Filed under: Interviews | Tags: Andy Diggle, Batman, Detective Comics, Jason Aaron, Jock, Scott Snyder, Snapshot, The Losers, Warren Ellis
Now you may know Jock from his recent run on Detective Comics with Scott Snyder, or you may know him from his work on The Losers with Andy Diggle. As for me, I know him from his Green Arrow: Year One six-issue run with Mr Diggle. We caught up with him at this year’s Thought Bubble amidst the hustle & bustle and in between his commissions work for the con (shown below). Here’s what we talked about.
How did you get the gig on Detective Comics with Scott Snyder?
Scott called me out of the blue, I’d never spoken to him before and he called me on the Friday before I went to San Diego Comic Con. So I had quite a lot on my mind, about to head off to the Con, but he calls to say he’d love me to do Batman. With his idea of using James Jr., Gordon’s son, as the main crux of the story and that’s what really appealed to me. The Losers movie had just come out and I wasn’t really planning to do a Company book but Scott’s idea was so good. I just had a gut feeling that it was going to be good and that seems to have been the case as people have really seemed to enjoy it. Working with Scott, Francesco and David our colourists, there was some kind of dynamic there that seemed to work and people really responded to it.
Has Batman been a character you’ve always wanted to draw?
Yeah, I mean who doesn’t? Mainly because you can do him any way you want and I’m not a particularly, kind of, shiny artist but you can do him grim and gritty and moody and that appeals to me.
So did Scott give you a lot of direction?
No, Scott’s amazing to work with. He completely left me to my own devices. He did have ideas but he always wanted me to do what I felt I should do, so it was a really good collaboration and he was brilliant to work with.
So have you read any of Scott’s Batman?
I’ve only read the first one since I don’t really have a comic book shop near where I live.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on a mini with Andy Diggle called Snapshot, which first comes out in the Judge Dredd Megazine and then through Image Comics. It’s about a kid who finds a mobile phone with photos of murder victims on it and it turns out it belongs to a hit-man and he wants it back.
Is there anything in the New DC 52 that has caught your eye?
Well I’ve managed to catch Jeff’s Animal Man, Scott’s Batman and I read Justice League to see what Jim was up to but beyond that I haven’t had the chance to read much stuff unfortunately. I’m really pleased that it seems to have gone really well for them
Is there any other on-going series that you keep up-to-date with?
I get comics and I’ve got a massive pile of things I want to read and get through but I never really seem to have the time.
What are your thoughts on creator owned stuff like The Losers versus DC’s Batman, is there any difference to your approach?
Only in terms that established characters have a history, but then that’s what attracted me to Batman and being able to handle it in any way. You don’t have to stick to an established take on the character but at the end of the day I just enjoy drawing characters that I enjoy and if the scripts good. I’ve been really lucky to work with some really good writers – Scott Snyder, Andy Diggle, Mike Carey and I’m lucky that I get to do that. Doing creator owned stuff is important to me though and I’m trying to balance the two.
Any other writers that you’d like to work with?
I’ve been talking to Warren Ellis about doing something and he seemed very keen, more with Andy. Jason Aaron who writes Scalped, I did a short X-Men with him and I find his scripts really easy to work with. Some scripts you read you can just see them straight-away and I find that with Andy. Jason was the same, and there’s something about the way they write that I really respond to.
Lastly, can we get your thoughts on digital vs print?
I think it’s inevitable. Digital is becoming a part of every-day life, so comics should reflect that. We’ll always have books and graphic novels that people can put on their shelves. At the same time, comics look amazing on an iPad and I think being able to buy them like you would a game is a brilliant move. Clearly that’s the way everything is going to go so I think we’d be fools not to embrace it, I think it’s great. If it gets comics under peoples noses who wouldn’t normally have seen them or go into a comic shop, if that’s the only place you can buy them. If they’re browsing for something else and see a comic they might buy it and find a new love for comics.
The Jock and Andy Diggle combo looks to be continuing but with Jock balancing his time between creator-owned projects and work for DC, etc. He’s working with big players on these projects – a good thing for all involved as Jock’s strong gritty art, and the ease with which he can team-up with big-name writers, just proves that he’s a name worth watching for in the world of comics.
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