A Chat with Melbourne Illustrator & Comic Artist Steve Boyd – A Pop Up Book Shop Participant

TIGERBELLY

Steve Boyd

Steve Boyd is an illustrator and comic artist based in Melbourne Australia. Steve has been heavily involved in the Melbourne comic book scene for some years now, organising social drawing days, being involved in comic events such as Free Comic Book Day and online comic related social media, such as the Ozcomics weekly draw off. Steve Boyd’s work can be found in the Colour Box Studio Pop Up Shop until 31 August 2013.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.
I’m Steve Boyd, Melbourne based illustrator and comic artist.

Describe your creative practice
I make comics. I like to focus on strong narrative driven work, because I feel that people can really make lasting emotional connections to narrative works, as opposed to static imagery. My favourite medium is the humble comic because it can do things that film can’t do, and literature can’t do. It’s kind of a cross between the two but in a lot of ways it can do things that those two can’t. It of course has it’s limits and that’s part of the charm.

charnel rose pinup

charnel rose pinup

I think the ignorance about comics as a medium is clearing, like a dumb fog, and the audience is growing, with the Marvel and DC films getting massive mainstream recognition. Finally we are catching up to countries like Japan, the USA, Belgium and France, where everyone reads comics, regardless of demographic. The scene in Melbourne is thriving and vibrant, and is only getting bigger by the day. It’s time for the Australian invasion into world comics.

How did you come to it?
I’ve been drawing my whole life…. As much of it as I can remember, anyway. I remember making small stapled story books about dinosaurs and dragons as a kid, for school or at home. I guess I haven’t grown up. Art is a refuge, and it’s nostalgic in a way. But it is also a powerful tool; I think people often forget that.

Where did you grow up and has it influenced what you create?
I grew up in Geelong, in a pretty happy middle class home. I had great opportunities (like Dad’s left over office supplies, paper, pens) and encouragement from my parents and an artistic sister too so I guess that provided an environment conducive to making art. Billy Hysteria, the writer of my comic and other half of Weird Love, I met in highschool and we grew up watching the same horror movies, playing the same records and reading the same comics. So we have almost fifteen years of shorthand in our creative process. Sometimes we finish each other’s sentences like a pair of weird twins.

issue zerro zed mercury cover 2What is your current project?
Weird Love released our debut comic “Zed Mercury~ Psychopomp” last year. Issue Zerro, the introduction to the character, is available at Colourbox this month!
The best way to describe it is a horror comedy, set in the bone-punk underworld, about a washed up Psychopomp (guide for souls in the afterlife) with an addiction to Magick. Like the grim reaper but cooler. In the first installment he finds a living human stowaway, Candy Cinnamon, who is lost in the underworld. Zed needs to figure out how she got there and why all the factions of hell are hunting them.
Issue one, the beginning of the six part mini series is in the pipeline at the moment.
I’m also doing a Killeroo story and just finished a piece for the Ink Tales anthology, set in the same world as Zed, which is being released this year. Got a few record covers coming out soon, some tattoo work too.

Who or what was your inspiration?
Artistically I am influenced by Frank Quitely, Geof Darrow, Mike Mignola, Sam Keith, H. R. Giger, Ralph Steadman, Raphael Grampa, Gabriel Ba, and Chris Weston, among many others. The character of Zed was based on the kind of seventies rock stars that really resonate with us, you can see equal parts Bowie, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, Lux Interior and Joey Ramone. I guess there’s a bit of the crow in there for good measure.
 

TIGERBELLY

Where do you feel most creative?
Hmmm…. In the shower. Or in my studio, in the late hours of the night when I should be asleep. But literally every waking moment has creative potential. I am trying to balance my life so that making art can be my primary focus, rather than paying the rent….

What can visitors to expect to see from you in the Colour Box Studio Pop Up Shop?
Issue Zerro, the intro to the story of Zed Mercury is there, along with three of my prints. Expect tight leather pants, Magick drug use, pirates and adult themes.
My mate Darren also has the first two books of his comic Killeroo available. Check em out!

More about Steve Boyd’s creative practice:  http://boydink.wordpress.com/

Steve’s work can be found in the Colour Box Studio Pop Up Shop until 31 August 2013.

ziltoid posters available at the Colour Box Studio Pop Up Book Shop

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