Kendal Calling: An Interview with Comics Laureate and Walking Dead artist Charlie Adlard

Charlie Adlard LICAF 2017 Banner

The countdown has begun to this year’s Lakes International Comic Art Festival in October (13th – 15th). We continue our “Kendal Calling” interviews with Walking Dead artist and UK Comics Laureate 2017-2019 Charlie Adlard.

Charlie has been a “veteran” of the comic industry for over 20 years. He’s spent the majority of his time since 2004 working on The Walking Dead for which he has received many industry awards.

In his time as a cartoonist he has worked on many other projects as far reaching as Mars Attacks, The X-Files, Judge Dredd, Savage, Batman, X-Men, Superman and more – and creator-owned projects closer to his heart like Astronauts In Trouble, Codeflesh, Rock Bottom and White Death.

The cover of Walking Dead Volume 28, out in September
The cover of Walking Dead Volume 28, out in September
Art from Vampire State Building, which will be published by a two book series for Soleil/Delcourt in France and Image Comics in English
Art from Vampire State Building, which will be published by a two book series for Soleil/Delcourt in France and Image Comics in English

downthetubes: What are you working on, comics-wise, right now, and when will it be published?

Charlie Adlard: The usual – The Walking Dead of course… plus I’ve just finished Book One (of a two book series) of my French bande dessinee, a two-book series for Soleil/Delcourt – Vampire State Building. And I’ve a contribution to a book with my writer friend Robbie Morrison called 14-18 NOW – a tribute to the end of the Great War.

downthetubes: Which comic project you’ve worked on are you most proud of and where can people see it or buy it?

White Death
White Death

Charlie: Probably The Walking Dead, just because it’s been in my life for so long! But White Death (written by Robbie Morrison) has a special place in my heart too. Both are available from Image Comics.

downthetubes: How do you plan your day as a creator? (Do you plan your day?)

Charlie: Very much. I tend to be very organised (it’s the only way to be if you’re self employed) and set myself daily targets to reach by day’s end. I also work regular 9-5 hours – for me, the routine helps with speed and efficiency.

downthetubes: What’s the best thing about being a comics creator?

Charlie: Being creative all day… doing the thing I love for a living.

downthetubes: And the worst?

Charlie: There is no “worst”…

The opening page page from "Without a Trace" by Robbie Morrison and Charlie Adlard
The opening page page from “Without a Trace” by Robbie Morrison and Charlie Adlard

downthetubes: What most distracts you from getting your work done?

Charlie: Other people – who assume that because you work from home you’re not really at work.

Oh, and the morning procrastination!

downthetubes: Do you think it’s easier or harder for young comic creators to get published today?

Charlie: It’s easier to get recognised today, but probably harder to make a living from comics.

Artist Charlie Adlard attempts to convince the audience Asterix is better than Tintin by wearing a silly hat and kicking Snowy! (It's a puppet...)
Artist Charlie Adlard attempts to convince the audience Asterix is better than Tintin by wearing a silly hat and kicking Snowy! (It’s a puppet…)

downthetubes: Have you ever been to the Lake District before and if so what did you think of it? If you haven’t, what are you expecting?

Charlie: Yes I have. Every year since it started… and I love it. LOVE IT!

downthetubes: Which one comic creator would you most like to meet, and why?

Charlie: Plenty who are no longer with us – Alex Toth, Hugo Pratt… Ones that are still alive? Still far too many to single out… Baru? Chris Samnee?

downthetubes: How do Festivals and other comics events help creators most, do you think?

Charlie: Actually physically meeting fellow creatives and industry professionals. The internet’s opened so many doors to so many comic related things, but you still can’t beat eye to eye contact.

downthetubes: What one piece of advice do you offer people looking to work in the comics industry?

Charlie: See above!

downthetubes: What’s your favourite comic right now and where can people get it?

Charlie: Either Lazarus or Southern Bastards – both available through Image (again!).

downthetubes: Charlie, thank you for your time and we look forward to catching up with you in Kendal!

Book Your Festival Tickets Now!

• Book your tickets for this year’s Lakes International Comic Art Festival here. This year’s events programme includes live draws, masterclasses, interactive talks and a chance to get up close to the best comic creators in the world! 

Web: www.comicartfestival.com | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube |Podcast

CHARLIE ADLARD ONLINE

• Web: charlieadlard.com
• Twitter: @CharlieAdlard
• Facebook

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John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a "freelance comics operative", currently working as a freelance editor for TITAN COMICS, as Creative Consultant on the new DAN DARE audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the LAKES INTERNATIONAL COMIC ART FESTIVAL and LANCASTER COMICS DAY. John has worked in British comics publishing for over 30 years, starting out at Marvel UK, where he edited a number of the Genesis 1992 books with Paul Neary. His numerous credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines, where he was Managing Editor. He also edited STRIP Magazine and worked as an editor on several audio comics for ROK Comics, including TEAM M.O.B.I.L.E. and THE BEATLES STORY. Most recently he is writing CRUCIBLE as a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and DEATH DUTY and SKOW DOGS with Dave Hailwood for the digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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