Saturday, March 31, 2012

An Interview with Neill Cameron

Neill Cameron is the cartoonist of Pirates of Pangaea for The Phoenix, which is written by Daniel Hartwell! This interview is about 2 1/2 weeks old, but it's still a very intresting read! It shows some of Neill's drawings in pencil and on the computer. The illustration on the tablet in the first screen is the front cover design for Phoenix issue 13, although the dinosaur mouth in the top right corner was later removed.


Describe the place where you write/draw.

In my studio at my computer, surrounded by mountains of paper and with my son poking me with sticks and demanding that I let him watch Transformers instead. At a giant drawing board I liberated from a landscape gardener who gave up on their dream. On massive canvasses propped up on the dining room chairs, while forcing my family to eat off garden furniture. On the sofa, lightbox balanced on my knees, watching Masterchef. In any number of local cafes and coffee shops. On trains, trains are good. Episodes of Pirates of Pangaea, in fact, have been produced on planes, trains AND automobiles. And with sheets of paper held up against a large window in Cyprus.

All over the place, really, is what I’m saying.

I have decided to illustrate this post with photos of the various parts of my house that are becoming overwhelmed by the crushing geological force that is My Work Mess.

What is your most treasured possession?

I’d be very sad if I lost my hat. Or rather, when. (I always lose my hats.)

What times of the day do you work?

I have a couple of hours getting my son ready in the mornings, and I think there’s a bit in the night somewhere where I sleep, but the rest of the time I am pretty much working.
Comics are time-consuming.

What distracts you?

I’m sorry, I was checking twitter. What was the question again?

What is your favourite smell?

Cat or dog?

I misread these two as being part of the same question, so I will say: I prefer the smell of cat to dog.

What is the worst job you’ve done?

I’ve had so many terrible jobs that I felt the need to break this one down by category.

  • For physical discomfort and appalling working conditions: working in a foundry.
  • For levels of abuse endured: working on an IT helpdesk.
  • For sheer soul-crushing misery: drawing bad comics.
What was the last song you sang along to?

I have spent pretty much the entire last two weeks walking around singing ‘Am I A Man Or Am I A Muppet?’ It deals with a profound existential question that resonates strongly with me personally.
It’s also rather catchy.

If you could go back in time, where would you go?

Dinosaur times! Um, carefully.

What are you reading at the moment?

An awful lot of Sherlock Holmes. And, every week, The Phoenix!

If you weren’t an author, what would you be?

Significantly financially better-off. Also, pretty miserable.

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