Welcome to another edition of 7 questions. This time we have a writer/artist. The upside down photo is deliberate we think. It’s 7 Questions With… Liam Naughton.
What was the first comic work you did that was published?
I think it was probably a short comic for a group called “Zenpop” in 2010. It was either a comic about coffee where grown men act like fools and cry or a science fiction comic called “The Living Thirteen”. Either way it would’ve been excessively silly.
What is the biggest thing you have learned since that book?
To continue to move, despite the tiny voice in my head that tells me I’m no good. Also, to keep putting one foot in front of the other and to keep putting lines on the paper no matter what.
What’s your process for drawing a comic book?
It changes in a lot of little ways from comic to comic but it all hinges on the storyboard for me. When writing for myself, I write dialogue directly onto storyboards so that I’m kind of handling everything at once. But if I’m drawing for someone else, I still have to do it to get a clear idea of the book in my head.
After that it’s maddeningly simple. I draw and ink pages traditionally and apply lettering and grey tones on the computer. Except for “The Grave”, of course, where the colour and lettering was handled by the amazing Chris O’Halloran and Robin Jones respectively.
What is the biggest influence on your work?
Well, I pick up bits and pieces from everywhere really. But a major influence for me would be Shotaro Ishinomori, the creator of Cyborg 009 and countless other manga from the 60s into the 80s. Not only the writing and drawing style but especially the page compositions of his late work, had a huge effect on me. He has had these segments that were just spread after spread filled with panels running from the tops to the bottoms of pages with crosshatched drawings of powerful scenes, with these crazy images like the birth of the world, the formation of planets, roaring volcanoes and tidal waves, protagonists tumbling into endless voids outside of time and space and into their own minds. Trippy stuff.
What are you working on right now?
Right now I am working on a comic of my own tentatively titled “Re:Grow”. It is the story of Elisabeth Baker, a surgeon who experiments on herself and becomes immortal. It will likely be a digital release but I haven’t really decided yet. The first part is a handful of pages away from being ready.
Right now I have a book out with the good people of Quiet Hell Comics titled “The Grave”,
a horror story based on the H.P. Lovecraft short “The Statment of Randolf Carter”. It was written by Jason Browne, and, as I mentioned above coloured and lettered by Chris O’Halloran and Robin Jones. Oh, and I penciled and inked it. I’m actually super excited about this book. It has a wonderful script and the work done by Chris and Robin was just fantastic. When I saw the finished pages I squealed like a little girl, I have to say.
The comic is available on Comixology for only €1.99.
What is your favourite Irish comic?
I really like Sarah Bowies work and basically every time John Cullen puts pencil to paper. It’s so good it doesn’t even count as comics and should be categorized as magic tricks.