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Home ¦ Features ¦ Ian Gibson Interview Part 1

4 December 02

Ian Gibson is widely regarded as one of the best artists to grace 2000AD. Responsible for some classic creations, including Robo Hunter, Halo Jones, and many Dredd stories, it's always a pleasure to see his art in the comic.

I caught up with Ian to put him to the 2000AD Review grilling...

What tools do you use on the job, and have you had any training?

The equipment has changed over the years as I've either found something new that I like, or fallen out with the quality of a manufacturer. Hell - I've been at it so long that I've seen manufacturers and suppliers come and go!! ;)

Right now I tend to use Winsor & Newton Designers' sable series 3A sizes 0 and 1 as brushes and designers gouache with occasional watercolour airbrushing with a Devilbiss Aerograph super 63.

As to training - nope - I've had to figure things out as I've gone along, which probably explains my erratic techniques! ;)

You have a highly recognisable style. How did you develop this and do you have any particular influences?

I think the style has evolved over the years, and changes occasionally for strips like Annie Droid for the Times, which I'm sure wouldn't be immediately recognised as Gibson ( but what do I know? Maybe that's more Gibson than my Dredd work..? ) ;)

Influences? The artists we like are the ones who influence us, as I think there's something in what they do which triggers our own view of the world. But I wouldn't say that I could copy anyone else convincingly! ;) Victor De La Fuente is one of my favourite artists and I love Don Lawrence.

For better or worse, you're still heavily associated with Halo Jones, regarded by many to be the best ever 2000AD strip. Are you happy with the ongoing interest in the series?

I'm very happy that Halo had such an effect. After all, that's why I asked Alan to write a girl's story. I thought it would make a difference.

Halo Jones finished with a fairly ambiguous ending - but in retrospect this ended the series on a perfect note. Was there ever any intention to continue to a 4th series?

Alan and I had planned out Halo's future to a conclusion, but the series was interrupted by the dispute over copyright allocation, where Alan wanted to have all writers, like John Wagner et al, get their fair dues after streaming out a steady supply of genius for so many years. That's what I heard anyway - but I can't speak with authority as I wasn't involved in the negotiations.

I have tried to contact Alan over the years, but with no luck. I have my own ideas of what could happen in the next couple of books that I'd have liked the chance to run past Alan, but I think he's discarded the story from his future.. (?)

Go to part 2

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Original content (c) 2002 Gavin Hanly (contact 2000AD Review).