QUICK QUESTIONS WITH Ger Hankey
WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT IS YOUR CONNECTION TO COMICS?
I’m Ger Hankey, and I’m a Sketchpaddy. Oh wait, this isn’t the support group? I’m the creator of the anthology comic Short Sharp Shocks, and I was the artist on Celtic Knights. I also have a habit of drawing lots of robots.
WHAT COMIC ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?
I just recently finished the second issue of Short Sharp Shocks, and I’ve just started writing a script for a new comic. It has robots in it. Giant, Nazi robots.
WHAT’S THE BEST PART OF MAKING COMICS?
I think it’s probably seeing the end result of all your hard work being enjoyed by other people. There’s a great buzz when someone else tell you they like your stuff. The sense of pride you get when you hold the finished product in your hand, and you can say “I made that”, that’s pretty cool too.
WHAT’S THE WORST PART OF MAKING COMICS?
The slump in the middle of doing all the artwork, when you aren’t as excited about the whole thing as you were when you started and you realize you still have tons to do. That, and the self-promotion to get people to notice your stuff (and hopefully buy it).
HOW DID YOU FIRST DISCOVER COMICS?
And we’re back to robots again! I’ve been a Transformers fan since I was seven, and at the time Marvel UK were producing some great Transformers comics. From those it was on to 2000AD, and then the Marvel & DC stuff (though I didn’t really get too into those till I was older).
WHO IS THE BIGGEST INFLUENCE ON YOUR WORK?
Geoff Senior & Andrew Wildman when I was a kid copying their Transformers pictures, Nick Roche & EJ Su these days for pretty much the same thing, Jim Lee & Amanda Conner when it comes to drawing people.
WHAT TOOLS OF THE TRADE DO YOU USE?
Col-erase blue pencils, a variety if ink pens of different thicknesses (I’m generally not too fussy about the brand, and sharpies. Pretty much any fairly heavy stock paper and Photoshop for cleaning up & colouring.
WHAT IS THE SINGLE WORK OF WHICH YOU ARE MOST PROUD?
Probably the Short Sharp Shocks comics. I did the whole thing myself so its great to see it get such a positive feedback.
WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE RECEIVED?
Do as much as you can to tell the story visually. A good comic artist should be able to show you most what is happening without words.
WHAT IS THE WORST ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?
I can’t think of a bit of bad advice off the top of my head. Probably because I tend to not listen to most advice anyway!
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE CURRENT IRISH COMIC SCENE?
I think in the few years I’ve been involved with it, it has grown massively. Its great to see so many people producing comics, and quite a few getting professional work too.
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE HAPPEN IN IRISH COMICS IN THE NEAR FUTURE?
More recognition of the fact there are Irish comics out there. I’d love to see an Irish newspaper put a weekly supplement with an Irish-made comics section or something along those lines.
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE HAPPEN IN COMICS IN GENERAL IN THE NEAR FUTURE?
I’d love to see proper comics back in newsagents and local shops. Comic shops are great if you are near one, not so good if you need to get a bus or a train to one. A ten year old kid needs to be able to go round the corner and pick up a couple of comics with their pocket money, and not just the over-priced magazines with a toy attached you seem to get these days. Its like cigarettes, you need to get ‘em hooked while they are young!
WHAT WAS THE LAST COMIC THAT MADE AN IMPACT ON YOU?
I got a collection of crime comics, from the 30s – 80s, as a Fathers Day present. It’s not something I would have read before, and it’s amazing some of the stories that are in there. I’m also a big fan of the recent Power Girl comic. Stunning art, and it’s a good reminder that good comics don’t always have to take themselves too seriously.
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 )
I really can’t say that? Cause I could do without the competition…
If you are making your own comics, try to have a go at every aspect of it, writing, artwork, lettering, etc. Even if you don’t think you’ll be any good or ever intend doing more than one job in comics, its gives you a better understanding of how it all fits together. Writers sometimes forget comics need pictures as well as words, and artists can forget to leave space for words in their pictures!
ANY FINAL THOUGHTS?
You need to love what you do if you are making comics. Its hard work, long hours, rarely well paid and leaves you very little in the way of a social life. If you are going to make comics, do it just for the joy of making comics. Anything else after that is a bonus.
Ger Hankey is an independant comics creator & member of Sketchpaddys.
He is the author and artist of Short Sharp Shocks, and the artist for Celtic Knights.