Ferguson’s 7 Questions With… Rob Curley

We’re starting a new feature on ICN where we ask a creator seven questions so people can get to know them a bit better and to highlight their work. First up is writer, editor, publisher and comic shop owner, Rob Curley.
1) What was the first comic work you did that was published?
My first published work was Freak Show which was also the first thing I ever wrote. I think excitement got the better of me so there was very little editorial control! After saying that I’m still proud of the characters and the ideas behind that series and I would like to return to it one day.
2) What is the biggest thing you have learned since that book?
There are different aspects to writing and publishing comics so you learn different lessons about each, on the artistic front I’ve learned to pay attention to detail and to make sure the story comes first. For the type of work I’m producing research is important and the more information the better. It’s also important to know your characters on an intimate level otherwise they can seem unrealistic. As for the publishing side its an ongoing lesson, there is just so much to the business side of producing your own work and at times it’s overwhelming, you need to take a step back, take a breath and then move forward again.
3) What’s your process for writing a comic book?
I tend to come up with a characters name or general idea of the type of character I’m looking for. I find history books a great source for ideas and the great thing is the backbone of a story is already there, all you need do is come up with a plausible way to integrate it into your own fictional universe. At times it becomes obsessive where you think about little else except these fictional possibilities.
I tend to start off with a pen and notebook to jot down ideas and of course the Internet is a great tool for getting information but I also tend to have a few relevant books on hand. I find the more research I do the tighter the story gets although it is a balancing act not to let the character get lost in too many facts and figures.
From there a rough outline of the story after which you can start to build a clearer picture of where you’re going. In most cases a couple of rewrites or at the very least some changes are generally in order at which point it’s time to send it off to the artist and see how it looks on a visual level.

4) What is the biggest influence on your work?
It’s a mixture of things really. Comics obviously, mythology, history but even more than that I think my life experience has a big part to play. Growing up I was mesmerised by old Hollywood movies and nineteen thirties adventure serials like Flash Gordon which were shown regularly on TV in the 70’s and early 80’s, To counter this my Dad was/is a very political man who was involved in trade unions and had an interest in “the real world” so I got this mismash of fantasy and reality which somehow came together to form my own view of the world. I did a degree later on in Social Sciences which had a real impact on me especially the course on media and the part it plays in shaping our lives and forming our outlook.

5) What are you working on right now?
At the moment I’m working on a Glimmer Man series which I’m really enjoying. We should have a press release for that pretty soon. I’m just about finished # 2 of Crimson Blade which is well overdue and I’m at the very beginning stage of doing an Atomic Diner anthology.
6) What do you have out now or coming out next?
The new League Of Volunteers just came out and # 3 of Jennifer Wilde. Next up then is Roisin Dubh # 3 and Glimmer Man # 1.
7) What is your favourite Irish comic?
Probably Finn And Fish by Leeann Hamilton

Twitter: twitter.com/SubCitycomics