Comics Creators

Wednesday Fan-Chat #14 - Dave Gibbons


Legendary comic creator Dave Gibbons will be joining us at 2pm New York time (7pm UK) on Wednesday, July 1st for one of our hour long fan-chats. Feel free to post any questions you may have in this thread in advance. Questions only though. All other posts will be removed. Thank you.

In the mean time, please enjoy this short Dave Gibbons bio-comic from Millarworld’s very own @EllBalson.


What was it like rebooting a classic character like Dan Dare for the early 2000AD? I gather your a Dare fan from your Wikipedia page and wondered if it was daunting / terrifying / an outright joy.

Also: Have you had any input with putting together the upcoming collection of Dare 2000AD strips?


Dave, you are a true legend whose work I’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy since I was old enough to read.

From Dan Dare, Harlem Heroes and Rogue Trooper to Superman & Green Lantern and then seminal series such as Give Me Liberty & Watchmen, the impact you’ve had in comics is deep and wide ranging :

  1. What are you most fond of and why?

  2. Are their any writers you have not worked with that you would really like to?

  3. I’ve really enjoyed your written work, any plans to write more comics in the future?

  4. Would you ever go back and do something at 2000ad or DC again in future if the project was right?

  5. I really got a buzz out of Secret Service, were you happy with the job they did of Kingsman (I much preferred the comic book version to the film) and do you have anything in the pipeline in the immediate future?

Thanks for taking the time to read my post and thanks for years of enjoyment and escapism.


Mr Gibbons. I am a 25 year old Comic Artist from Northern Ireland and I am chasing a Dream to become a comic Artist. I studied at Universtiy for 3 years studying illustration and didnt get any real comic or life drawing or any drawing in general. Mainly montage and graphics so everything has been self taught. I aim to one day work for 2000ad and cement my mark on the legendary comic.

My Question is what do you feel is the most essential thing to do in 2015 to make a start and get that steel toe cap boot in the door?

I would also like to say that your contribution to the comics world and also the world of Art in General is nothing short of remarkable. Thanks Dave

Karl Brown

Life long Fan!


I think we’ve got a dinner on Wednesday night so in case I’m not around…

I know I can ask this in person, but it’s too cool not to share:

Dave, I remember you and Alan had a Martian Manhunter series planned prior to Watchmen happening. You told me about this recently and it sparked off reading about it YEARS back, the idea being a 1950s-set noir detective series focusing on his private eye secret identity. I think I read about it in one of Dick’s Meanwhile columns.

1/ How far did this get?
2/ What made you guys shift gears and do something else?
3/ Are there any other pre-established characters you came very close to doing like this?

Your loving Scot!


Hello Sir, I’m a big fan of yours, my question is: is it today more easy to create a comic? is today’s fast feedback helpful?


There will be a Kingsman sequel (comic) in the works? (I really hope so)


Hi Dave, forgot to ask these at the Q&A the other day, I was still a bit frazzled from the Graduation festivities - who are your favourite artists and writers working on comics just now? I know you said you were a big fan of Millar and Hitch’s The Ultimates, but what’s your favourite on-going or recent book/series? Is there anybody you work with, have worked with or know of you think deserves more attention from readers?


Dave you once said that when you were drawing Martha Washington, that you drew it a twice the size of the Watchmen pages A3 to A2 Have you ever drawing others project at that size. Also was there more freedom in drawing at that size.


do you like my nite owl drawing
How did you get into drawing
What was your first comic your drew
Any advice to artist that want to do comic art


It was a bit disappointing, actually! I was thrilled to be offered it and went away to dream up designs and characters only to be told that the first script had already been written and everything was in place. Pretty soon, the whole thing became very militaristic (Star Wars was just hitting) and derivitive. Even so, I was tempted back to have another go, this time with a superhero twist (The Cosmic Claw!). That never really worked either! And I must be a sucker for punishment because I got talked into doing the cover for the new collection! Actually, it was quite fun to look through the old strips; they were straightahead action and thrills with no pretences. I did get to meet Dare’s creator Frank Hampson in the seventies and he absolved me, saying “We all have to make a living, old son…”

Continuing the discussion from Dave Gibbons Fan-Chat - Wednesday, July 1st 2pm New York Time:


Thanks, Chris!

