Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Kicking Back with David Lloyd at STGCC - The Sequel

Red Dot Diva was really fortunate to nab some interview time with veteran comic creator, David Lloyd during STGCC 2010. Due to his busy schedule that weekend, she hadn't expected to have a moment with him at all!

After chatting for some time about his projects "V for Vendetta" and "Kickback", the mood took a less serious turn as Red Dot Diva moved on to other side and fun topics.

It was a good thing that happened as well, because the bunch of Marvel panelists had finished their session at the lecture theatre, and were streaming back into the guest lounge for some relax-time. The feeling of camaradarie in the room was definitely getting a little louder. In a way, that was to Red Dot Diva's benefit, for David was also more visibly relaxed by now.

Red Dot Diva: What has been your favourite comic project so far? And why?
David: Well, it has to be "Kickback" because it's entirely mine. Anything that you do that is entirely you and that you express yourself completely, it has to be that. Even though "V for Vendetta" was very popular, and that in itself has something to say about that project.

From Time Bandits, by David Lloyd
Red Dot Diva: You tend to have an art style that tends to be rather gothic and dark. Could you share with us where you think this influence came from?

"Yeah, I have a bit of an interest in thrillers and dark things," David began to explain in a slightly cautious tone. "I always had this great interest in the macabre, and I suppose it arose from the stories that I was interested in. Greek mythology, gargoyles, Medusa.. harpies... all that.

I can't trace it back to one thing. I really can't. I've always had that interest in the macabre. As a teenager, I'd love horror movies and stuff like that. And it's just a proclivity for things that I'm interested in.

As an artist, Rembrandt is a great influence on me. And (J.M.W.) Turner .. both really heavy artists. But I *do* have an interest in the morbid, really. It's true, it's true." David gave a wide grin and finally admitted.

Red Dot Diva couldn't help but chuckle. (BTW, she too, likes morbid things... *slightly evil smirk*)

Away from the ghastly and to the shiny new digital age, Red Dot Diva wondered how these new technologies affect the way David works.

David thoughtfully replied, "This question consists of two forms really. One is digital production and the other, digital publication. Regarding digital production or production of artwork, I'm very happy to use the computer in my work...."

At this point of the interview, they were somewhat casually interrupted by the fun-loving Croatian artist Esad Ribic, who wanted to tempt David with some choice liquor. As Esad went to pour the alcohol into two paper cups for David and himself, David continued with his reply.

"In terms of digital artwork, it is useful to be able to use the computer for effects as long as it doesn't overwhelm the artistic nature of what you are trying to do. A lot of comics use computer effects so much that it becomes the story. And that's a problem.

David at the panel (pic by Justin Lai)
You can use the computer for all kinds of things, like colouring but for me, the biggest benefit of digitalization, is that you can put your artwork on CD, or have other ways of transferring it. And you don't need to worry about the size of the artwork you do.

In terms of actual publication, I'm very interested in the idea of putting things online. But to me, it's crazy to have *just* a comic page put on a screen, because... Why? If you have the technology, you should be able to do something different. Maybe instead of speech bubbles, you'd have the text kinda appear...

There should be something you can do... There should be something fresh, and it's like a comic but it doesn't make it look like a hybrid."

Red Dot Diva prompted if that might mean a possible new digital medium entirely. And David agreed, "That would definitely be more interesting."

When David finished his answer, Esad handed him his paper cup and they both toasted each other with a hearty "Cheers!" to the amusement of Red Dot Diva. (Check out the kanpai pic taken by Here Be Geeks.) Leonard, from GnB, had also settled into an armchair nearby to quietly observe the interview.

Red Dot Diva: Is this your first time to Singapore?
David: Yes, it is. And I don't think I'd have too much time to explore. I think I'd have some free time on Monday, so on Monday I hope to see more of the city but it's nice to be here.

Red Dot Diva: Have you seen anything that was artistically interesting to you?
David answered simply: The jungle.
Red Dot Diva: Really??! When there is a visual assault of different images.... as this is the first time you are here....
David: Well, that's it. It's the jungle. The foliage.

