Friday, 13 March 2009

Drawing comics is a funny old business, ask anyone who is involved in it, and editors are a breed to themselves.
The above cover is the cover to Gore Shriek no 6 published by a now defunct publisher Fantico in 1989 and this was the comic that published my first professional work.
Now, I'd write and draw loads of stories, never dreaming that someone would want to publish them, and I'd usually stick with the fantasy genre, Conan and Cerebus being 2 of my favourite comics at the time.
It wasn't till I met a bunch of like minded geeks here in sunny Stoke-on Trent that I had inkling that I should send some stuff to publishers. Me mate Shane Oakley was the most vocal, especially about dumping the fantasy side and getting me teeth into horror.
So I set about doing horror stories with relish, the stories did seem easier to write, and Detour was one of the stories that were done in that 1st month.
Also around this time, I first came into contact a very talented artist name of Ben Dilworth.
Ben was very much into the small press scene and very prolific, churning out stories like no ones business.
Anyway we got together and he agreed to ink this little tale, the first of many that we collaborated on.
And was I glad, he seemed to fix all my bad drawing, with all my wrong anatomy and ugly faces and me bacon slice ears. when I got the art back it was a revelation. This man could draw!
He inspired me to actually get some anatomy books and start drawing proper.
So I sent this strip out to about a dozen small publishers and waited with bated breath there answers.
There is nothing worse than spending loads of time on a strip and then it getting slated by editors, or worse, where they can't even be bothered to answer.
Anyway, (and this is where it links with the comment earlier about editors) replies start coming in; the first one "we like the art, but the story is weak", the 2nd one "we are impressed with the story but the art doesn't do it for us" but the 3rd one... the 3rd one "we like it, we want it!! And, we'll pay you for it" and that was that, gawd bless you Steve Bissette. (met him later at a Bristol Convention and we had a great talk about failing marriages while he was sketching a werewolf).
And so I decided to post it here, it's been 20 years (I feel old) and I'm still proud of it, oh I know it ain't perfect but it gave me the kahonies to do more and send stuff away.
So I let you read it now in peace, but first thanks to Shane for suggesting I write horror stories, a big thanks to Ben for inking it and making my art look half way decent and an enormous shoutout to Steve for buying the bloody thing.
Enjoy. (and apologies for rabbiting on.)


jhp said...

Gruesome. I shouldn't have read it over lunch with my ham sandwiches. The art reminds me a bit of early Ezquerra.

dribbs said...

Well thankee kindly.
It was Ben who really made it shine.
The man was a terrific artist, it's just a shame that he disappeared.
He married a Japanese woman, moved to Japan to teach English and hasn't been heard of since...
unless he's drawing manga now under an assumed name.hmmm

Dave said...

Nice pages here, great layouts as well, I remember GoreShriek- back in the day when specialst comic shops sold..well, comics (and not fluffy toys). Looking very Vince Locke-like, even before Vince Locke. Really looking forward to seeing your Western tale too.

dribbs said...

It was a great mag. I sold 4 stories to them all told and hopefully if'n I can find the art post them on here.Well it has been 20 years.
I have to say Dave the art on Mrs Henry is absolutely outstanding as always.