FERGUSON’S 7 QUESTIONS WITH… PJ HOLDEN
Answering the 7 Questions is an artist who has worked on Judge Dredd for 2000AD and has moved into creator-owned waters with Dept of Monsterology and Numbercruncher… PJ Holden.
[NOTE: I got the third question wrong but left it the mistake in as I, as a rule, never edit the answers to 7 questions apart from spelling errors when I notice them]
What was the first comic work you did that was published?
“Holy Cross” #3 written by Malachy Coney for Fantagraphics in, I think, 1994.
What is the biggest thing you have learned since that book?
Goodness, such a long time ago, I think the biggest thing I’ve learnt is some goals are better in the abstract.
What’s your process for writing a comic book?
I don’t write ‘em, but assuming you mean ‘draw a comic book’, then…
First step is to read the script. And then read it again. Then I’ll print it out (making sure I’ve numbered the pages, in case they go missing over the time it takes to draw it). Then, I’ll do rough layouts, while reading the script again. And then I’ll, working on a printed blueline guide, roughly pencil then ink the page.
What is the biggest influence on your work?
How immediately I need to get paid.
If I’m honest, I’ll go looking for new influences all the time, so it’s such a disparate mix of stuff, but if you’re looking to pep up a dull page of talking heads, you could do worse than freeze frame practically any part episode of The West Wing.
What are you working on right now?
Nothing that I can talk about (I’ve become very superstitious about talking about work – sometimes a gig can take a lot longer than you anticipate)
What do you have out now or coming out next?
A surprising amount: The hardcover collection of Numbercruncher out now, pretty proud of it and it’ll make a good Christmas present (or a good purchase with any Christmas money if you’re reading this later). I’m in this month’s 2000AD Christmas special, drawing Sinister Dexter for the first time (brilliantly coloured by Dylan Teague) and episode 3 of the Dept of Monsterology – wherein very exciting stuff happens, monsters are slain and bigger monsters are revealed.
What is your favourite Irish comic?
Gah! I’m woefully uninformed on the Irish comics scene, so, since he’s a mate and I’ve never met a bandwagon I didn’t like, I’ll say Stephen Mooney’s Half Past Danger.