WC: Did you always want to become a comic artist?
GE: Ever since I was able to draw I have always loved comic books. Kind teachers at school and parents encouraged and allowed me to follow my dream.
WC: How would you describe your style?
GE: My style is pretty mainstream British/US although I can adapt for film and concept work for games and movies when necessary. Storyboarding too is a very different discipline asking for speed and clarity of story-telling rather than finish. Depending on the director I am working with on a project, the style can vary.
WC: During your career you’ve collaborated on various projects with some leading writers in the Industry including Garth Ennis, Dan Abnett, Grant Morrison, Mark Millar and Warren Ellis. How does it feel to work with such popular writers?
GE: I feel very fortunate to have worked with some of the top talent in the industry. They have certainly given me great opportunities through the last twenty years with wonderful characters and brought out the best in my work. Their own talent inspires me to raise my game and push my limits! Some of these projects were creator-owned and I would certainly wish to resurrect a couple again when I have the time.
WC: What do you think are the elements needed for a good collaboration between a writer and an artist?
GE: Communication. Creating comics is about teamwork and that also includes your editor, colourist and letterer. A good comic cannot be made without that important communication between the creators on the project.
WC: You’ve been nominated multiple times for the British Eagle Awards for Best Inker, your recent nomination being for the 2011 edition. How does it feel to be one of the nominees for such a prestigious award?
GE: It feels great to be acknowledged by the Eagle Awards committee for my contribution to the inking process and I have been lucky enough to have worked with some of the industries top pencillers over the last ten years. Being an artist myself helps me understand what the penciller wants to bring out in their work and they certainly do not mind my own little flourishes where necessary.
WC: You’ve also contributed character designs and storyboards for films, television series, games and even commercial ventures. Do you think it is important for comic artists to be versatile and work in diverse fields?
GE: Versatility certainly helps keep you creatively stimulated and fresh. New projects, disciplines and mediums always inspire me to do better. The constant diversity of work certainly helps keep me relevant to the industry too.
WC: You also participate in workshops and do portfolio reviews during conventions. Do you think these activities play an important role in the formation of a comic creator? Why?
GE: I enjoy the portfolio sessions as there are few opportunities for new talent to get a critique before that first major project. Some clear and encouraging words and direction at the right moment can make all the difference to promising fledgling talent! Being a good artist is having an ability to take on board comment and criticism and learning constantly. Even after twenty years of working I still find new techniques and learn different tricks and skills. There is always something new to learn and room to improve.
WC: You are currently working on your own project called Roller Grrrls. What can you tell us on this one?
GE: I am working with my colleague Anna Malady and a host of talent to bring this roller derby book out. We have Abby Ryder prepping Lil Rollers (our kids version of the comic within the main comic) and Yel Zamor bringing some much needed colour to the images. Ed Hillier/ ILYA is writing with me and my wife Mhairi and some local roller derby talent and friends are helping plot. It is going to be a major piece of continuous serial episodes very much in the style of Eastenders featuring multiple characters and story arcs crossing each other. We have a lot of story to contend with beyond the actual roller derby bouts themselves. It will be a very honest portrayal of characters dealing with everyday issues. It will be emotional and real and very much in the vein of Love and Rockets (a book I have always loved!)
WC: This is the second time you’re appearing at the Malta Comic Con. What did you think of the Convention last year and what are you expecting this year?
GE: I thoroughly enjoyed the first trip to Malta Comic Con last year so much that I convinced my wife to return this year and we plan to stay on in Malta after the event to explore the island and experience it’s rich culture and history. I would definitely recommend other artists to consider Malta Comic Con as a preferred date to their convention calendar.
WC: Do you have any other projects in the pipeline?
GE: Mostly I continue with inking books but upcoming personal projects include a horror western and a post-apocalyptic 70s road movie inspired series. All these need prepped but Roller Grrrls is first of these books for me.
WC: Would you like to add anything else?
GE: The comic industry can be a solitary existence and conventions provide me with an opportunity to meet fans face-to-face, to make new friends and meet up with colleagues in beautiful and inspiring places and in a very relaxed atmosphere (even when sketching ALL weekend! ;) My wife and I enjoy travelling, so being able to visit new places, or return to favourite places, has always been a pleasure. Malta Comic Con is already a favourite of mine and I am delighted to return.