With our latest book ‘How To Make Comics With Springworth’ hitting Kickstarter (view here), we asked each of the creative team to ask each other questions. Below are the questions asked of Tony Esmond (Writer) by Andy Hanks (Artist). You can read Andy’s answers here
I think it’s fair to say you’ve read a lot of comics in your lifetime but how did you get into comic books in the first place?
I think that comics were just there for everyone when I was a kid. my first comics were the Marvel UK black and white reprint weekly titles. This was the early seventies and they were reprinting the late Silver Age and early Bronze Age. we were getting Conan, The Avengers, Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four and more. And then Captain Britain appeared in his weekly series and I was in love. This set me up for the rest of my comic reading and collecting life. Some of those images by Buscema, Kirby, Ditko and the like are burned into my retina.
What are your comic book turn offs? ie- what could make you put down a comic and stop reading?
Hmmm, interesting. I’m not a big fan of the trend at the moment for ‘Cutesy’ images in adult comics. Especially when a title changes mid run and they introduce some new art team with that particular style. Each to their own I suppose but its not for me.
I like things to have an edge. You can tell when someone is faking too much. I like my fights to be realistic and my characters to have flaws. Writers should experience the world before writing about it. I love the rawness to real life even if it’s transported into a supernatural/space/superhero/h
What is most important in a book – the art or the writing, or are they not mutually exclusive?
A comic only works if the writing and the art are in sync in my humble opinion. I’m a great believer in collaboration and listening to the artist and other creatives involved in the comics creation. The flow between panels and the verisimilitude of each and every single line and piece of art and each word is where we live when we read a comic. I love that combination.
If you had the chance to write a Story arc for one of the ‘big two’, what character would you choose and what would you do with them?
Oh. That’s easy. I would write a Master of Kung Fu story. I’d age Shang real time and have him come back from his life of solitude at the end of issue 125 into this ridiculous world we now live in. He would see that it is even more shallow than the nonsense he saw in the seventies and eighties. His eyes and his monologue would be a great device to talk about what is actually going on socially and politically these days. I’d obviously have him kick substantial amounts of ass all over London, just like the old days. If I couldn’t get Nick Prolix on the art chores I’d settle for Gorman Pavlov.
What would be your top tip to anyone about to write or draw their first comic book?
Just get on with it. Everyone is learning all the time and there are loads of styles out there. Be yourself and don’t try and copy anyone.