Q – Why is it called ‘The Intercorstal’?
A- ‘Intercorstal’ is a bastardisation of ‘intercostal’ which are the muscles inbetween a mammal’s ribs which help control breathing. The original idea was that the word would evoke a sense of ‘between-ness’ and also factor in as a theme on how verbal communication happens. But now, as with any other word which if used often enough loses its initial purpose, it is a name for this comic.
Q – How did you develop the style?
A – As a teenager I started making A3 doodle pictures with biro, and it’s sort of continued on from there. At one point it was very much ‘make a space, fill it with a pattern’ but now it’s more measured than that. I suppose the glib answer would be “I developed the style by drawing a lot.”
Q – Where did your interest in Abstract Comics come from?
A – Before starting ‘The Intercorstal’, by main interest was in ‘art’, and I was working on an abstract style of drawing, and finding ways to develop that. And before that I had an interest in comics that had lapsed somewhat. Then I accidentally did the first page of The Intercorstal while working on something different, liked it enough that I did another, and then over time started reading comics ferociously, to get a better understanding of the medium, and the language, so that I could play with them. And at some point I stumbled on the Abstract Comics ‘movement’, led as formally as these things can be by Andrei Molotiu, realised I wasn’t on my own. And an interest in ‘Abstract Comics’ formed then.
Q – How do you choose what to Intercorstal?
A – In terms of reinterpreting/intertextualising/stealing, it comes down to a few factors:
- whether I like the comic;
- whether I’m trying to impress the person who made the original,
- or show gratitude to them;
- whether I think there’s something worth exploring there, in the language of that page
That’s not a complete list. In terms of from-scratch, original pages, it’s just what I feel like drawing at the time.
Q – What is this?
A – It looks like a wardrobe, but it sure doesn’t smell like one.
Q – How does it work?
A – You lift that bit at the top, give it a half-turn to the left, tip the whole thing on its end and when it changes colour to match your mood, hit the ‘Ice’ button. If it doesn’t work the first time, make sure all the windows are open, and that the red light isn’t blushed.
Q – Why are you making it?
A – Compulsion, mostly. A bit of a desire to be noticed, and to be the best at something by always striving to be the only person doing it.
Q – How long are you making it for?
A – At this rate, in one form or another, I’ll be working on The Intercorstal for the rest of my life.
Q – Is it a comic?
A – For all intents and purposes, yes.
Q – Why beetroot shoes?
A – When I was growing up in Wales I had a friend called Llyr. Nobody English, that I’ve met, has been able to correctly pronounce his name. Maybe something to do with that.
Q – Can you draw properly? For example a horse or a car.
Q – When did you start?
A – The first page of the Intercorstal was posted to deviantArt on the 6th July 2008, so it would have been that day, or the day before maybe.
Q – Will it ever have words in it?
A – A page I made for submission to Offlife had words on it. They didn’t have anything to do with the comic, and I’m not that happy with the words themselves. But the page was lettered by Jim Campbell and he did an absolutely incredible job with them. I like it so much that I’ll almost definitely try including some again.
There are also two 3-panel strips I did for XOK Mag as an experiment, and I really like those too.
On the other side of that, the first four pages of Intercorstal 2 all had words on them — the original pages still do. But I just didn’t like the way the page was reading with them in, and from then on avoided text wherever possible. Working with a writer, though, I’m sure I could come up with something special.
Q – Why? When? How? Who? Buh-guh?
A – Vanity, maybe. When you’re ready. With Bristol Board, a ruler, a brush pen, some fineliners, sometimes a calculator. Me, and whoever I’m copying from at the time. Yes, absolutely, but not right now, I’ve just had some soup..