WC: Did you always want to become a comic creator?
JH: Yes since I was a very young boy, my older brother collected comics and allowed me to read them, he also drew comic strips for a school magazine so my brother James inspired me to collect and draw comics.
WC: How would you describe your style?
JH: I have different styles to suit different jobs, I change as I grow as a artist , fashion in styles change I can draw retro Marvel house style, or manga or sin city style or paint, I”m very lucky I can adapt to change.
WC: Over the years you have worked with a lot of other comic creators, including David Lloyd and Gary Erskine who will also be present at the Malta Comic Con 2011. How does it feel to work with other comic creators? What do you think makes a good team to produce a great comic?
JH: When I started out David Lloyd gave me advice and tips to improve my art a kind of mentor figure, Gary Erskine has inked my work on covers and comic strips i always enjoy working with people I admire a team on a book has to be a team that works , people who respect each other and will all do a great job, I”ve been very lucky in my career that I have worked with top talent, be that writers: Garth Ennis, John Wagner, Steve Moore, Alan Grant, Ferg Handley, Jim Alexander, or inkers: John Stokes, David Roach, Lee Townsend, colourists: Nigel Dobbyn and John Charles, etc…Most if not all have been friends so that helps as well.
WC: You have recently won awards for your work at Classic Comics for the comic adaptations of Shakespearian dramas of Macbeth and The Tempest. Do you think that comics play a significant role in education? Why?
JH: I think graphic novels can bring a lot to the table for children who have learning problems as the image as well as the words help express the story more and if the art is dynamic it will grab the child”s attention. Classical Comics have three versions of each play original text, plain text and quick text this is so the student can read the original words and if they get stuck they can check the same page or panel in plain or quick text, I wish I had these books when I was a student. Also for quick revision you can use a quick text version of the play to read, I”m very proud to be part of such a cool idea to teach children with these books.
WC: You”ve worked on a variety of characters ranging from Spider-man and Hulk to Dan Dare, Teen-Age Mutant Ninjas and Thunderbirds. Which characters do you prefer to work on most?
JH: I loved them all I guess a career high was Spectacular Spider-man I drew Spidey for Panini /Marvel U.K on a 5 year run 32 issues I drew three different styles on that book animated TV show style, retro marvel style and manga style , i think those comics where reprinted in 7 countries
WC: Apart from working on mainstream comics, you”ve also done some illustrations, character designs for commercial purposes and comedy strips too. What got you to work and experiment into these different fields apart from traditional comic art?
JH: I love variety and getting paid (laughter), I love humour art as well as super hero comics as I said earlier I”m lucky I can draw different styles, and I”m also lucky that people enjoy my work and hire me, lots of jobs have come through my website and blog also over the years I”ve had agents to help with getting work too.
WC: The Malta Comic Con is the first convention that you”re attending outside of the UK. What attracted you to this convention and what are your expectations?
JH: This convention was highly praised by David Lloyd and Tim Perkins also I have visited Malta before 20yrs ago and I”m looking forward to seeing the sites and meeting the comic fans should be a lot of fun.
WC: Do you have any projects in the pipeline and what can you tell us about them?
JH: Tales of the Buddha before he got enlightened written by Alan Grant and drawn by me and coloured by Jamie Grant (all star Superman, WE3) will be collected and out next year first as a digital download and then later as a printed collection, it”s adult humour waiting to sign contracts with a publisher but it”s going to happen so watch the Tales of the Buddha blog for info. I”m art directing Hamlet for Classical Comics Spainish artist David Lorenzo is working from my character designs and layouts. Self Made Hero is to publish Lovecroft vol 2 in March i worked on Pickman”s Model as character designer/ layout artist for Steve Pugh. Drawing a short Slaine story for Zarjaz magazine and trying to get other projects off the ground.
WC: Is there anything else you would like to add?
JC: Just that I look forward to meeting everyone and I”ll be bringing two prints that”s been drawn only for this con.