Tuesday, 23 June 2015

John Grieve on The Beast of Barton

John Grieve’s The Beast of Barton is an example of how a comic can be a solo work of art, with Grieve responsible for every aspect of creation and production. Steve Morris, on The Spire website describes it as ‘a rhyming tale of Mad Kings, monsters, kill-happy townsfolk and all manner of whats-else… a pretty solid bit of entertainment.’ It has also garnered him a nomination for Best Newcomer at the 2015 SICBA Awards.

Tell us about the book you're nominated for...
The Beast of Barton is a rhyming tale set in the aforementioned fictional town of Barton. It is a story of greed, murder and the balance of good and evil (told in as lighthearted a way as possible). Being the first in a trilogy, it serves as an introduction to the troubled town and a hint at things to come.

Tell us how you got into comicsI had always read comics as a kid and think my first half serious attempt at one was when I was about 11. As time went on, priorities changed and comics and art in general kind of got put on the back burner.Additionally, a lack of confidence presenting my art/writing to the public ensured that until recently things were not taken any further. 

A few years back, I attended some of Garry Mac’s excellent comic workshops and that kind of rekindled my passion for comic creation. Also my wife has been an amazing support and has pushed me to get stuff out there which has helped immensely.

How far is your work a collaborative process?
Not at all. I bounce ideas off of my wife occasionally and ask opinions from others, but in general I am a bit of a hermit when it comes to working.
It’s not that I’m averse to working with others and have done in the past but writing/drawing/colouring/editing everything myself means I’m working to my own timeline and enjoying the creative process to the full.

Who would you say your inspirations were?I’m a huge fan of everything Bill Watterson has ever done. Terry Pratchett, Dr Seuss, Lewis Carrol (The Hunting of the Snark) and Tim Burton (The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boyamong many others.

What are you reading right now?
I kind of dip in and out of reading graphic novels nowadays to be honest. For instance I only got round to reading Maus last year!
That said, The Walking Dead is a pretty regular read for me.
There are no pictures, but I’m also reading Terry Pratchett’s A Slip of the Keyboard at the moment.

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