QUICK QUESTIONS WITH Davy Francis

Davy Francis

Davy Francis


WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT IS YOUR CONNECTION TO COMICS?
I’m Davy Francis, I’m a comic creator and I’ve worked on Monster Fun, Oink,
Ximoc, Red Dwarf Smegazine, 3D Comicsagogo, The Big Book of Urban
Myths,Holy Cross, Gas, Brain Damage, Henri Hippo, Screw the Bap and Head the
Ball and many more.
WHAT COMIC ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?
I’m working on a graphic novel called ‘Thunderbags’.It’s like a not very good Justice
League, but hopefully it’s funny.
WHAT’S THE BEST PART OF MAKING COMICS?
I love working out the plot of a comic, I love when it all clicks together
but I love the drawing too and when it’s all finished, man, there’s no other feeling like
it.
WHAT’S THE WORST PART OF MAKING COMICS?
When you have to do something you have no interest in doing and wondering how
you ever got sucked into it (doesn’t happen very often).
HOW DID YOU FIRST DISCOVER COMICS?
We always read in our house, we are all still big readers and comics were just a
natural part of that.I got turned onto them in a big way when my uncle in Canada
used to send the Sunday section of the colour funnies, Nancy, Dick Tracy, that sort of
thing.
WHO IS THE BIGGEST INFLUENCE ON YOUR WORK?
Too many to say-Will Elder, Wally Wood, Will Eisner, all the Mad artists, Basil
Woolverton, Ernie Bushmiller (his mother was from Belfast), Curt Swann (his first
paid gig was in Belfast during the war), Rowel Friers, Gilbert Shelton, Ken Reid, Leo
Baxendale. If I could draw like any one of them I’d be happy.
WHAT TOOLS OF THE TRADE DO YOU USE?
I switched from Rotrings to dip nibs about 25 years ago and it was the best thing I
ever did, they are fantastic for giving such a variety of line.A lot of people try either
the wee crappy nibs that split as soon as you press on them, or calligraphy nibs that
have no flexibility at all.Thye really are worth investigating.I have nibs I bought 25
years ago and I’m still using them. Also, black ink helps.And Tippex.
WHAT IS THE SINGLE WORK OF WHICH YOU ARE MOST PROUD?
I have a little drawing of my daughter in the house I drew before I had my eye
removed (due to cancer) five years ago.It’s not the greatest thing I’v ever drawn
but it means a lot to me as it’s my last ‘two-eyed cartoon’.
WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE RECEIVED?
‘You want to try dip nibs, Davy, thye’re laavely’-Ed McHenry, Oink cartoonist.
WHAT IS THE WORST ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?
I was advised by art college tutors to give up drawing comics and cartoons and try
fine art.I couldn’t do it-it would have been like cutting an arm off.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE CURRENT IRISH COMIC SCENE?
I think it’s wonderful to see so much self-publishing and people going for it, and so
many young women doing comics too. When I started doing comics, there were very
few comics being produced in Ireland.I wrote a letter to ‘Nemo’ complaining that I
lived in a ‘comics wasteland’.I couldn’t say that now, it’s brilliant to see it.
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE HAPPEN IN IRISH COMIC IN THE
NEAR FUTURE?
I’d like to see a few Holywood blockbusters being made of some the great Irish
comics like Sancho. That would be cool.
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE HAPPEN IN COMICS IN GENERAL
IN THE NEAR FUTURE?
I’d like to see more variety and less superhero stuff.If
you look at the French comics, they have a huge wealth of great comics, and so many
genres.
WHAT WAS THE LAST COMIC THAT MADE AN IMPACT ON YOU?
I loved Kick Ass, it had a very indie feel about it, it was funny ,and such gorgeous
artwork!
FROM YOUR EXPERIENCE WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU COULD
GIVE SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO START MAKING THEIR OWN
COMICS? (And don’t say DON’T )
Don’t be afraid to ask people what they think of your work, and don’t get upset when
they give you criticism.It takes time and effort, but it is worth it. Learn by reading
and examining comics. Drawing comics is like running or cycling-you have to keep
exercising your muscles, so try and draw as often as possible.Be inventive and use
your imagination, and don’t afraid to be different.
ANY FINAL THOUGHTS?
Don’t be afraid to makes mistakes, everybody does but you will learn from them.
Keep sending your work off to magazines or whoever you think will use it.Don’t ever
miss a deadline.
Davy Francis is a comic creator who has worked on Monster Fun, Oink,
Ximoc, Red Dwarf Smegazine, 3D Comicsagogo, The Big Book of Urban
Myths,Holy Cross, Gas, Brain Damage, Henri Hippo, Screw the Bap and Head the
Ball and many more.