Paul Bolger: Art Picks
Creator Art Picks, where we ask comic creators about the comics and artists they like and that influence them. Paul Bolger is the creator of last years highly rated graphic novel, Hound: Protector, the first in a trilogy chronicling the tale of Cú Chulainn. The second volume, Hound: Defender, recently had it’s kickstarter launched.
Who was the first artist you took notice of when getting into comics, that made you realize it was someone’s job to draw or just made you aware of creators?
I think it was an artist’s signature or name I saw in Krazy Comic or Cheeky – both mid-1970’s wacky versions of more typical Brit kid comics we all grew up on back then. Then Battle and Action appeared in ’76 (when I was 12) and blew me little mind. I saw bigger signatures on the art in those adventure comics and one in particular Ezquerra did it for me – his Major Eazy was great! I loved all those old ridiculous and slightly jingoistic British war comics growing up – The Victor, Warlord and the pint sized Commando Comics. We couldn’t get much else in Ireland back then. I got some US comics from a shop in Waterford (big shout out to Rellis’s on Ballybricken) – this was the only place in the world we could get anything different. I don’t think to this day that man there knew why me and my mates would appear ever Friday or Saturday and clean off his shelves. Swapping comics was also a big thing in our posse – that was when I discovered the Warren magazines which had articles about how comics were made and who made them – so it was about then I realised it was something you could when you grew up. I loved and still love all those Spanish, Italian and Argentinian artists they used. Too many to list here. And then there came 2000AD, Mike McMahon and the rest is history, ’til I went to art college, got a job in animation in 1987 and found my way back to comics almost 30 years of making films (which I still do) but I’m enjoying making comics more now. Don’t tell anyone though – I still need to pay the bills.
Do you have a biggest influence or favourite artist, one that’s maybe affected your style or storytelling more than others?
Too many to mention. Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Goya, Frazetta for use of dark and light. Hugo Pratt, Eduardo Risso, Mignola for storytelling in comics. Hitchcock, Ford, Kubrick and Lean for how to frame action and set things up in film. I prefer clarity over density in images. What I learned in animation, especially in storyboarding, has come in extremely useful also for staging action, performance/acting and humour.
Do you have a favourite artistic run on a series, or simply a love of the way one artist draws a certain character or team?
I have to admit I am not a big superhero fan so I don’t keep up on that front, but I do love David Mazzuchelli’s Batman: Year One (which is not current I know but is as relevant and timeless as ever).
Do you have a specific favourite page or sequence from an artist?
An old school fave is anything from Bernie Wrightson’s Warren Comics Horror phase… A more recent one would be the “pointing” page from Mike Mignola’s “The Corpse” from the Hellboy collection “The Chained Coffin”
What’s your favourite comic book cover?
Woyzeck by Battaglia. I love the slightly Expressionist vibe off that.
Who’s your favourite artist right now?
I’ll give you 3 – Mike Mignola / Eduardo Risso / Sean Gordon Murphy
Is there a current underrated artist or up and coming one you’d like to highlight?
Bastien Vivès – he’s not really up and coming as he is well established in France but not sure how well known he is over here. A fantastic artist with a lot of visual flair…check him out. Some of his books have been translated into English and are out there.
Questions by Chris O’Halloran