Today we are talking with David Lloyd, best known for his work on the ‘V for Vendetta’ comic book series. Lloyd is the creator of the graphic novel ‘Kickback,’ which is available on iTunes ( http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/kickback-crime-noir-thriller/id511224450?mt=8 ) and Dark Horse ( http://www.darkhorse.com/Books/Previews/10-620?page=0 )
Image from Darkhorse.com
What was your first paying job in the Comic Book Industry?
It wasn’t in the industry per se – it was for White Dwarf, the games magazine, way back in the mid-70’s. I showed them some samples of my art and I mentioned my interest in drawing comics too, and they liked the idea of having a strip in the magazine, so I did one for them called Kalgar – a warrior atyle character I’d created some years before as a projected newspaper strip. I wasn’t paid much for it, and only did it for a while. This was really before my career in the business began – at the time I was working part-time as a painter and decorator.
What lessons did you learn from this first job that you believe every artist should know?
Nothing really. I’d trained earlier as an artist in the advertising business, and I’d practiced drawing strips for many years beforehand, so I had all the tools at my command to do work like that. It didn’t teach me anything I didn’t know already.
Image from Darkhorse.com
Can you tell us a little bit about your graphic novel, Kickback?
It’s a story about a corrupt policeman in a corrupt police force, who decides to change his way of life, and why he does that. And it explores the subject of why we – all of us – are so easily tempted to do wrong things. What is it inside us which leads us to do that? If we all just did what we knew was good for society as a whole and not just for our own benefit, we would have a great world to live in instead of this mess. I always wanted to do a graphic novel that was like my favourite crime movies – which are of a certain style and pace – and Kickback is the realization of that ambition. Movies like Dirty Harry, Point Blank, Bullitt, Prime Cut, Hickey and Boggs, The Outfit, and tv series like Naked City are it’s inspiration.
Kickback was originally released a few years back as a traditional graphic novel. Recently it has been released as a digital graphic novel, available on iPad. What are your thoughts on the way comic books are becoming more accessible on digital devices? Do you see it as a curse, blessing, or mixed blessing?
The first time I saw some of my art on a computer screen way back, I was impressed with how good it looked – the luminescence of the screen and the faithful way it reproduced and enhanced the colour. So I think comic art on screen looks good, and can still tells it’s story just as well as on the printed page as long as it is properly and intelligently formatted to the medium it appears on.
I’m not interested very much in attaching tricks like limited movement and such, as is done in some forms of it, because half-animation concepts don’t attract me. I like animation and I like still-picture sequential storytelling – I’ve seen little between the two that looks good to me, but then maybe someone will come up with something that has sufficient aesthetic value to win me over. I’m currently involved with a project that puts comic art on screen but I can’t tell you much about that yet.
Today there are so many programs and tools, such as Photoshop and digital pads, available for artists to create and refine their work. Are there any programs or tools that you use today that wasn’t available when you first entered the Industry?
Yes, Photoshop. And all the basics of computer use. I don’t draw directly digitally though, apart from just some playing around with a mouse and tablet I did in the past. I do admire some of the proponents of digital art I’ve seen, though, and, who knows, I may do more myself in the future. But I love the tactile qualities inherent to the use of pen pencil and brush on paper, though. It’s almost sculptural – and I’m sure I’d miss using them.
Anything you would like to add?
Thanks for your interest in my work 🙂