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.


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.


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.


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!