Ferguson’s 7 Questions With… Nathan Stockman

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Up this time we have an artist who just had a series, Reyn, launch with Image Comics. It’s 7 questions with Nathan Stockman.

What was the first comic work you did that was published?

The first ever thing I had published was a pinup in the back of a small press book put out by ID Comics call The Brotherhood.

The first sequential work was a little 9 page story called The Swiss Army Woman in a book called Pulp Girls by Super Real Graphics. It was a fun little story about a woman who’s leg was replaced with a swiss army knife and becomes a secret agent.

What is the biggest thing you have learned since that book?

Those were both a good couple of years back so I hope i’ve learned a lot about storytelling since then. I had the basics but recently I’ve been trying to improve upon my layouts and learning how they can be used to add a lot to the beats of the story. I got a really good critique from Dec Shalvey a few years ago regarding this. I was also working on a book with Jay Faerber at the time. Jay has a lot of experience in the industry and was great at giving me direction and tips on where and how I could improve.

What’s your process for drawing a comic book?

I think my process is pretty much the standard. I’ll read the script through a couple of times. Jotting down notes, or angles of thumbnails the second time around. From there I’ll thumbnail out the whole issue/story so I can see how it reads together.

I’ll do layouts from there and then it’s a back and forth with the writer as we go from the layouts, through to the pencils and then to the inks.

After that I’ll hand over to a colorist. I’ve worked with Paul Little on colours on several projects now so we have a nice working relationship where we’re in pretty close contact. I’m pretty hands off with him though. He knows how to bring out the best in me without me blasting colour notes at him!

I try to keep 9-5 schedule but that rarely pans out.

What is the biggest influence on your work?

I’m a comics nerd from an early age so that has definitely informed my work the most. I bought English reprints of Spider-man from the newsagents for as far back as I can remember. Sal Buscema and Erik Larsen draw my definitive Spidey.

Then, I met John McCrea at a local Cartoonist festival when I was about 9. He was working on The Demon at the time and had a load of original art displayed in the festival’s pop up gallery. It was my first time getting a look inside at how comics were made and I was mesmerized by the whole process. John, Bless him, Was super patient with me and was so personable even though I’m sure I was very annoying and asking a million questions.

So John is probably my biggest influence. I’ve always loved his work. I love artists who have a style where they can inject a bit of humour if they want but still convey great dynamic action and storytelling. Stuart Immonen, Jason Pearson, Ryan Ottley, Artist of that ilk.

I also love animation and film but comics are where the majority of my influences come from.
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What are you working on right now?

I’m currently drawing a series called Reyn for Image Comics with writer Kel Symons, Colourist Paul Little and letterer Pat Brosseau. It’s a new Fantasy/ Adventure book that we’re all really excited about. On the surface it’s going to seem like it’s perhaps going to tread familiar ground in those genres but give it a couple of issues and I think it will surprise (Hopefully in a good way!). I’m really hoping people will try it out. I’m having an absolute blast drawing it. Issue 1 is in stores now.

What do you out now or coming out next?

As well as continuing on with Reyn, I’ve also got a trade collection of a digital first series I did with Jay Faerber called Anti-Hero that’s coming out this February from IDW.
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What is your favourite Irish comic?

My favorite Irish comic is Hitman By Ennis and McCrea. It’s my favorite comic ever full stop.

EXTERNAL LINKS
Nathan Stockman on Twitter: https://twitter.com/StockmanNate