Comic Creator Interview
with Luke Parker
Name: Luke Parker
City: Nottingham, UK
Comics: Merrick The Sensational Elephantman
Websites: artofparker.com, la-parker-illustration.tumblr.com, facebook.com/lukeparkerillustration, http://future-parker.deviantart.com, twitter.com/Artofparker
QRD – How old were you when you first got into comics & did you always stick with them or did you come back to them?
Luke – I don’t really remember. I’ve always had them lying around, mostly odd issues from car boot sales when I was a kid. When I was in college was when I started to buy trades & all the popular books, now I’m moving into the indie stuff.
QRD – How old were you when you put out your first comic?
Luke – The first printed comic I produced was for a university project at about 21. I will be releasing my first full comic in a couple of weeks.
QRD – What decade do you think produced the best comics?
Luke – All of my favorite stuff is from the 80/90s, Dave Steven’s The Rocketeer, Mike Allred’s Madman, Mike Mignola’s Hellboy, & Frank Miller’s Sin City. Although I love the 60s Jack Kirby & EC comics, Tales from the Crypt, etc.
QRD – Why comics instead of just writing or drawing?
Luke – I grew up with an interest in comics, video games, & films. Studied illustration, found it too pretentious & most of the illustrators I’ve seen cannot draw like a comic artist, so I gradually went back to comics which seems like the best way to combine those interests, I still do illustration work alongside comics though & will be writing my own comics.
QRD – Do you see mini-comics & indie comics as paths to mainstream comics or as their own unique media?
Luke – Both. They should be good in their own right, but if they are good mainstream people will take notice.
QRD – How many copies of your comic do you print in your first run?
Luke – 250 seems to be the best number for a limited run, gives them a sense of collectability.
QRD – How much do you think comics should cost?
Luke – No more than $3, especially filler superhero stuff.
QRD – How many books do you produce a year & how many would you like to?
Luke – At top speed I can produce 1 issue a month full colour, I would like to get paid more so that I could take more time to perfect everything.
QRD – Do you think stories should be serialized or delivered as complete works?
Luke – Depends on the project.
QRD – How are comic strips different than comic books & which medium do you prefer?
Luke – I see comic strips as little comedy sketches like Calvin & Hobbes & comic books are basically just books to me.
QRD – What do you do better with your comics now than when you first started?
Luke – Everything, stronger line weights, better printed image, generally better art & I’ve developed my own style of pacing & putting a page together. I often add panels that aren’t in the script now.
QRD – Do you do thumbnails?
Luke – Yes a lot, I usually sketch out a lot of things in thumbnail size.
QRD – At what size do you draw?
Luke – Standard comic board size.
QRD – What kind of pens do you use?
Luke – I’ve tried a lot of different ones, most recently Uni Pin Fine Lines & Copic Multi-liners sizes 0.3,0.5 & 0.8. I’ve got about every brand that exists around here just bought some Pigma Micron brush pens to try.
QRD – What does your workstation look like?
Luke – Messy, I’ve not got room for a desk, so I have a board that I work on which allows me to move around, I have a laptop that I use for reference, etc. (which again is mobile) & I’m surrounded by books.
QRD – At what point in the artistic process do you work digitally?
Luke – Adding colour with Photoshop & putting the comic together.
QRD – What do you think of digital comics & webcomics?
Luke – They save a lot of room, but I still like to own a printed copy.
QRD – Do you prefer working in color or black & white?
Luke – Both. Colouring can be a pain sometimes…
QRD – How many different people should work on a comic & what should their jobs be?
Luke – Depends what the deadline is. & how good each person is. I do all the art myself because there’s no money for anyone else.
QRD – How do you find collaborators?
Luke – They find me generally.
QRD – How tight do you think a script should be as far as telling the artist what to draw?
Luke – Tight on specific things, but loose on detail so the artist can make up what they want to draw.
QRD – What comic book person would you be most flattered to be compared to?
Luke – Mike Mignola (which happens quite a lot).
QRD – What do you think of superheroes?
Luke – Love’em the films are taking them to new heights & now I think the comics are trailing behind.
QRD – Marvel or DC?
Luke – Definitely Marvel, love all their characters. DC has Batman & Superman, but after that not so much…
QRD – What comic characters other than your own would you like to work with?
Luke – The Rocketeer, Hellboy & all the other Mignola characters, & Marvel/DC superheroes (Ghost Rider would be cool), Invincible. I’d love to work on some of Dark Horse’s franchises Terminator, Aliens, etc., love all those films.
QRD – Ideally would you self-publish?
Luke – Yes, I am. Maybe not ideally…
QRD – What do you do to promote your books?
Luke – Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Deviant Art promotion, & emailing blogs, etc.
QRD – Do you think your comics are well suited to comic shops or would sell better elsewhere?
Luke – Best in comic shops, although the internet (Amazon) is probably the best place for bargains.
QRD – What other medium would you like to see some of your comics made into (television, film, games, action figures, etc.)?
Luke – Everything, film & TV would be cool. Videogames would be super cool & action figures definitely.
QRD – Do you consider yourself a comic collector or a comic reader or both?
Luke – Not so much a collector. I have a lot but I flick through them a lot studying the art so they don’t stay pristine for long.
QRD – What do you see as the most viable mediums for comics distribution 10 years from now?
Luke – Digital may become equal, but there will probably always be a market for physical comics as with music & games.
QRD – What would you like to see more people doing with comics?
Luke – Make comics that only they could make, it’s the way I want to go, write & draw things that no one else would do in the same way.
QRD – Anything else?
Luke – Check out Merrick The Sensational Elephantman, for updates visit: https://www.facebook.com/theelephantmancomic