QUICK QUESTIONS WITH Bob Byrne
WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT IS YOUR CONNECTION TO COMICS?
My name is Bob and I was one of the first chumps to get serious about making Irish comics.
WHAT COMIC ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?
2000AD stories and various ones for my webcomic.
WHAT’S THE BEST PART OF MAKING COMICS?
You can get to work alone.
WHAT’S THE WORST PART OF MAKING COMICS?
Drawing them. The idea is the easy part but drawing them takes ages.
HOW DID YOU FIRST DISCOVER COMICS?
I always loved the British ones back in the 80’s like Buster, Whizzer and Chips etc
WHO IS THE BIGGEST INFLUENCE ON YOUR WORK?
Sergio Aragones from MAD Magazine and El Gran Vazquez, a nutty Spanish artist who didn’t care about his work, just in it for the cash.
WHAT TOOLS OF THE TRADE DO YOU USE?
Wacom Cintiq and Manga Studio.
WHAT IS THE SINGLE WORK OF WHICH YOU ARE MOST PROUD?
I liked the 2000AD story I did about the Jeweller.
WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE RECEIVED?
Always finish your work but know when to walk away from a dopey project.
WHAT IS THE WORST ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?
That good inking can only be done with those dippy nibs or a brush. Lies. You can do it with a marker and fake the tapering lines.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE CURRENT IRISH COMIC SCENE?
Brilliant. I’m amazed at some of the work out there now.
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE HAPPEN IN IRISH COMIC IN THE NEAR FUTURE?
A regular annual anthology of the best work.
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE HAPPEN IN COMICS IN GENERAL IN THE NEAR FUTURE?
I’d like to see more silent comics being made. Most comics with text are silly.
WHAT WAS THE LAST COMIC THAT MADE AN IMPACT ON YOU?
I found an old annual recently in a second hand shop called ‘Astrosniks’ which were a rip off of the Smurfs and I really like the design of their ships and houses.
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 🙂 )
The key to making comics is making comics. Sounds silly but it’s good advice. Lots of people make the same mistake of spending ages on character design etc and then they don’t actually concentrate on the story telling. It’s all about the story telling, not the big gun or fancy hairstyle of your main character.
ANY FINAL THOUGHTS?
Drawing comics is a lonely, sedentary business so be sure to get regular exercise and leave the house for a few minutes every day. Set deadlines and stick to them. There are millions of better artists than you but not all of them are good at deadlines and thats what publishers consider first.
Bob Byrne got out of Dublin a couple of years ago and went to live in Spain where he continues to make comics and things. He does a weekly webcomic on his site www.clamnuts.com and has his own slot in 2000AD. He is currently working on sequel to his graphic novel Mister Amperduke.