¦ Features ¦ Steve
Yeowell Interview Part 3
A Life Less
Ordinary was an interesting experiment by 2000AD unfortunately let down by a poor
to mediocre film. Do you think such adaptations should not be attempted, or is
there still opportunity there? If you attempted another adaptation, whether from
book, TV or film, what would you like to tackle?
Life Less Ordinary
I think the trick
with film to comic adaptations is to capture the spirit of the thing rather than
slavishly imitate it. David Bishop and I got to see A Life Less Ordinary before
we started on the adaptation and at first I tried to use some of the same shots
and camera angles Danny Boyle had used. I quickly found it far too limiting and
did my own thing. I tried to use a Jaime Hernandez "Love and Rockets"
kind of style which I thought would be appropriate.
Every now and again
I have a burst of inspiration for a good book to turn into a comic - George Macdonald
Fraser's Flashman books for example.
the film "Max" covered similar territory without courting too much controversy,
can you ever see a day when a reprint of Young Hitler will be viable?
I've actually recently
re-read The New Adventures of Hitler after the subject of a reprint came up again
- to be honest I'm not overly fond of the pages.
The blue line colouring
by Nick Abadzis and Steve Whittacker has also long since gone - and I get the
impression Grant would prefer a colour version to a black and white one.
a lot of work for DC with Starman, Batman, Invisibles and JSA among others. DC
seems to be the company of choice for artists/writers crossing over from 2000AD.
What's the attraction of working for the company and the US in general? Apart
from the money, of course...
DC always seemed
to actively court creators from 2000AD more than Marvel did (perhaps in much the
same way they courted the South American artists in the seventies), probably because
they thought there was an element in the work which would be new to American Comics
readers. Apart from maybe getting the chance to work on characters that are cultural
icons the attraction of working for the US is the same as it would be for anyone
in the music industry - it's a bigger market with potentially more exposure.
What are the
main differences between European and American working practices in comics?
As far as I'm concerned
almost none - for 2000AD I work in five or six page episodes and for the US I
work in five or six page batches until I've completed a twenty two or twenty four
been successful in the States, it's good to see you still working on 2000AD, along
with other classic artists who are returning to the fold. Does the comic still
have a good reputation among writers/artists? Is it still seen by the industry
as an important part of the UK comic's scene?
likes working for 2000AD: more creative freedom, no techno-phobia, and pays on
If you could
suggest any changes for 2000AD to stay at the cutting edge, what would they be?
Don't give people
what they think they want.
Are there any
existing comic characters that you'd like to work on?
Lots, but whenever
I've had the opportunity to draw "dream" characters: Dredd, Batman,
The Fantastic Four (in Skrull Kill Krew), I've quickly realised I don't
want to draw my version of them at all. I want to draw Carmine Infantino's Batman,
Jack Kirby's Fantastic Four and Brian Bolland's Judge Dredd and anything I do
I'll be disappointed with so I try not to think about them.
do you admire, and are there any you'd like to work with? Do you have any writing
I admire and like to work
with those short sighted enough to want to work with me; I also may or may not
have already written or be about to write under several various pen names. Or
What do you
think could be done to open up comics to a wider audience? How has the industry
evolved over the last decade?
The major evolution of the last ten years for me is that I post a computer disc
or email a tiff now rather than send a parcel of pages.
The most frequent
comment I've heard from non comics readers when faced with a comic is that they
don't know how to read it. I've sat in my local barbers watching kids keenly leafing
through the back issues that I regularly leave in the shop (the owner has fond
memories of 2000AD, Doctor Who, Blake's Seven etc etc) but completely bemused
by them. The interest seems to be there, but maybe we need to make sure there’s
enough of an emphasis on clear simple visual storytelling to smooth the transition
from the kinds of comics that people (not just kids) are familiar with on an everyday
basis - the daily gag strips in the press for instance - to the kinds of stories
we know words and pictures are capable of.
– what advice would you give to an artist starting out in comics today?
On the strict understanding
that I'm not going to held personally responsible if none of this is true...
If you have the
least inclination to write as well as draw then think about developing that too.
Be aware of how many pages you can comfortably produce in a working week, schedule
yourself with that in mind and stick to it. Be prepared to work long hours if
you have to (especially when you’re starting out). Be professional, meet
your deadlines and don’t be a flake!
Thanks to Steve
for taking the time to answer the questions, and you can catch up with the Red
Seas weekly in 2000AD.