QUICK QUESTIONS WITH Richmond Clements
WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT IS YOUR CONNECTION TO COMICS?
I’m Richmond Clements. I write and edit at FutureQuake Press, where we publish FutureQuake, Something Wicked, Zarjaz and Dogbreath. I co-organise Hi-Ex! The Highland International Comic Expo in Inverness. I’ve also written a number of comics and GNs some of which I shall plug to a sickening degree over the course of this questionnaire. <
WHAT COMIC ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?
I’ve just finished a GN called Ketsueki which is coming out with Markosia early next year (all being well), which is drawn by a lovely artist called Inko. We have also collaborated on a strip for the Spirit of Hope book. I’m about to start writing another GN for Markosia, but cannot reveal any details at the moment. I’m also working on another very exciting GN project which I talk about (sorry!), but it is one that has me really excited! Apart from that, I’ve a few finishing touches to put to the script for a GN for Com.X and I’m writing a few one of/pitch type things with a number of artists.
Oh- and I’m supposed to be writing a sequel to my book Turning Tiger (which is out very soon!).
I didn’t manage to shoehorn in Operation: Solomon, which is a spin-off one shot story for Barry Nugent’s Fallen Heroes series.
WHAT’S THE BEST PART OF MAKING COMICS?
I love getting to make things up. And I don’t think I will ever get tired of the thrill of the first time you see the artwork for a script you have written.
WHAT’S THE WORST PART OF MAKING COMICS?
I get frustrated that people don’t understand them- to the majority of the public comics are either Superman or the Beano, and they don’t know of the vast amount and range of material between those two extremes. That and not making much money out of it.
HOW DID YOU FIRST DISCOVER COMICS?
I’m not sure… I have very early memories of reading things like The Beezer, which was in a tabloid sized comic. There were little pocketbook sized reprints of early Marvel stuff that I remember my mum buying me every Friday. And 2000AD, of course. I don’t think the impact of that book can be overemphasised.
WHO IS THE BIGGEST INFLUENCE ON YOUR WORK?
Me! It comes for out of my head, after all. Apart from that- John Wagner, Lovecraft and Clive Barker for example. Michael Carroll is not only a great writer, but has also been a great friend and incalculably helpful and supportive with his advice. I also draw a lot of influence for guys like Steve Earle and Bruce Springsteen, who are incredible storytellers.
WHAT IS THE SINGLE WORK OF WHICH YOU ARE MOST PROUD?
The one that is just finished and I cannot yet see only the flaws in?Possibly the GN I’m writing for Com.X, but as I say, gimmie a few months and I’ll hate it.
WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE RECEIVED?
WHAT IS THE WORST ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?
You should try Insomnia- they’re a great publisher!” [Ouch! – TK]
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE CURRENT IRISH COMIC SCENE?
I have to confess to not knowing much about any ‘scenes’- I’m forty-one, after all! But I do know there are many very talented Irish writers and artists out there. In fact, I’ve recently contributed to a nice little collection: Tales for the Emerald Isle Vol 2. Check it out!
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE HAPPEN IN IRISH COMIC IN THE NEAR FUTURE?
Success! I’d like to see more books out there and more people buying them!
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE HAPPEN IN COMICS IN GENERAL IN THE NEAR FUTURE?
See answer above. Hopefully with the release of Strip and The Phoenix in the next year, Britsh comics will see a bit of an upturn, and that will have a nice knock-on to both Irish comics and their creators.
WHAT WAS THE LAST COMIC THAT MADE AN IMPACT ON YOU?
Long John Silver from Cinebooks.
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 🙂 )
Stop talking about writing/drawing and just write/draw.
ANY FINAL THOUGHTS?
I’m sure I will have, but hopefully not for many decades yet.
Richmond Clements is originally from Northern Ireland although he has absconded and lives in Scotland. He writes and edits at FutureQuake Press, who publish FutureQuake, Something Wicked, Zarjaz and Dogbreath. He co-organises Hi-Ex! The Highland International Comic Expo in Inverness.