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Comichaus Meets: David Cooper

Today we meet colourist and cartoonist, David Cooper!

Please introduce yourself and your team (if you have one).

Hi! I'm David Cooper, I'm a colourist and cartoonist, I've been working in comics for a few years now. People probably know me best from Face Down in the Mud, Dead Silence or Bruce, but I've also been fortunate enough to colour books such as Alex Automatic, The Edge Off, Pirate Fun and Forged.

What are some of the comics that inspired you to start creating your own? Any creators in particular?

I read a lot of superhero stuff as a kid, ravenously tearing through whatever I could get my hands on. A lot of Spiderman and Batman, although if I saw something else in the newsagent I'd beg my parents for it, I didn't care it it was part three of seven or whatever.

Through my teens I was more into webcomics, stuff like Daily Dinosaur Comics, Dr McNinja, Hark! A Vagrant, the sort of stuff that regularly updated with fresh ideas (and, perhaps, more importantly, was free). Eventually I did have my own webcomic, Perpendicular Universe, which ran for a few years. That was my first “real” comic I created.

I starting exhibiting and making the kind of comics I make today around 2013ish, when I attended Kapow! Comic Con in London. There was a lot of great indie talent there, which was incredibly inspiring, but also allowed me to step back and think “Hey...I could do this!” There was a panel featuring Emma Vieceli, Kate Brown and Becky Cloonan that especially cemented my urge to get my work out there.

How much of your own personality goes into your character(s)?

I believe it's impossible for a creator to not include some aspect of their pesonality in their characters, conciously or not. Even villains and antagonists have to come from some sort of believable point of view. The key is trying to dress it up in interesting ways so it doesn't all sound the same.

My book “Face Down In The Mud” is literally autobiographical, I'm the main character, so there was a lot of direct personality there, in somem presentable form. It really opened up how I can play to my strengths, utilizing my personality in my writing rather than attempting to work around it.

I've only recently started examining this in the book I'm currently working on (working title: “The Bear That Couldn't”). It features a main character that is similar to me in a lot of ways, and how he approaches the writing process. It's really exorcising what I find to be the worst parts of myself in a lot of ways, how to make an interesting character from my own personal flaws. He's a bear though. I'm not a bear. I should clarify that.

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Where did you draw your inspiration from?

EVERYWHERE. I get inspired far too easy. I'll watch a slightly above average movie and think “WOW I should do something like that! If you just adjusted here, and changed this...” It leads to a lot of folders with ideas in development, many of which I'll never have time for, sadly. I think the challenge is drowning out some of the noise and focusing on the ideas that can really be explored effectively. I never get writer's block, I tend to get...writer's excess?

What struggles have you faced with the creation of ….. and producing the final release?

Honestly, it doesn't get talked about a lot, but the biggest struggle is often money. I'd love to work with more artists (working with Ryan Taylor on Dead Silence was such a great experience for me) but they deserve to be compensated for their time and hard work. Printing costs can be an issue too. If you like a creator, support their work financially!

Also working full time as a colourist and flatter can get in the way of my own work, which I'll often put on the back burner in favour of a team. I'm quite good at time management though, I'm finding time to create.

What do fans need to know going into their first issue of your comic?

Very little! I try to make my work as accessible as possible. I'd recommend watching Jaws before you read Bruce...but I recommend everyone should watch Jaws anyway.

What have you got coming up in the future? Are you working on more issues?

At the moment I'm working on the aforementioned graphic novel “The Bear That Couldn't” (again, working title). It's about a bear who is struggling to write his second book, because he wants to buy a jetski. It's about social anxiety, the creative process and ego. I'm very proud of it so far.

Also ongoing is “The Price”, my panel-a-day comic, in which I draw a single new panel every day with nothing pre-planned. As I write this I just put up panel 216 – two hundred and sixteen days of flying by the seat of my pants so far. It's been so fun! I have no idea where it's going or how long it will go, but for now it's available on my Twitter and Instagram.

Bruce
Dead Silence  #0
Face Down In The Mud

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