Where were you born? Where did you grow up?
I was born in a suburb of Chicago, moved to Britain when I was 16, and have happily resided here ever since.
Schooling? Art training?
I have a degree in Graphic Design and Illustration, although the kind of art I was interested in was frowned upon by most tutors. It was still a valuable experience, even if mainly an oppositional one.
How long have you been working professionally in comics?
I have been working in comics and computer games for over 10 years.
What things — both in art and otherwise — have you worked on, besides comics? Are comics a full-time gig for you or part-time?
Comics are a relatively small proportion of my work. I’ve worked for 2000AD, and am currently drawing the independent title ‘Miranda’ for Comeuppance Comics, but the majority of my work has been for computer games. I have just recently gone freelance full-time however, and so this has shifted to book covers and card game illustration. The actual use of the illustration doesn’t matter as much to me as the exercise in imagination it allows.
Talk about how you broke into the business –was it easy? Hard? Ups? Downs? Any interesting anecdotes? When you held your first published work in your hands, how did you feel?
I’m not sure if you get many anecdotes in such a long distance profession. Shortly after graduation, I got my first games job and David Bishop, then editor at 2000AD, began to try me out on spec scripts. It was great to see the work in print, but to avoid complications, I worked out a pseudonym.
Only hiccup was that David could never quite remember what the pseudonym was, made one of his own, and would in turn forget what that was for the next script. I was Nigel Brant, Nial Brandt, etc. It was only when a mate of mine showed me what anagrams could genuinely be made out of my name that I appreciated it.
Did you work as an assistant to any other artists? If so, please talk a bit about those experiences.
I have been very fortunate to have had the friendship and advice of one my favorite artists since I was 15, but he is very protective of his privacy – so I’m afraid I can’t say who it is! Sorry.
How did your parents take to the idea of working in comics?
My parents have always pretty much left me to my own devices on that front. I think I was always drawing so much they had long ago come to the conclusion I’d be an illustrator anyway.
How would you describe your workspace? Is it part of your home, or do you go “to the studio”?
I work in my living room at the moment! It works well though, I’m with my family all day and can listen to the TV and radio.
What job are you the proudest of? What’s your most embarrassing?
Ah, I’m least embarrassed by my Companion Piece cover and most embarrassed by a job I did for 2000AD – my first color job. The first page I actually like, but then I felt under a lot of (self-generated) pressure and the wheels came off. I think this happens to many artists in the early days’
What are you currently drawing? Comments on that project?
Lots of illustrations for collectable card games for various companies. I like these briefs a lot actually – they are normally very exciting subjects and you really get to let rip. I’m also doing the covers for a new series of novels from The Prisoner TV show. And drawing the last issue of Miranda for Comeuppance Comics.
Talk about your Family: Parents, siblings, home situation. Are you Married? Have kids? Anecdotes about married life, how it relates to your busy schedule, etc. If you have kids do they understand your job? What do they say about it? Do they read comics?
I am married, met my wife Charis on an art course, we have a son, Reilly, aged 3, and a little girl is expected any day now!
What projects do you hope to work on in the future?
More of the same, please! I’d like to do more covers as well, especially in comics.
Where do you see yourself in five years? ten?
Stop it, you’re scaring me.
What is the interest in comics where you live? Do friends and neighbors know you draw comics for a living? How do they react?
I’m quite glad that the vast majority of my friends and neighbours aren’t interested in comics. I’m equally indifferent to their adjusting insurance claims or whatever.
What’s 1 thing you’ll always find in your refrigerator?
Um, milk. Now if you’d asked about my kitchen cupboard, therein lies a tale’
What’s your favorite food?
What are your favorite interests –Movies? Music? TV? Any hobbies? Sports?
Not surprisingly, I love fantasy film and television. Love sci-fi, big Doctor Who fan. I’m also into Psychology in a big way.
Have you ever thought of writing your own stories?
Definitely, I think I will quite soon. The only published story I wrote was a Futureshock for 2000AD called ‘Hunger For Glory’, but I’m always having ideas. I have the good fortune of being friends with quite a few accomplished writers, and I’d like to co-write something with them if possible’
Ever been in a gang?
What’s an average day in your life like? Walk us through a typical day.
For good or ill, I don’t have that much of a set routine at the moment. It’s always a balance between family and professional concerns. Then at night I will invent and destroy a new perpetual motion machine or electric car.
Any humorous or interesting anecdotes to tell about the comics business?
Sorry, none at all.
Do you have any great, unsold projects in your files that nobody’s gotten to see published?
I’ve been mulling over a story for years, set in a universe where the mythology of American Christian Fundamentalism is real. It’s a space opera.
(That’s not an attempt at a joke, but maybe it should be’)
If you weren’t a comic-book artist today, what would you be?
Have you taught comic-book art or had any assistants? If so, talk about that.
The single thing you’d most like to be remembered for in your life is…?
All that will last is the love of my family. Awwwwwwwwwwww”.. (true though)
Any closing words for your fans?
If I have any, sorry for my part in the delay on Miranda 4.
5 strips for 2000AD
10 years of producing concept art for various games companies, including Broken Sword 3 for Revolution
Dying Days E-book with Lance Parkin for BBCi
Miranda issues 1, 2, 4, and upcoming 6 for Comeuppance Comics
Companion Piece frontispiece for Telos Publishing
Various cards for Fantasy Flight, AEG, and Z-Man games
Prisoner novel covers