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Okay, everyone, today we’ve got the famous Marian Churchland in the hotseat. You may know Marian from her graphic novel Beast, put out by Image, as well as a whole mess of other things. Go to her SITE and look around!

Q1] What are you working on right now, art-wise?

A1] You know, whenever I answer this question, I always regret it later. Things never resemble my early descriptions, or they get scrapped because they didn’t work out. So I can safely say that I’m picking away at lots of things, and who knows what will end up fully-formed. But for a slightly less wishy-washy response, I’ll be working on a couple books for Image Comics next year.

Q2] What is your workflow like?

A2] Of course I want to say that it’s all efficient and organised, but my workflow is very haphazard. I switch off between long periods of inertia, and bursts of obsessive productivity. This is how I’ve always worked, so I don’t worry about it too much, but neither do I exactly recommend it.
I’m also a terrible procrastinator, and if I have a deadline, then I’ll put off starting it until late into the night, right before it’s due. Well, I say “terrible”, but some part of me must love that now-or-never moment when the floodgates finally lift – always just in the nick of time.

3] Who are your top three influences? 

A3] I don’t know if I can manage a definitive three. Seamus Heaney, Ursula Le Guin, and maybe Alice Oswald – she has been my favourite writer, lately.

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Q4] What is the one piece of indispensable advice you would give a comics creator for getting their work out there?

A4] Make the books that you wish you could read.

Q5] What do you think your duty is to the reader?

A5] Nothing? As I see it, my duties all relate to the work. But then, I am a strange, hyper-introverted hermit, so start pulling other people into this and I’ll just want to run away and hide.
Who is this mass-entity borg-reader, anyway? Are they nice? Will they bring me a pie?

Q6] If you could do one thing better, in regards to graphic storytelling, what would it be?

A6] Page layouts, definitely. As much as I love working on comics, I don’t speak that language nearly as fluently as those who grew up with the medium and have fully assimilated it over time. I don’t regret it, exactly – I wouldn’t trade in my own background – but I recognize it as a shortcoming.

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Q7] What, if anything, do you prefer to listen to while you work?

A7] Often nothing, but when I’m working late on a deadline, I like to stream BBC radio 3 (classical music). It’s unobtrusive, and at a certain point it switches from the “through the night” segment, to the breakfast segment, which is just indescribably cosy.

Q8] What is the one comic story that has stuck with you throughout the years?

A8] I’m not sure if I can answer this honestly, without having to grasp around for something. What actually springs to mind (absurdly) is a short comic that was printed in the instruction manual for the Super Nintendo racing game, “F-Zero”. It was all about some square-jawed bounty hunter guy (boring), but it was the only comic I had, and I copied panels out of it for at least a whole year afterwards.
Incidentally, my favourite racer was “Samurai Goroh”. I forgave him for driving the pink car, because it also had the highest top-speed.

Q9] What do you consider to be the greatest power of graphic storytelling?

A9] I often think about how some things are best conveyed with images, and some things are best conveyed with words – and how nice it is, using both at once. My inability to commit fully to one or the other is what keeps me here.

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So there you have it. Don’t forget to get over to Marian’s Site and keep up on what she’s got going on, friends!