Not OK Computer: An Interview With David O’Sullivan

We’ve had a few IMAGE books with Irish creators lately but one that may have flown under the radar is ANALOG. I’ll admit I was kinda sleeping on this one until I got around to reading it. It won me over with its concept and storytelling. I ask artist David O’Sullivan about working on the book.

How did you get involved with the series and what was it about the story that appealed to you?

I had just finished working on the second issue of Crimson Blade for Rob Curley (Atomic Diner/ Sub City). I sent some pages to Declan Shalvey, who I’ve known a long time, before he was a huge comic book success. Declan asked would I mind if he showed my pages around to a few people he knew. One of those people was Gerry Duggan. Gerry wanted to do a creator owned comic with Image and asked would I be interested. Naturally I jumped at the chance. Gerry asked me what I liked to draw, I said guys who look like they’ve been in too many fights which worked well with an idea he already had that would become Analog.

I guess what appealed to me was Gerry’s vision of the near future. People losing trust in the internet to send or store information securely and having to hire armed individuals to transport your secrets. There’s more to the story than just armed delivery guys and I’m excited for readers because I know what is in store for them. What I find surprising is the idea of Analog sounds depressing and dark but Gerry makes it really funny and the story has a lot of heart.

I like how, despite being set a futuristic world, it all feels grounded in reality. What were your influences in creating this world?

Analog is set in the not so distant future. So I could only go so far with technology without it feeling unlikely that our lives would have change that much. My influences are the world we live in today. I added a little bit of technology that exists in today’s laboratories as if it has become a bit more mainstream in Analog’s world. You’ll see more of this in the next few issues.

The characters have a real detective noir feel, was that a deliberate choice?

I’m not sure if it was a deliberate choice or that it felt it was the right fit for the characters. We’ll be leaning more into that noir feeling too because it suits the story.

The cover really stands out. It feels quite different to the interior pages. What was the process for creating it?

The interiors are drawn and inked traditionally on paper while the covers are painted with acrylics on either watercolour paper or board. It’s a little time consuming but such a joy to do. Originally I decided to paint the covers because I had more experience painting with traditional materials than I had colouring digitally.

You also did a cover for Dead Hand. How did that come about?

Yeah that Dead Hand cover was a lot of fun to paint! I believe it was John Hendrick from The Big Bang comic shop who realised both Stephen Mooney and I had an Image book out the same month. John asked us to do a cover for each other’s book for a signing. It was a great idea and added something new to what would have been a standard signing without it.

What should readers expect in upcoming issues?

Readers should expect the scope of the story to get bigger and they should expect a lot more fun!

ANALOG Issue one and two are available in all good comic shops. David O’Sullivan’s Dead Hand cover is a Big Bang Exclusive.