Filed under: Interviews | Tags: Charlie Adlard, Duncan Fegrado, Forbidden Planet Glasgow, Frank Quitely, Glasgow Film Festival, Image Comics, Mark Millar, Robert Kirman, Sean Murphy, Sean Phillips, The Passenger, The Walking Dead, Tommy Lee Edwards, Tony Moore
A few weeks ago Forbidden Planet in Glasgow played host to British comic artist Charlie Adlard, best known for his current run on The Walking Dead with Robert Kirkman. This was an opportunity that the Comics Anon team couldn’t let slip by without catching up with him and getting the chance to ask a few questions.
Having just played his part in the Glasgow Film Festival run been headed up by Scotland’s very own Mark Millar (See his Q&A with Frank Quitely here), Charlie was attending his own Walking Dead Q&A, as well as introducing a big screen showing of the pilot episode. I asked him if he felt he’s played a part in the shows progress and success:
I definitely feel part of it albeit a very small part because the comic is its own beast with the show being a separate thing entirely. I can’t claim to be part of the success of the TV show but it’s nice to be part of the whole universe.
Similar to many other artists/writers we’ve interviewed, there doesn’t seem to have been a great deal of time to read many comics – life and work seems to be the main focus for many involved in the comic book world. That being said, as an artist, it’s his fellow artists that were the main draw (no pun intended):
Being an artist I tend to pick up stuff for the artwork more than anything else. In the American industry, I tend to pick up stuff from a few friends of mine Sean Phillips (interviewed here previously by the CA Team) and Duncan Fegredo. People like Tommy Lee Edwards, John Paul Leon I think. I’ve just discovered Sean Murphy who I think is phenomenal and some of the stuff he does is just mind-blowing. I’m a big fan of European comics as well.
On that point I talked with him about the booming comic book progress being made in Glasgow via small-press, self-publishing and the creator-owned titles on the go. I asked if the creator-owned route is something that he enjoys.
Totally, I mean The Walking Dead has just been this amazing beacon of light for me. I did a couple of creator-owned books before Walking Dead, a few during it….none of which have sold anything. What’s great about the Walking Dead is that it pays obviously and it gives me the opportunity to do what I want outside of that. I get total freedom to work with who I want to and on what I’d like to try out. To be honest, Robert and I are doing another project which he announced at San Diego last year called ‘The Passenger’ which is a European styled album – if I could see myself either doing creator owned stuff for the States or working on European titles which are creator owned by definition given it’s more like a book deal anyway, then I’d be fine and that’d be cool.
So do you have a number of projects on the go?
Yeah, I mean the bigger the Walking Dead becomes then the less time I’ll have to work on stuff. It sounds incredible but it’s taken about 2-years to do less than half of ‘The Passenger’ so hopefully we’ll speed up production on the Walking Dead so I can free up a big chunk of time and get the lions-share of that title done. Then I can get a move onto the next project in Europe, where I have several other things lined up.
Given the popularity of the Walking Dead and the on-going rumblings about legal issues between original artist, Tony Moore and writer Robert Kirkman. I wondered if that has had any impact on Charlie’s work/involvement with the title itself?
Hopefully it shouldn’t have any impact at all on the production at all, I can’t see it being dragged through the courts in any way but I can’t really comment on it any further than that – in terms of seeing the actual book coming out, we shouldn’t see any issues at all.
So do you work an issue ahead or more on The Walking Dead?
At the moment it’s more like JUST an issue ahead and we’re that close to the wire. Obviously, unlike 10/15 years ago and before digital printing we’re able to finish the comic, get it lettered the next day, coloured the day after and we could get it out a week later. So it’s not so much of an issue these days as long as you have 2 weeks before its release date.
I’ll be honest here folks, when I first read The Walking Dead I wasn’t a big fan and I haven’t really seen much of the TV series but I would need to have been living under a rock somewhere on Mars to NOT know what it was about. That being said, I re-read the first 12-issues ahead of meeting with Charlie and I’m a born-again Walking Dead fan……finding it to be an intriguing read with more than enough scares and surprises along the way…..the fact it’s kept it’s black and white interiors seems to add to the feel of it and there’s a strong consistency to Kirkman’s work with the title. Having picked the title up from issue #7, it’s easy to see why Adlard was chosen to take over, a clean style to his art which seems to ooze the fear, excitement and will to survive the story demands.
Legal issues aside, this should be another strong year for both the comic and the TV series and I’m hoping that will free up time and get the ball moving on the new project for the Kirman/Adlard combo – The Passenger.
If you haven’t read the title then give it a go, you can pick up the TPB’s easily enough these days and that may well be down to the on-going success of the TV project which we should all try and watch on a regular basis….I’ll even keep an eye out for Charlie as a Zombie extra 😀
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