RICH INTERVIEW: Nick Brokenshire Artist The Once and Future Queen

First Comics News: How did you get onboard The Once and Future Queen?

Nick Brokenshire: As we were wrapping up the Amelia Cole story, Adam and D.J. (the writers) and I knew that we wanted to work on something together, so they went away and invented the idea of a modern Arthurian take. Soon after some backward and forward between us, we had developed the concept of The Once and Future Queen.

1st: What characteristics do you give to the queen Arturus?

Nick: Adam and D.J. wanted her to be a punky girl, so I developed her style. I’m particularly proud of her hairstyle, which is supposed to mirror the top of the queen piece in chess. The personality that you see on the page is a combination of the lads’ writing and my visual interpretation of their words.

1st: How do you draw Merlin to show he is magical?

Nick: Well, for a start we can tell he’s somewhat magical by the fact that he blows green all the time. There are reasons for that! Also, whenever he’s employing magic, you’ll see little Celtic runes floating around him, but more often than not I signify magic by drawing stars. I love drawing goofy little stars everywhere.

1st: Who are the Fae, and what impression will we get from them?

Nick: The Fae are a race of beings. In some mythology, the Fae are known as faeries or fairies. The Fae are a race of ancient, magic-using creatures. In our books, they are corrupted and evil in nature, but they weren’t always like that…

1st: How will your art wow us?

Nick: I’m working very hard to create artwork that tells the story as clearly as possible. I have tried to give each character a very specific and recognizable set of features and movements. Also, I have developed an approach to coloring the comic that I hope will make it very enjoyable to look at.

1st: Why do you like drawing Amelia Cole?

Nick: The Amelia Cole series has a very special place in my heart because it’s the first real comic book I ever drew! I had only done short little comic strips prior to that. I did a lot of learning during that book. I went to the Amelia Cole school of drawing comics. I grew very fond of the characters in the book, especially Lemmy.

1st: Do you have any professional art training?

Nick: I studied illustration at university but learned nothing about drawing there, so I view myself as a self-taught artist.

1st: Which artists do you admire?

Nick: I love Moebius, Kirby, Crumb, Jaime Hernandez, Paul Pope, Egon Schiele, Alphonse Mucha, Alex Toth…So many!

1st: How do you improve your art skills?

Nick: By drawing every day, all day. If you want to improve at anything, you have to put the hours in. There is simply no way around it. If you want to become a master, you have to draw every day, all day, for ten years. End of story.

1st: How do you motivate yourself to draw?

Nick: I love telling stories, and I want to tell them as best as I possibly can. I want to be able to make a story that people will talk about for a long time. I want to be the best possible artist I can be, and every day there are new things to learn!

1st: Would you like to draw a Batman comic?

Nick: I would love to draw a Batman comic! It’s what I’ve dreamed of since I was a youngster!

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