By Richard Serrao
Darick Robertson makes comics fun to read again. I can’t wait to get home a tear open a new Boys collection just to see what kind insanity and depravity that writer Garth Ennis and artist Darick have cooked up. He got a lot of attention for his 5-year run illustrating Warren Ellis’ Transmetropolitan. He became an in-demand ink-slinger who’s loaned his talents to the likes of DC / Wildstorm, Marvel and as well as covering artistic duties on his and Ennis’ creator-owned series The Boys currently published by Dynamite Entertainment.
First professional work (piece / year) and maybe a quick story behind it.
That depends on how you define “Professional”. First paying work? First published work? All of my Space Beaver stuff would qualify under the latter.
Self-taught or formally educated? (or mixture of both, mentors etc…)
Self taught, with a lot of sought after good advice from pros I’d meet.
Tools of the trade: Taking a quick glance over at your pens, brushes etc…what tools have you mainly been using over the last few years?
These days I am using primarily pens and brush pens. Steve (Whiteout) Lieber turned me on to Faber-Castell pens and i primarily use those and Prismacolor premiere pens with the dual end tips.
When I no longer have to meet strict deadlines, I will go back to my Windsor Newton #2 and a bottle of ink, but the pens take out the drying time.
Favorite brand of ink:
Type of paper:
Bristol Board, 2 ply.
Which artists or creators do you return to for a quick boost of inspiration? Who are the masters of ink?
These days it’s still my hero Brian Bolland, and now I’m studying Paul Neary’s work over Bryan Hitch.
Once a client has handed off an illustration job to you, how do you first tackle the job. Could you give us a quick overview of your process?
I usually sketch it out in light blue, scan it, turn it to dark grayscale and once I get the go, draw it in ink.
What’s currently sitting in your mp3 / CD player / turntable?
An 850 plus plus 80’s New Wave song list with a ton of the obscure stuff from the UK that I love, like the Bible!, Colourfield and The Beat. I also am digging Rilo Kiley, Keane and Snow Patrol right now.
What’s hanging on your walls and what is your favorite piece of art that you own (not created by you)?
A toss up between an original Gerald Scarfe Pink Floyd the Wall production cell or my original Bolland cover from Action Comics #571, or my original Flash by golden age creator Harry Lampert.
Last novel you read and last movie that you saw (that you’d recommend)?
Cormac McCarthy’s The Road (Still reading, but its great) and The Day of the Locust from 1874. You’ll see images that probably influenced Alan Parker when he did Pink Floyd’s The Wall.
Current and upcoming projects?
The Boys, The Authority with Keith Giffen and Prototype.
What would you tell an aspiring artist who is working his ass off but still needs and wants to break through to the next level?
The business is tougher than ever to break into, so focus on creating work you believe in rather than work you think will sell. Marketing is all about being original and productive. Don’t ever start drawing because you want money from it or you’ll chase that dream like a man after his hat in the wind.
To see more of Darick Robertson go to his Myspace page, website or check out his original art for sale at his ebay store.