ACTION TV ONLINE ARTICLES
ADRIAN: After graduating with a degree in illustration from Manchester Polytechnic , I packed my bags and headed up to London to make some sort of career in art. After 5 years of working up from barman to illustrators rep and collecting together mostly a Women's magazine illustration portfolio , I decided at 28 it was time I tried my hand at comics ( which ultimately had been my dream). My first port of call with my comic samples was the JUDGE DREDD MEGAZINE , which after some tryouts landed me my first big commission - JUDGE KARYN : SKINNER - a 6 episode story. Almost simultaneously I managed to break into DR WHO MAGAZINE using the same stark angular style. Although editor Gary Russell felt it inappropriate for the main strip - he hooked me up with writer Alan Barnes on THE CYBERMEN - a 24 part colour strip - not a bad debut opportunity. Things just slowly built from there!
You're style is very distinctive and certainly gives The Faceless a unique feel. How did you develop this?
For THE FACELESS I wanted to employ the style I'm now known
for - but give it more depth and atmosphere and concocted this
textured hybrid seen in the book.I also wanted to go back to
basics - to draw and paint the artwork on the board first -
before transferring it to computer for colourising. Of course
the story itself drove the intepretation - I knew Terry had
to look iconic and I deliberately kept him simple and bold.
Once Terry was visualised I had to make sure that the Terryscape
he inhabits gelled with his look - I liken it to how THE AVENGERS
were presented - a surreal imagined British landscape where
image and reality blend into one.
Bob and I met through an online horror film forum - but were
properly introduced by mutual friend Neil Vokes ( artist on
THE BLACK FOREST and THE WICKID WEST - plus a gazillion other
strips!). Bob emailed me a proposal that hit all the right buttons
- because who could refuse a strip about a 1962 action hero
..not I !
It probably took about a year and a half from it's genesis to
publication - things moved fairly rapidly once I started the
book. Before we approached IMAGE comics - we did two other Terry
strips for other publications. The first was the b/w RUNES AND
RUSES - a 2 pager that ran in the charity benefit comic MORE
FUND and the second was a longer 6 pager ( in colour) called
VENGEANCE IS MINE , that debuted as a back-up strip in FRANKENSTEIN
MOBSTER. It was on the strength of this that IMAGE were persuaded
to go with the graphic novel THE FACELESS.
We tend to specifically cite THE FACELESS is an amalgam of THE
SAINT meets CURSE OF THE DEMON and ultimately that was the driving
force of the book. However into this mix we brought our love
of shows like THE AVENGERS - Elspeth Sasdy is our nod to Mrs
Peel pretty much - though visually she's more like Jacqueline
Pearce from Hammer's THE REPTILE and has a leather jumpsuit
ready for the next adventure!
As mentioned above we did the two short strips - however before
that Bob wrote a 25 part online Terry Sharp story called SHADOWDANCE
. It's a slightly lighter strip in tone than THE FACELESS -
even more pulpy - Terry and Elspeth get lost on the road to
Tigon's End and run into a ghostly dance of stones and witness
a druidical sacrifice. The feel here was inspired by John Moxley's
low budget genre classic CITY OF THE DEAD - everything cloaked
in fog and somewhat mysterious... yet fun. SHADOWDANCE though
scripted first - was drawn after THE FACELESS and was FLASH
animated - debuting on the Fangoria website in September.
How long does it take for you to finish a page of artwork in general? How long did it take to finish The Faceless in total?
Page production times vary - it might take a day and a half
to get a page pencilled , inked and wash applied before it's
scanned. Then you can estimate about a day or so for colouring
and tidying up before going off to be lettered. The full book
took about 4 months solid to finish including the cover - simultaneously
editing the pages being lettered with Bob- so we'd have everything
print ready for IMAGE - who essentially are packagers of the
Have you a whole season mapped out if the book is a success?
Bob has Terry's whole life mapped out ! - it's a story that
encompasses his continuing fight against the shadowy satanic
Faceless, whilst also taking Terry up new story avenues , which
is why we prefaced the title of the book with The Terry Sharp
Stories. THE FACELESS can almost been seen as the pilot story
in essence ( but self contained) - parts of the ultimate jigsaw
puzzle and we hope that with readers support , we'll be able
to slot these pieces into place as well as developing Terry
and involving him in other interesting tales - and be assured
, the big guy has a rocky road ahead !
When can we expect the next episode then?
ADRIAN: I'd like to hope within the next 6 months ideally - but we are bound by how the market reacts to the book and if it sells enough - response so far has been very encouraging. IMAGE are very much behind Terry Sharp as a character and we believe his unique English genre roots will hopefully appeal to the film and TV genre fans who might not necessarily buy a graphic novel , as well as comic buyers . We both know that for Terry Sharp to stand half a chance - it's imperative to get the word out about him and interviews like this are very much appreciated.
I tend to gravitate towards horror films from the 1960's/70's
and firm favourites are BLOOD ON SATAN'S CLAW , WITCHFINDER
GENERAL , CURSE OF THE DEMON and VAMPIRE CIRCUS. I particularly
like films from this period for their style and exploitiveness
- which is refreshingly honest in these cynical and hypocritical
times I feel.
Image Comics , paperback, 64 pages, published October 2005 price £4.50
For further details, background information and to view a trailer for the grahic novel : http://theblackforest.net/terrysharp/
To order in the UK go to :
A review of the book (we can't rate this enough - buy it now damn you!), Terry Sharp: The Faceless, is located here.
Adrian had his own Yahoo group where he can be contacted at : http://groups.yahoo.com/