Red Dot Diva was flabbergasted. Of course she is aware that the Red Dot Island is well-known as the Garden City .. but... the JUNGLE?!?
Red Dot Diva couldn't help but turn to Leonard to cross-examine him, "You brought him to the JUNGLE?!?"
Leonard smiled, "No. We brought him to the country club for lunch and there was a lot of shrubbery and trees!" Red Dot Diva laughed.
David: "It was one of those clubs with the jungle... and forestry. I love all that stuff. It's so rich. But I don't think I'll go to the jungle because of the mosquitoes."
Red Dot Diva teased: "For awhile I was worried where he was taking you!"
David looked amused and offered, "No, no. I think if I had the right clothes and the right outfit, I might explore it. But I don't think so.. not the way I was dressed."

David then said that he had plans to stay a little longer, however, because of a commitment to give a talk in London on January 16th, he would not be able to do that. Changing his plans at the last minute would seem unprofessional.

Red Dot Diva: Do you think you'd be able to incorporate a little bit of Singapore or South-East Asia in any of your future projects?
David: That's actually a very interesting question. I'm very fresh to Singapore and I know nothing about it.

Everything I see around me is very attractive. It reminds me of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Both of these cities have arisen from the tropics. And it's quite interesting.

There's also something else that's interesting that is similar to Brazil. They are concerned about the new. In Sao Paulo, they are constantly interested in the new and they kinda reject the old. And I see that happening here as well.

It's a kind of a need for growth... a kind of urgency for growth. There are all these metaphors that we are talking about here, and they can all be used as a story context of some kind.

Red Dot Diva: You have attended quite a few conventions in your life time. Are you tired of doing this?
David: No, I enjoy doing these things. Some of my colleagues don't like it but I think it's good. Not only does it give you a chance to meet new people and see new places, like Singapore, I also like talking to people about my work.

Also, I'm very much an evangelist for the medium I work in. I want more people to appreciate the incredible quality that there is. And I don't think enough people realize what incredible craftsmanship that is being used in this business. Especially in England and America, there's a snobbism towards the art and what we are doing.

I'm trying to use the term "sequential art" now, rather than comics. 'Cause comics has its backdrop of meanings, and some people confuse it with comedy. I call myself a "sequential artist". And it covers everything. It covers storyboards; it covers any form of animation.

Red Dot Diva: Were you surprised to see how well-known you are here?
David: No. I wasn't really. Because I know that "V for Vendetta" was published everywhere and it's been successful. And the movie just made it more successful.

I'm just very happy that people are pleased to come talk to the artists and say hi. It's something I'm very honoured by. I work hard in what I do, and I'm lucky that people responded to my good work.

Red Dot Diva: And we're honoured to have you here.
David: Thank you!

Here's a short vid of David doing a sketching of "V" at the pre-convention event:

David has mentioned to Red Dot Diva that he'd love to come back to Red Dot Island again. Red Dot Diva is sure that many of you hope that he does that sooner than later! :)


PS: Ahhhhh.... Red Dot Diva knows what the readers are thinking of right now. That is it??!! What about *that* question? The one about geek girls??!

Red Dot Diva felt that, unfortunately, there wasn't a right moment during the interview to ask the sometimes-ambiguous question. Plus, Red Dot Diva likes to surprise. And she reiterates, it's also about Respect, lah. ;)


Credit: Panel pic taken by Justin Lai.

For those who have missed it, click here for Part 1 of the interview at STGCC!

If anyone wants to share some points about the David Lloyd panel on this blog, feel free to drop an email to reddotdiva@gmail.com. Red Dot Diva couldn't attend it as she had to later meet up with a friend at the exhibit hall.

She did hear that the line for David's autograph session was the longest during the convention and that he stayed on to sign for the entire queue. Kudos for that!

One can visit David's official website for more information!

Red Dot Diva would again like to thank Leonard and GnB Comics for this wonderful chance to interview David Lloyd. You get a MWAH too!

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