1/ Clearly Watchmen will always have a special place but I really like “Chronocops” which I did with Alan and was a kind of testbed for Watchmen. But, really, it’s like trying to choose your favourite child!

2/ Ed Brubaker, Brian Wood… again the problem is leaving someone out!

3/ I may have a sequel to The Originals in me and hope to adapt some stories by others in the future. Nothing definite. I am writing some more Treatment material and also am about half way through my autobiography.

4/ That’s not out of the question but I’m really much more interested in pursuing my creator-owned material.

5/ Thoroughly enjoyed working with Mark on Secret Service and thought Matthew and Jane goldman did a fantastic job on Kingsman; not to mention the wonderful cast and the rest of the crew. But nothing more in the pipeline there immediately for me.


Chronocops was fantastic. Did that take a lot of work to plan out? It feels like it must have.


Other than the wonderful comics degree course available at Dundee University, it’s always seemed to me that art schools discourage comics work. In the business, only about half the artists went and many of them have succeeded DESPITE that! (I’m completely self-taught.) It all comes down to how strong your portfolio is. Main thing is to show examples of continuity, rather than pin-up shots. There are also three useful personal qualities. Any two of these will aid success:

1/ Be really, really good.

2/ Be really reliable and consistent.

3/ Be a really nice guy!


I remember reading Chronocops on a train to Carmarthen when I was pretty young. Glad Dave mentioned it as my brother and I were blown away by it. Such a complex idea in such a short space is very very rare and a masterclass anyone should follow.


@davegibbons - I really enjoy your work. For the Man Who Has Everything is one of my favorite Superman stories of all time. I just recently finished re-reading the Wednesday Comics hardcover and loved your Kamandi story with Ryan Sook. I have couple questions.

1.) Who is your favorite writer to work with as an artist and who is your favorite artist to work with as a writer?

2.) Who that you haven’t worked with (writer/artist) would you like to work with?

3.) What one work of yours would you put in people’s hands and say this best represents my work in comics?


What does your role of “comics laureate” involve? I’ve only ever heard it mentioned in passing.


1/ I got work with DC before Alan did but we had so much enjoyed working together at 2000AD that we decided to pitch a couple of series to DC to work on together. Martian Manhunter was the second; a dark tale of small-town, Cold War style paranoia. Basically, there were rumours and scares about an alien having crash-landed that the local authorities were investigating. Their chief investigator was Detective John Jones, newly arrived from out of state. Of course, only he and we knew it was Mars he’d really arrived from. Alan wrote an outline and I did a few moody sketches.

2/ I mentioned it to DC and was told that J’Onn J’Onzz had already been promised to someone else. In the end, that eventually became Jemm, Son Of Saturn.

3/ Before Manhunter From Mars we’d come up with a sprawling DC multiverse-wide mystery epic featuring the Challengers Of The Unknown. I didn’t even get as far as sketches before we were told that, yes, Challengers had been promised to someone else.

Nobody at DC had even read these proposals but, on seeing Alan’s work in 2000AD & Warrior eventually offered Alan Swamp Thing. I worked out my notice on Green Lantern and then the stars were perfectly aligned for Watchmen…

Thanks for the question, caller, and enjoy your dinner!


Computers are used a lot in the production of today’s comics. They make lettering, colouring, gathering reference, sending to the publisher etc much easier. But, given the distractions of Facebook, Twitter and the Google rabbit-holes, I’m not sure if they really save time!

The fast feedback is more of a problem than a help; very difficult reading reviews of issue 1 while working on issue 2. Good reviews are encouraging but we all know that bad ones are the only ones that stick! I try not to read them…


It isn’t on the cards at the moment but I believe there will be a movie sequel. The comic and movie versions would probably diverge so much as to be barely related.