FERGUSON’S 7 QUESTIONS WITH… TRIONA FARRELL
What was the first comic work you did that was published?
Though it’s not technically a book – Superhero help desk was the first thing I published, along with the wonderful team of writers who I work alongside. It’s an online webcomic about the daily grind of a colourful cast of character who work for a call centre for typical superheroes and villains. There’s a lot I feel that I need to improve on, in terms of art, but it really brightens my week to animate the gags and general silliness. It’s been a great and fun venture, and I hope it continues into the future.
What is the biggest thing you have learned since that book?
Honestly it’s been a huge learning curve. It’s taught me a huge amount about comics. On the art side of things, it really taught me how to construct space in panels, as well as large lessons in perspective and the use of colour. It’s been great lesson in creating fluidity from panel to panel to help smooth along action. In terms of team-building, there have been some great lessons learned there too, for example, being able to critique work and constructively work towards solving problems.
What’s your process for drawing a comic book?
I usually begin with a concept that I slowly start to flesh out into a basic bare bones of a story. I usually then begin to build the general look and feel through illustration. This usually involves general world building, sketching of the environment, the culture (if applicable) and of course the general look of the main characters, before I begin to flesh out the minor characters. My focus will always be on fluidity between the environment and the characters in terms of shape and colour before I begin to really structure the story. I then write up a script and I begin drawing small thumbnails of all the action and panels before I really get into the nitty-gritty of drawing panels. From there on it’s a matter of just buckling down to work with all the preparation I’ve (hopefully) done.
What is the biggest influence on your work?
This is a difficult question as there’s been a huge amount of influence from everywhere, from the sci-fi I used to watch, to the embarrassing amount of Japanese media I consumed during my teenage years. If I was to pinpoint a couple of things, I’d say that the manga creators, Clamp, I have a been huge influence on a younger me while the large amount of tabletop RPGs I got involved in during my college years definitely influenced the ways in which I structure stores and approach characters. More recently, I’d have to say that my biggest influence on my art was Ross Campbell’s work, Wet Moon especially, as well as Craig Thompson’s Habibi and its amazing use inked linework.
What are you working on right now?
Right now I’m focused on numerous tasks, it’s been a very busy year for me, but I do have many comics in the works, and hopefully for the near future too.
What do you out now or coming out next?
Right now I am still working on the Superhero Help Desk and I hope to do so into the near future. I currently have a webcomic up myself online, called Azure Capricorn, a sort of Sci-Fi slice of life piece. In the near future I hope also to announce a self contained graphic novel.
What is your favourite Irish comic?
There’s a couple of really nice artists out there at the moment, but I’d really have to say Big Bastard. The story was very unique, and it really approached the Irish identity and environment in a very realistic way, despite the fantasy element. The artwork was also fantastic, I can’t sing its praises enough!
Triona Farrell on Tumblr http://verytangyberry.tumblr.com/