Saturday 28 April 2012

Y is for Yeowell... Steve Yeowell

I first became aware of Steve Yeowell's work when I started reading 2000AD in the early nineties. (I know, I was a late starter.) The most vivid memory I have from that time was of his work on Zenith and I was later to enjoy it in the long-running Devlin Waugh six-month story-arc that was comprised of Chasing Herod, Reign of Frogs and Sirius Rising in 1999.

So you can imagine how thrilled I was when I discovered in 2004 that Steve would be illustrating my comic strip The Tale of the Hound (part of the Tales from the Ten-Tailed Cat series published in Inferno! and Warhammer Monthly).

Steve's currently hard at work on more Red Seas for 2000AD but he kindly took some time out of his busy schedule to answer my questions for this blog.

1. How did you start out as a professional artist?
I started writing and drawing a strip for small press SF stripzine “Totally Alien”, moving on to drawing episodes of “Lieutenant Fl’FF” in “Swiftsure” for Harrier Comics, all the while sending out samples.

2. What was it that gave you your big break and led to what you are doing now?
I helped out John Higgins on a half-page strip he was producing for a music/lifestyle mag called “The Street”. That led to a cover for “Spider Man And Zoids” at Marvel UK then a fill in on the Zoids strip. When regular penciller Kev Hopgood moved on to “Action Force” I was offered the strip full time.

3. What is your preferred method of working? Which medium suits your style best?
I work traditionally, pencilling and then inking the pages. I use Photoshop for minor corrections and deliver files of the pages digitally.

4. You have created and illustrated all manner of famous comic book characters. Which are your favourites?
My favourites are the characters I grew up with – my very favourite American title being the Fantastic Four. However, I found when I had the opportunity to draw an appearance by them in “Skrull Kill Krew” that I didn’t want it to be me drawing them – I wanted it to be Jack Kirby...

5. How does working for 2000AD compare to working for Black Library?
Apart from the invoicing procedure, pretty much the same!

6. What is the appeal of working creatively within the Warhammer setting?
It is its own unique and internally consistent self-contained world.

7. How did you find the process of illustrating The Tale of the Hound for Warhammer Monthly?
Clear and straightforward – nice work, Jon!

8. Of which piece of work are you most proud?
“67 seconds” – a graphic novel James Robinson and I produced for Epic. James gave me a script like a screenplay so I had more freedom than with a normal full script.

9. Is there anything you haven’t illustrated that you would still like to?
I’d like to draw a straight historical adventure.

10. What are you working on at the moment?
The last series of “The Red Seas”.

11. What advice would you give to any aspiring artists wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Keep a sketchbook of real things – not an ideas book – it’ll give you a feel for what looks right when you have to make them up. And be persistent!

Thanks again to Steve for taking the time to answer my questions, and remember to keep an eye out for his work in forthcoming issues of 2000AD.

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