Let’s learn a little something about David Hitchcock.
Want to ask David a question? Add it in the comments section!
Where are you from, where did you grow up?
I’m from a county called Derbyshire, in the UK. So, far away from where it’s all at in the US.
Do you have any formal art training?
No formal training but I’ve always loved comics from an early age. I remember the first comic that my mum bought me, the cover just mesmerised me, it had such power and just lept off the shelf of the newsagents, everything else looked so bland in comparison… that comic was the UK reprint of the Avengers. for some reason they chose the US issue 4 as the first issue over here in the UK. I’ve been a huge fan of Jack Kirby ever since.
What’s the first thing you can remember drawing?
I’m not sure what the first thing I ever drew was, BUT, I do have some early drawings still. I’ll have to dig them out.
Tools of the trade…what are your favorite “go to” tools. Pencils, pens, inks, paper, paint, etc…what are we guaranteed to find at your drawing table?
Generally I only do black and white artwork, coming from a small press background, I knew that everything I was likely to produce would be printed greyscale, so I have always worked with pens and pencils, blending the two together, the greys add an extra dimension to the art and I also find it easy to use a putty rubber to create effects with the lead.
Who are your art heroes? Who’s work do you pull the most inspiration from?
Apart from Kirby, I love Steve Ditko, Will Eisner, Bolland, Fabry, Bisley, lots of European artists such as Francois’s Boucq and Schuiten, Guarnido, Loisel the list literally goes on and on. I always get paranoid with these types of questions as I KNOW I’ve missed loads of great creators out.
A similar, but different question, what artists have had the most influence on your own work?
I’m really not sure on this one, I also love the great British children’s book illustrator Arthur Rackham, in fact I have my eye on a drawing he did in 1901 which is for sale right now, the only snag is, I would need to do 20 commissions in order to pay for it, anyone want to make this collector very happy?
What work are you most proud of?
Back in 2006 I picked up an Eagle Award for my Gothic series Springheeled Jack, based on the penny dreadful of the same name. A few years after that I was approached by a screenwriter to produce a graphic novel about a mute Japanese girl. The script was called Madam Samurai, I believe the two MS books were taken round Cannes Film Festival. I have all of the original art for those books, which I was holding back from selling… Just in case, hah.
What project/commission was most challenging or has given you most satisfaction?
A few years ago I had a great request which involved many great fictional detectives, Holmes, Watson, Charlie Chan, Miss Marple all in one room, debating a murder most foul. That was a challenge as I had to get the likenesses as best I could, before attempting the layout.
Where do you draw inspiration from? Could you describe your thought process for us?
Whenever I draw it always tends to lean towards a Gothic Victorian look, as I think this is visually more interesting, I don’t get a buzz from drawing modern-day stuff, cars, buildings etc, I guess this could be why I’ve never made any inroads with big comic companies…yet.
What advice would you give to young people who want to follow your steps?
Always stick with your dream, if you want to draw, the only way to get better is to persevere, draw whenever you can. Owing to my full time day job, I’m restricted to weekends and the odd night time stint, but never fear, if you want to help me own that Rackham piece, you will have my undivided attention.
Can you picture a day in which you no longer use pen and paper – an all digital work flow?
The answer to this is short and sweet…. No! Although I use Photoshop as part of my day job, I don’t plan on trying to do anything digitally, it’s too much of an organic process for me.
Are you working on any projects now? (plug away!)
Well, I’ve just done a few tales for David Lloyd’s ACES WEEKLY, and I started illustrating an adaptation of a Charles Dickens ghost story, which I intend to get back to sometime soon.