Dave Gibbons, English Artist ( April 14, 1949 - )

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I don't think schooling of any sort really prepares you for real life. I don't know if art school would have prepared me to draw comics. Half of the people I know in comics went to art school, half of them didn't. Some of them went and dropped out.~Dave Gibbons

Life Art School

When I first came to New York City, what I was thrilled about was not the Empire State Building, or the Statue of Liberty; it was the fireplugs in the street. These things that Jack Kirby had drawn. Or these cylindrical water towers on top of buildings that Steve Ditko's 'Spider-Man' fights used to happen in and around.~Dave Gibbons

Water City Building

Comics are a particularly esoteric field where you really learn how to do it, by doing it or by learning from other practitioners.~Dave Gibbons

Learning Learn Doing

To my mind, the most successful and the best comic book illustrators are those who translate the real world into a consistent code. If you look at Jack Kirby or Steve Ditko, their drawings look nothing like the real world, but they are internally consistent. In terms of a comic book it can work just fine.~Dave Gibbons

Work Best Book

Comics is all about making it believable and helping people to get completely lost in a fictional world.~Dave Gibbons

World People Lost

When you're drawing something, you kind of run a movie in your head. You might close your eyes or stare into the distance and kind of see a movie unfolding and, you know, grab a certain moment or think, 'Oh, yeah, that's when we need just the point that he appears around the corner but just as she's getting into the car,' you know?~Dave Gibbons

Car Eyes Moment

One of the things when you're drawing a comic book is that you're spending four or five times as long to draw it as the writer takes to write it. In my career I've had to spend a week drawing something that a writer has thrown out in an hour. And there's nothing worse than having to work on something that no previous thought has gone into.~Dave Gibbons

Work Week Book

People unacquainted with graphic novels, including journalists, tend to think of 'Watchmen' as a book by Alan Moore that happens to have some illustrations. And that does a disservice to the entire form.~Dave Gibbons

Book People Think

In comics, there are depths that don't reveal themselves immediately, and the stuff that you might consider anal about 'Watching the Watchmen' - like the notes where I plot the rotation of a perfume bottle through the air - might not be particularly obvious to anyone who reads it.~Dave Gibbons

You Air Watching

I think readers are always patient. Look at the 'Harry Potter' series. Some have given up on this generation of kids as game and TV addicts, but lots of people spend lots of time patiently reading through hundreds of pages of dense prose. I think reading a comic by comparison is a lot more immediate.~Dave Gibbons

Time Generation People

With the 'Watchmen' comic, we attempted to tell it in an accessible way. I deliberately made the artwork very clear, deceptively so. You think you're sucking on a sweetie, but it turns out to be a sugar-coated chili.~Dave Gibbons

You Think Way

I vividly remember my first 'Superman' comic, which my granddad bought me when I was about 7. From that point on, all I wanted to do is draw comics. And specifically, superhero and science fiction comics. Basically I used to copy comic books, and draw my own comics on scrap paper.~Dave Gibbons

Science Remember Me

I came to think that nobody from England could draw American comic books, because they were clearly all done by this sort of Mafia, all these guys with Italian and Irish names who had the whole thing sewn up. It was actually seeing a comic book drawn by Barry Smith, who was about my age, and English.~Dave Gibbons

Age Book American

I think probably the first time I wanted to be an artist was when I was about six or seven years old. I used to get British comics and I clearly remember seeing my first American comic: an issue of 'Action Comics', with Superman on the cover with a treasure horde in a cave, and Lois saying something like 'I don't believe Superman is a miser!'~Dave Gibbons

Time Artist American

If you want to draw comics, you really have to love to draw, as you will be spending many hours sitting down with a pencil or pen in your hand.~Dave Gibbons

Love Want You

You eventually come to the conclusion that there's only so much you can do with these established characters, and you start wondering who among us will be the one to create the next 'Superman' or 'Batman' or 'James Bond' or next 'Lone Ranger.'~Dave Gibbons

Start Bond You

I really like it when you can step outside of what's come before and find a surprise for the reader and find a surprise for yourself.~Dave Gibbons

Yourself Step Surprise

I'm known for being very enthusiastic about using technology. A lot of the attraction is the way that it streamlines the process and takes a lot of the drudgery out of it.~Dave Gibbons

Technology Process Way

There are people who specialise in lettering, and I've had my hand lettering made into a digital font. I picked up a copy of the 'Dandy' the other week, and I was amazed to see that it was completely lettered in my hand-lettering font. It was quite a thrill, really, having been a 'Dandy' reader years and years ago.~Dave Gibbons

Week People Digital

One of the things you have to be able to do, as a comic strip artist, is to draw things repeatedly from a variety of angles, so you need references, and you find the best picture you can.~Dave Gibbons

Best Artist Picture

If you're using a computer as an artist and expressing your personal vision, I think your personal vision comes through.~Dave Gibbons

Vision Artist You

I think with something like 'Watchmen' you can genuinely call that a graphic novel because it has the weight and the intent of a proper novel and it also is the complete story.~Dave Gibbons

You Think Story

I think the problem with the term graphic novel is it sounds pompous, it sounds pretentious, whereas on the continent, they call it an album, which to me sounds, it's got more much of a connotation of a kind of a music single and an album collection.~Dave Gibbons

Music Me Problem

I've always felt that the comic strip medium stands equally beside all the other story telling mediums: novels, movies, stage plays, opera, you know, you name it.~Dave Gibbons

Name You Movies

I think if you want to do a thing properly you have to take a lot of care. I've always found it's easier to draw comics if you know clearly in your head what you're drawing, rather than if you try and make it up as you go along.~Dave Gibbons

Care Drawing Want

I always start drawing any job by planning out to some degree the locales and trying to nail the characters. If they're existing characters, I'll draw them several times on rough paper just to get a feeling for them. The ideal when you're drawing a comic is to have everything in your head, not to have to refer to notes.~Dave Gibbons

Planning Job Trying