With The77 Issue Three now on general release, here’s another in our series of “Meet the Creator” interviews conducted by Morgan Spiceman with the writers and artists involved in British comics anthology. This time out, he chats with comic artist and writer Phil Elliott, artist on the mind-warping tale, “Forgotten Reality”, written by Anna Everts.
Phil Elliott has been creating comics for as long as he can remember (and he turned 60 in June, so that’s quite a few years).
“I started drawing comics that I gave to friends at school and then went into ‘mass production’, using carbon paper which meant I could reproduce at least three copies of my drawings… though the third copy was very faint!” he tells us.
Phil has been through various highs and lows as a comic creator, but a few of his highs include drawing The Real Ghostbusters for Marvel UK; HIS two year gig creating a weekly comic strip with Eddie Campbell for the music paper, Sounds; “The Suttons” for his local newspaper, The Maidstone Star; and, of course, drawing for The77.
What is The77 to you?
Phil Elliott: I see The77 as a cooperative of comickers who are keen to create comix that are exciting, humorous, innovative, scary and invite the reader into a new reality.
How did you get involved?
Phil: To be honest, I can’t remember the exact circumstances (I’m old, remember) but I illustrated “The Last Man” by Michael Powell that appeared in Issue One and was subsequently sent the script for “Forgotten Reality” by Anna Everts which is now in Issue Three.
What is “Forgotten Reality” about?
Phil: It’s a wonderful self-contained story with no beginning and no ending.
Who are the characters?
Phil: The central character is Kavan Sakar, who doesn’t know who or where he is but is searching for an answer.
What are your hopes for The77?
Phil: That The77 can build on what it has already established. A comic featuring “veterans” like me and new creators like Anna. And now that the comic is going bi-monthly, it has the potential to reach even more people.
What else are you working on?
Phil: I currently have a new comic on Kickstarter, Malty Heave #2, with Robert Wells who has a story in Issue Four of The77. It’s an A4 comic with colour covers and 28 black and white interior pages. Robert and I have each contributed a 12-page strip, inspired by our love of classic horror mags like Creepy and Eerie.
How long have you been doing art?
Phil: Ha! Ever since could hold a pencil So… since about 1962.
Who are your favourite artists?
Phil: Too many to list but aside from many, Moebius has to be my all time favourite.
What is your favourite comic?
Phil: The77, of course!
What are your influences?
Phil: Again, too many to list, but here are a few… Jack Kirby, Bernie Wrightson, Hergé, Eddie Campbell, Glenn Dakin, Ed Pinsent, Moebius et al.
What characters would you love to draw?
Phil: I would love to draw Fantastic Four!
Who would you like to work with?
Phil: Alan Moore. We talked many years ago about doing something together but that never came to anything. He did write the introduction to my The Suttons collection, the strip I mentioned earlier, that I drew for our local newspaper, which was nice.
What advice would you give aspiring comic creators?
Phil: Apart from “get a day job” (which I’ve done), “practice, practice, practice” (which I’ve never done).
Phil, thank you very much for your time and the very best of luck with all your writing projects!
The77 Issue Three features a stunning cover by Ade Hughes featuring Anat from ‘V’ | Available for priced £6.95 for 64 pages in oversized format.All editions and back issues, posters and other merchandise available from Get My Comics here
Contributors include Dave Bedford, Conan, Conor Boyle, Steve Bull, Joe and Jeremy Dunn, Phil Elliott, Sinclair Elliott, Anna Evert, Filippo, Bambos Georgiou, Morgan Gleave, Dave Heeley, Ade Hughes, Kek-W, Hal Laren, Mac, Leonardo Manco, Sarah Millman, Michael Powell, Jon Roydon, Andrew Sawyers, Neil Sims, Lew Stringer, David Thomas, Dan Whitehead, Brendon Wright
Variant 1 cover by Paul Williams; Variant 2 cover by Neil Sims
The77 is also available from these UK comic stores: Atomic Comics, Bath; Calamity Comics, Harrow & Hatfield Castle Bytham; the Community Village Store, Lincolnshire; Gobsmack Comics, Horsham; Heroes, Isle of Wight; Krackers, Taunton; Mega City Comics, Camden, London; Millennium Comics, Northwich; Not Just A Comic Shop, Eastbourne; Ryhall Village Store and Post Office, Rutland; Scorch Comics, Eastbourne; Sheffield Space Centre, Sheffield; and Wow Comix Bury LLP, Sale and Stockport