Ferguson’s 7 Questions With… Alan Corbett

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With Cork Comic Expo coming up in April, I thought I’d try and get some of the local creators for 7 questions. First up is artist (and art editor of the upcoming Cork Sci-Fi Comic) Alan Corbett.

What was the first comic work you did that was published?

The first comic work I had published was Ghost of Shandon by Onstream Publishing. I studied Children’s Book Illustration in the Cambridge School of Art. When I came home to Ireland after being in the UK, I combined my love of comics and my studies in children’s books to create Ghost of Shandon. I wrote, illustrated and designed the book. It was very successful locally and was shortlisted by the Cork City Libraries as Cork’s Favourite Book.

What is the biggest thing you have learned since that book?

That anyone with the drive and interest can create and publish comics. I’m very enthusiastic about the Cork Comic scene. It has tremendous potential. Our group is going from strength to strength and I hope many more comics are published locally. There is a wealth of talent in Cork.

What’s your process for drawing a comic book?

I draw everything in 2H pencils on 350gm cartridge paper. I then scan this pencil page and paint up different layers of textures and colours on print outs of the pencil work. I use watercolours, acrylics and recycled materials like cloth or old wallpaper. It’s a timely process but I hope it creates a unique style to my work. My stories involve a lot of historical research too, of buildings and costume.

What is the biggest influence on your work?

Everything influences me, sci-fi, horror, fantasy and superhero stuff. I enjoy films, videogames, theatre and of course comics. In terms of comic artists I admire, I’ll go with Ben Templesmith, Sean Murphy and Jeff Lemire but they’re only the tip of the iceberg.

What are you working on right now?

In terms of my personal work, I’m in the process of producing the sequel to Ghost of Shandon for Onstream Publishing. It’s called The Vampire King of Munster and it’s set in 19th Century Munster. My publisher Roz Crowley is happy with the script and I’ve about 40% of the book penciled, 20% coloured. It’s a slow process but one I find very enjoyable.

What do you out now or coming out next?

Next up for me is the Cork Sci-Fi Comic. I’m the Art Editor on this anthology. It is being published by the Cork Comic Creators group. Colin O’Mahoney is the Story Editor and together we are putting the final touches on the book. It’ll be launched on Friday April 24th at the Cork World Book Festival alongside talks by 2000 AD writer and artist Michael Carroll and Eoin Coveney.

What is your favourite Irish comic?

I really enjoyed the Atomic Diner comic Roisin Dubh by Maura McHugh, Stephen Byrne and Rob Curley.

Alan Corbett’s website: http://www.theravenswork.com/