an individual, a company or comic book of distinction. Up next we have an interview with the unique and talented Scott Twells. Scott really is a true renaissance man who can write, draw, color and letter, he is a one stop comic book making machine so let’s jump into the interview to find out what drives him.
- Hi Scott, many thanks for taking time out of you busy schedule to talk to us! Can you start by telling us a little about yourself and your first baptism into comics?
No problem! Well, I’m just a regular guy who likes to make art and music. I was born in the UK midlands many moons ago in a small village. I was first introduced to comics back in the 80’s, Marvel UK’s Transformers being one that sticks in my mind. Artists like Geoff Senior and Lew Stringer were influential to me in those days. An art teacher at school introduced me to artists like Robert Crumb and Gilbert Shelton. When I discovered 2000 AD (prog 631 I think, it had a Zeppelin on the cover if memory serves) that opened my eyes to a whole new way of telling stories.
- You have a very unique style of artwork. How would you describe you style of art?
Almost everyone I admire art wise says to go your own way, develop your own style and all that. Plagiarism being one of my hot buttons, I try and strike a balance midway between a cartoony and painterly style, but without being overly one or the other. Although over thinking your style is a no no… apparently.
- What projects do you have in the pipeline, comic book or otherwise?
I’m in the process of putting together a book of random art from my webcomic anthology (www.busyslacker.com), I’ve just done a bunch of pages for a comic that first timer Austin Allen Hamblin is putting out, I’m making a line of T-shirts and also maintaining Busy Slacker. Also I’m recording a new album as one of my electronic alias’s, Ay Yo Volcano. So fairly active over the next few months.
- Sounds great, so what advice do you have for inspiring artists out there, comic book or otherwise?
Just find your own style, follow your instinct and be professional and punctual with the work you do. But saying that I’ll be lucky to be cult I’m so underground, so don’t listen to me!
- All your artwork has beautiful and interesting coloring, do you do all your own coloring?
Yeah, pretty much. I use the four “p’s”; paper, pencils , pens and paint. These days it’s acrylic, but I used to use a lot of water color back in the day. I love Bill Wattersons painted art, and would rather be nearer to that than say Bisley or whoever.
- Being an artist, comic book or otherwise is a great challenge. The hours are long, the rewards are few and the market is competitive. What are/or have been your greatest challenges and how do you overcome them?
As you say, long hours for little rewards is challenging enough in itself. You have to really love the medium and be willing to put in the time and effort on a day to day basis. Other challenges are easier to work through, for instance the many issues you can find in scripts (Mentioning no names,) but never under estimate the power of a 2nd and 3rd draft. Being a writer too I soon learned that one the hard way.
- What is your ultimate dream job in comics, who would you most like to work with and why?
I think my dream job in comics would be working on something in 2000AD, I grew up with it and it means a lot to me. But I’d be too intimidated to work with the big names like Mills and Wagner. Al Ewing and Si Spurrier are two of the most exciting voices I’d want to work with there. Either that or get some success on one of my own stories. The big franchise characters don’t interest me at all.
Great stuff Scott. Many thanks for sharing with us and we look forward to your future projects. For more information about Scott and his projects, you can visit Busy Slacker comics at their website here.