In a sentence, who are you and what do you do?
I’m an illustrator, comic artist, designer and sometimes writer.
What got you started? Was there a specific moment or time when you released “this is what I want to do”?
I’ve always been interested in art and animation. I knew I was going to do something art related, most likely illustration. While I was in college someone handed me a copy of Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth and that is when it “clicked”. I’d already made a few short comics at that point but I didn’t release what the comics medium was or meant. I read comics but didn’t want to draw superheroes. Despite Arkham being a Batman story, it opened up what comics were to me, both from a writing and art perspective.
What was your favourite comic growing up?
I loved Spider-man. I’m from a small town so I had limited access to them growing up. The only things I could get hold of were what I could find in a WHSmith and that was only if I got there first, before the few copies were sold out. I once managed to buy a collection of someones comics on a car boot sale, that was like a gold mine.
What was the first piece of work or project that you were really proud of?
That would be Pinnacle, my second fully printed 24 page comic. It’s a silent comic and drawn completely with pencil. It follows an old man trying to reach the top of the mountain with a monster chasing him through the blizzard. Since the artwork was really stripped back, everything had to work. The emotions, body language, pacing etc.
I usually dislike a lot of my work. Especially once its a few months old. But Pinnacle is one of the favourite one-shots that I’ve done. Its now out of print but people who bought my early work still bring it up, which is a sign that people liked it and the silent storytelling worked.
What is your preferred material to work with?
I mix a lot of different media but if I had to narrow it down to a single one, that would be a Staedtler Mars pencil. If you can’t tell, I love sketchy line work and I feel my illustrations hold up with just pencils (if they need too). Adding the inks, paint and colour is extra.
What is your least liked material to work with?
Watercolour. I despise using the stuff. How it mixes and even moves across the page is grim. People tend to look at my work and thing I use watercolour a lot, but it is in fact ink.
What’s your dream project. Forget about money, time, popular demand or any other variable. If that was all covered and you would work on whatever you wanted. What would it be?
Generally it would be one of my own stories. If I could sit and write my stuff and then create it into comics, that would be the dream projects. I do enjoy working with other people and writers but getting to every aspect of making a comic is fun but also really rewarding. Working by yourself means you can see it all coming together from the initial stages. Thankfully I do get to write and illustrate my own stories, but not all the time. I’d go into more details about said stories, but I aim to pitch them so your out of luck.
To name something that people might know, I’d love to take a stab at Dorian Grey in graphic novel format or a Shakespeare story. Drawing The Dark Tower would also be amazing to do, but alas, its already been done.
If you were hired to create a book cover based on a classic story. What would the story be and how would you tackle creating it?
I’ve already done this and it was Bram Stroker’s Dracula. Which came from sketch out the idea when I was waiting for a painting to try. The cover showcased Castle Dracula with candles in the foreground and a vampire-esk skull floating above the castle. It had a lot of purples and orange glows. It was one of my favourite single illustrations.
If you had a spirit animal, what would it be?
An otter or a platypus. Depends on the season.
What are you currently working on and what’s coming up in the future?
I’ve just finished working on a new concertina book based on H. P. Lovecraft’s The Call of Cthulhu which will be out in May. I’m currently working on a 4 part mini series for Hellbound Media, Mandy the Monster Hunter with each issue being released every few months this year. There also a bunch of stuff from Blue Fox Comics, including a new Hexes story.
Other than that, I’m developing a few different pitches at the moment. We will see what happens in the coming months.
Which artist(s) would you like to see interviewed? Why?
Alexis Deacon. He is fairly new to the world of graphic novels but his work on Geis is utterly amazing. You can tell he has a long history in illustration and children’s books. Hearing him talk about his approach and what else he plans to do after he finished the final Geis book would be interesting.
What questions (apart from these ones!) would you like to ask them?
I think I supplied a number of these questions to Blue Fox (you have now been publicly outed). So a good chuck of the questions above.
Tell us something about yourself that people wouldn’t normally know!
I’m partly colourblind, detest wearing socks and don’t drink milk.
Blue Fox Publishing Limited
As well as comics, Simon writes plays, poetry, (award winning) film scripts. He also acts, directs and produces films, too, because why have any spare time…