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Comichaus Meets: Gareth A Hopkins

Today we meet creator, writer & artist, Gareth A Hopkins.

/media/blog/library/g_hopkins.jpgPlease introduce yourself and your team (if you have one).

I’m Gareth A Hopkins, I’m a comic creator and artist, based in Essex. I make abstract comics, for the most part. If I’m known for anything it’s ‘Petrichor’ which came out in 2019 from Good Comics, and my series ‘The Intercorstal’ which has been knocking about in one form or another for years.

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

I don’t know if any comic in particular inspired me to start making them… I was utterly up my own arse when I started experimenting with comics, especially since I hadn’t done much of the groundwork before I started. There’s a point in my development where I realised I should really study what I love about comics in order to improve my own, and that meant doing dives back into 2000AD to begin with, and then wider into Marvel stuff and creator-owned stuff later. It’s not really a secret that one of my biggest influences is John Smith, a writer for 2000AD, and Revere, which he made with Simon Harrison, lodged itself in the back of imagination when I was a teenager and hasn’t left since.

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

It’s all me. I’ve not developed enough as a writer yet to actually write another character. What I do instead is give the reader the smallest amount of detail possible and they’ll fill the gaps in themselves, using their own experience, which is a trick I picked up from listening to a lot of True Crime podcasts. This is especially true in ‘nothing’, where the reader only gets the character’s name and a tiny bit more – everything else about that person is written by the reader.

Where did you draw your inspiration from?

Absolutely all over the place. At the moment I take a lot of my cues from music, and bands I like. There’s a transition in styles during ‘nothing’ which was me trying to recreate a moment in the song ‘Bad Entropy’ by why?, where there’s a pause and then the song transitions to a new movement. I also take a lot of ideas from fine art – using generative processes when building pages, or abstract expressionist ideas of how to build an image. And when I’m using a pen, I’m often trying to make lines in the same way that Carlos Ezquerra used to ink, to be honest, really closely nested groups of lines which give shape and texture. Other than that, it’s whatever I’m interested in at the time – Most Haunted has been a massive influence in how to tell a story, and also how to play with ideas of belief and the paranormal. Like, I don’t think for a second that there’s any ghosts on that program, but there’s all sorts of things the program makers are doing to make you think that they think there’s a ghost there.

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

Until recently, it was finding stuff that I wanted to write about. I like the autobio stuff I’ve done like Petrichor and Bones Of The Sea, but I want to stretch myself a bit, and finding ideas that I can carry through the whole way has been tough - although I had a great idea the other night while reading old Spider-man comics, which is what I’m working on now. The other thing I struggle with is lettering – what I’ve done so far is OK, I guess, it serves its purpose. But I would like to learn more techniques than ‘stick some text on top of a box’.

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

Just to read them, maybe? I think if you were to pick one up, and not give yourself the chance to get into the rhythms of the writing, you’d maybe not appreciate them. I imagine that some people would see the lack of figurative drawing as meaning that there’s less to the comic than if there were lots of drawings of people and cars and whatever, but not including those things leaves space for other, less obvious things to work on the reader, I think. Also worth bearing in mind that I bury lots of visual tricks into the comics, and a closer reading might bear fruit with a lot of them.

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

I’m currently working on a collection of short stories called ‘Explosive Sweet Freezer Razors’. All the stories are separate to eachother, but have connective elements – sometimes they share a line of text, or the pages have been built up from the same source, things like that. There’s four parts available now – nothing, Petalburn, A Hill To Cry Home and The Bones Of The Sea, with another short thing called ‘Bullwise’ coming in an anthology soon. I’ve got a few other chapters under way at the moment – one which is based on panel layouts from a Thunder Strike comic, and one about a jungle, although that idea’s not really settled yet. I’ve got some really stupid ideas of the format I’d like to present Explosive Sweet Freezer Razors in, but they need some work before I can be sure they’ll work. I’ve also spent this Covid-19 lockdown filling up a notebook with over-developed doodles, and I might see if I can collected them electronically but we’ll see, because scanning and sorting that many pages at once is a bit daunting.


You can read the Gareth's titles over on the Comichaus App now, or purchase a print copy from the Comichaus Marketplace by clicking on the cover images below.

G-Man

The Intercorstal 2009- #683
Sliced Quarterly  Vol.1
nothing

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