Ferguson’s 7 Questions With… Brian Corcoran

Next up on our soon-to-be-copyrighted segment we have an artist whose latest book I’m really looking forward to. It’s 7 Questions With… Brian Corcoran.

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

The Lady of the Lee written by Morgan Ormond and lettered by Colin O’Mahoney for The Cork Horror Comic back in the day. A gentle little story about love. And agonising fish-doom.

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

Three things really: ‘Practice, practice, practice!’, ‘Done is better than perfect’ (I agonise too much when drawing), and “Leave enough room for the lettering’!

What is your process for drawing a comic book?

I read the script a few times, making notes and sketching ideas as I go. Sometimes I chat with the writer if I feel a panel won’t work or needs a small change or addition (I’m not always right!). I scribble out thumbnail sketches to get the storytelling right, and try to compose each page bearing in mind variety in panel composition and scale, and so as to work well with the following and preceding ones. As well as responding to the requirements of the script and looking good, the comic needs to be structured to make you want to keep turning those pages, so this compositional stage is really important. I draw these thumbnails by hand on A4 paper and then either scan them in or start each from scratch digitally on my iPad pro (I use Clip Studio). I hardline the (digital) pencils until I’m happy with them. I used to ink digitally too, but these days I’ve gone back to mostly inking on paper (I just prefer it to digital, and there’s no issue with zooming in too far and over-drawing, which is a problem I can’t seem to shake with digital drawing), so I change the pencils to non-copy blueline and print them out onto Bristol board and then ink on top.

What is the biggest influence on your work?

Without question it’s 2000AD. I started reading it at 6 years old, and was exposed to such incredible art over the subsequent years. Mike McMahon, Brian Bolland, Steve Dillon, Carlos Ezquerra, Dave Gibbons, Kevin O’Neill, Garry Leach, Brendan McCarthy, the list is just endless. I discover new amazing artists almost every day, but those early 2000AD droids were definitely the biggest influence on me.

What are you working on right now?

I’m actually working on the final part (issue 6) of ‘By Proxy’, see below (I had an enforced break from working on it for a while due to other work commitments but am now back on track).  On the home straight now, I’m going to miss it when it’s done. I’ve also been working on something else I can’t talk about…

What do you have out now or coming out next?

Our thriller/ nebulous hitman biog/ action story, By Proxy, is being launched by Rogue Comics at Dublin Comic Con on March 12th & 13th. It’s written by Richard Gaynor, coloured by Matt Soffe and edited by Gillian Dempsey. We’re very proud of it and it’s been a long time in the making, so I’m delighted to see it getting out there at last! I’ve a few other things in the pipeline including an epic fantasy which I’m really looking forward to getting into later on this year.

What is your favourite Irish comic?

There are so many great Irish comic creators out there, so much variety and so many great Irish comics. It’s a tough choice but I’d have to say my favourite is probably Hound by Paul Bolger with Barry Devlin and Dee Cuniffe, which is a stunning piece of work. Coincidentally it is being relaunched in a huge hardback by Dark Horse in March, and (full disclosure) I might have a little scribble in it somewhere…