I’d like to introduce Brigitte Sutherland, the artist who I am working with on the Peacemaker comic. Thought it was time y’all got to know her.
MDP:Tell us about how your love for comic drawing emerged?
BS: It started when I was a kid. I had a crazy dream when I was very young and I just couldn’t describe it with words, so I got going with pictures! Something about the medium of comics has always appealed to me, the way time is controlled and the eye is directed using art and design is natural yet fascinating to explore. A good comic artist has to be skilled in so many disciplines beyond drawing, like layout, typography and design.
I worked as a 3D modeller, graphic designer and all-round artworker in Australia for a few years, but I couldn’t stop speech bubbles next to my drawings! I decided to move to London and focus on what I really loved; comics.
MDP: Who are your biggest influences in comic art? In art generally?
BS: My favourites aren’t the same as my influences. The stuff I grew up with probably influenced me the most, because it was a formative period, but I’m always trying to develop my style and make it stronger. As a kid I read what I could get and in small-town Oz that’s not much! Mad Magazine or Betty and Veronica from the newsagent and random issues from garage sales. I still have a Wonder Woman #0 with a stonking Brian Bolland cover from back then, I loved it so much the cover has gone soft as felt and fallen off the staples.
In comics, Bolland is a high favourite. I love different elements of different artists, David Mack’s storytelling, Katsuya Terada’s energy, Adam Hughes’ sexiness, Moebius’ extraordinary worlds, Frazetta’s unadulterated power, I could go on. Of course the fine art world is just as important. Mucha, Degas, Ilya Repin, Hiroshige, the late 19th and early 20th century is my favourite period.
MDP: How had moving to the Uk affected you career?
BS: It’s been fantastic! There is a thriving comic scene in Australia, but the connections with the rest of the world are on nigh impossible to forge. When I first came here I was able to meet with other creators I’d been posting with on Millarworld.tv. From there I went to cons (it’s a lot cheaper to get to San Diego from London than Sydney) and the circle grew. The opportunities not only to meet people in the field, but to get your work in front of editors are much greater over here.
MDP: Tell us about Homunculus your creator owned comic?
BS: Homunculus originally started because I had the word stuck in my head! When I found out what it was, a story just grew around him and this man-crow I’d been drawing in margins. I had a full script ready for a comic I’d written in Australia about music, but this was something I just had to get out of my system. It’s quite absurd, heavy with metaphor and occasionally dark, which is fairly representative of my last year in London! People have told me it’s like Sandman or a Miyazaki film and I take that as the highest compliment. Now that I’ve done that kind of book I want to tell a story that is more accessible and fun, more like Peacemaker.
MDP: What would you like to be doing in five years’ time?
BS: Making great comics, illustrating, making music. The same as now really, but with more freedom to travel and less thinking about money!