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WAITING FOR TOMMY: DAVID HINE
By Richard Johnston

RICHARD: As do we all (BTW, Virgin Megastores are doing a box set of Crumb and American Splendor right now, for cheapo money. Plug over). David, you disappeared on us for a while. Some Judge Dredds, Zoids, Strange Embrace, Care Bears, you had quite an eclectic base of work. Then, nothing for years. Now, suddenly, a reprint collection of Strange Embrace from Active Images and District X. What brought you back in? How have things changed in the industry? Do you reckon you'll stick around for a while?
DAVID: Acch! I spent years trying to draw comics. I never managed to achieve that spontaneous flow from brain to paper that the best artists do so effortlessly. The greatest artist was Hugo Pratt - his drawing was like handwriting - spontaneous and totally personal. My style changed with every strip I did because I was always wrestling with the mechanics of drawing. The only thing I was really happy with was 'Strange Embrace'. That came out at a time when the backlash against black-and-white independents was in full swing. It got lost in the tide of crap and I gave up hope of ever being able to make a living doing the comics I really wanted to do, so I walked away in disgust. Having Strange Embrace published in the graphic novel format I had always intended for it was irresistible, but I really didn't intend to return to comics until Joe Quesada invited me to do something for Marvel. I'm more surprised than anyone to end up writing what is ostensibly an X-book, but I'm getting a real kick out of it. It's amazing to actually have an audience that I can't count on my fingers!

The industry has changed a lot. Some of the dead wood is gone. There is probably even more diversity than ever in the independents and the quality of art and writing is much higher. The audience for comics appears, on the face of it, to be stagnant, but with the increasing number of graphic novels, collections and manga in a range of outlets, there may be more people reading comics than we think.

I'm optimistic and I plan to stick around this time.

RICHARD: How does writing District X compare to working on the Care Bears anyway?
DAVID: Jeez, I miss those little fellers. I still get a fuzzy, squidgy feeling whenever I think about them.

RICHARD: So are you definitely going to become one of these writer/artists who gives up the art section and just concentrates on the writing? Bendis, Austen and some hack called Rich Johnston come to mind?
DAVID: No more drawing. except possibly a follow-up to 'Strange Embrace'. Definitely no regular strip. Too painful. I need my sleep.

RICHARD: And how does this change the stories you write? Are you more challenging or less in the scripts you send to the artist, than if you were drawing?
DAVID: Of course, having been an artist I keep that very much in mind when I'm writing scripts. I actually know what a bastard I'm being. I'm still wracking my brains to work out how to fit that classic scene "Six hundred horsemen appear over the hill" into District X. (My apologies to David Yardin. I know I've made things tough for him but I do believe that what doesn't kill you makes you strong. er, is that an axe I see in your hand David?)

RICHARD: Oh yes, and oh long, on it's blade and dudgeon, gouts of blood, that was not so before. Excellent. Well, what else? Bishop is a central sci-fi character of Marvel. He seems to be placed in more of a police procedural mutant comic. Are you playing with that jarring of genres, as well as the whole mutant thing?
DAVID: I'm not thinking in terms of genre, but I've always liked crime/noir, horror, science fiction and anything with mutants so it seems right that there are elements of all those genres in DX.

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 Continued Here...

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