QUICK QUESTIONS WITH Ian Pettitt
WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT IS YOUR CONNECTION TO COMICS?
Ian Pettitt was but a naive watercolourist until that fateful evening in the winter of 1793 when by
chance he happened upon a coven of comic lovers travelling at that time under the sobriquet of
Longstone. At first it was just a novelty for him but quickly he became seduced by the thrill of telling
stories in words and pictures…
WHAT COMIC ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?
Chimpmalion. Everybody knows Pygmalion by Sir George Bernard Shaw. Well our new work asks the
hard questions that nobody wants answered – in space with a chimp.
WHAT’S THE BEST PART OF MAKING COMICS?
Anyone who has made a comic will tell you that the most exciting part is that first moment of
creation. They are of course lying through their teeth. The best part is when the wretched thing is
WHAT’S THE WORST PART OF MAKING COMICS?
After all the planning, drawing, inking, colouring and lettering most comics receive but a glance from
their audience. If the artists I see in the comics industry were instead involved in the decorative arts
they would completely blow the competition away. However they would also have to learn to talk
abysmal horse-shit first. Physical artistic talent is not respected in Ireland. At least they can be big in
HOW DID YOU FIRST DISCOVER COMICS?
Asterix and the Big Fight. Asterix and Ceasar’s Gift. Asterix and the Golden Sickle. Asterix and the
Chieftan’s Shield. Asterix and the Mansions of the Gods. Asterix and the Soothsayer. Asterix in
WHO IS THE BIGGEST INFLUENCE ON YOUR WORK?
I like Mike Mignola and his Hellboy right now as it is the sort of look that I could reasonably aspire to.
My favourite work ever is Halo Jones drawn by Ian Gibson. Also compadres Hilary, Peter and Dierdre.
WHAT TOOLS OF THE TRADE DO YOU USE?
I used to do miniature style work and as a reaction to that I like big fat felt tip pens now. The Faber
Castell PITT Artist series are not perfect but they give a little fluidity to the line without all the mess
and uncertainty of using a brush and they are not too expensive. I wish that I knew how to colour
properly with Photoshop instead of having to use real paint though.
WHAT IS THE SINGLE WORK OF WHICH YOU ARE MOST PROUD?
Smiling at the Sky written by Peter Loftus. A blind boy in a Soviet orphanage picks up an old camera
and starts taking pictures…
WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE RECEIVED?
Shut up and draw.
WHAT IS THE WORST ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE CURRENT IRISH COMIC SCENE?
You guys tend to meet on a Thursday evening when I have to teach a class so I am clueless.
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE HAPPEN IN IRISH COMIC IN THE NEAR FUTURE?
Meet on a Friday evening so that I can come and get hammered too. I would also like to see avant
garde collaborations producing world class illustrated novels that sell abroad. If we sell thousands
worldwide even Easons might take a few copies. Let’s face it if we sold a couple of books we could
probably get a Hollywood movie out of it these days.
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE HAPPEN IN COMICS IN GENERAL IN THE NEAR FUTURE?
I would like to see the English speaking world break with the idea that comics are for kids. For that to
happen regardless of new technologies I feel that we need to cultivate better writing.
WHAT WAS THE LAST COMIC THAT MADE AN IMPACT ON YOU?
Rum Lad – a black & white self-published zine made by an English fellow called Steve Larder.
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 🙂 )
Find a worthy script. Plan the whole story. Try to leave room in your style for change and
experimentation. Enjoy the process.
ANY FINAL THOUGHTS?
Ian Pettit is a graduate of Trinity College. Unsuccessful artist. Unpublished writer. Kick ass blackbelt – rock!