we buy this kind of stuff.

Simon Bisley part five

SR: You know your stuff is so detailed, Simon, I was wondering, are your pages pretty big? Do you work large?

Bisley: Kind of average...

SR: Do you use a big piece of illustration board or do it like the size of American comic pages?

Bisley: It depends on what I've got lying around. Usually it's kind of like comic size...We've got ten by fifteen, average black and white pages would be, about that.

SR: What about some of your cover paintings? Are those larger?

Bisley: Well, they can be ten by fifteen, up to much, much bigger than that. Sometimes four times bigger than that. I'm working much, much bigger these days just because when I sell it, it'll be worth more...

SR: Well, when you do The Death Dealer stuff are you going to do it standard American comic size or on pieces of illustration board.

Bisley: I think because of the time factor I'll have to do it standard American size. But I kind of feel terribly claustrophobic and restricted by that. I need space. I'll kind of have to get into it.

SR: So are you going to try and do a lot of double-page spreads?

Bisley: Oh, it's inevitable. I've got the whole freedom of the world to do what I want to do, panel-wise. There'll be these successions of huge splash pages, everything in single, big, big panels and things, you know, wow! I mean some of that stuff will be just be heads and arms and legs just coming from off view into the panel, you know what I mean? And then you pan down and just see this guy hacking the shit out of everything, but kind of, not like, not ballet, it's not ballet. He's just kind of real rigid, just stood rigid on his feet, you know? And he just twists and moves from his hips and swings around. He's got people leaping and jumping around, getting hacked to pieces, you know? He's kind of very strong, powerful, almost heavy, but with ferocious power, just, almost like a heavyweight, a real heavyweight boxer kind of movement...

SR: Yeah, it sounds great. I love your concept. I think it's going to be a really cool comic.

Bisley: Yeah, well I think it's about bloody time, you know, this kind of stuff came across. And I hope it sets up, you know, brings this genre to life again....

SR: You know, there used to be good fantasy stuff in the early seventies.

Bisley: Well, you've hit the nail on the head. I want to see Eerie and Creepy kind of stuff come back, you know? Robert E. Howard type, that real quality, good, classic fine art type of approach to things, you know? I think it's got to the point of, `Hey, guys, let's stop here. These superheroes are just getting too big that you can't, like Frank said, you can't relate to them anymore. And I think that's absolutely true.

SR: Don't you think that stuff's going to finally crash and burn? People are going to get sick of it?

Bisley: I think so.

SR: I think so, too.

Bisley: But you've got to replace it with something. And I think this kind of, this stuff will, it's not so much replace it, it works alongside it. I think, I think this kind of fantasy stuff is always there. It has its days and then it goes away again, but it's always kind of like, it's almost like rock and rock music, you know? It has its big moments, and then it goes away and then you've got rap and other kind of grunge music, but then rock will come up again. I think this sort of fantasy art will arise again, raise its ugly head. I think it will do in this regard, and you know, bring back this kind of fantasy stuff; good, honest shit.

SR: Simon, aside from Frazetta, who are some of the other people around you like?

Bisley: Who do I like? I like everybody's stuff. I see something in everybody's stuff that I like, and I think if there's anything I do dislike, I dislike blatant copying, that stuff, like someone's just literally copied their background, or copied any type of pose. I can't like that. People who work off the back of other people's blood and sweat, that's what I really, pisses me off. So, it's more stuff I don't like as opposed to what I do like.

SR: Besides Frank, is there anybody out there who is a particular favorite?

Bisley: Oh, hell. There's Mike McMahon, Kevin O'Neill, jeeze, Bill Sienkiwicz, Corben. The late, great, great, Kirby, who I only just liked recently, umm, uh, damn it! McMahon, Oh, I don't know, what's his name? He's really good. He does Hellboy.

SR: Oh, Mignola.

Bisley: Yeah, he's absolutely fabulous. I like, oh darn it! There's a guy called, Badger.

SR: Oh, yeah. Mark Badger.

Bisley: Oh, wow. He's great! Oh, jeeze, so much stuff I like. I don't really pick the names up too much, you know? Painting-wise, I don't know. There's not many people around, is there?

SR: No, not really. It's nice to see Frank back doing some stuff.

Bisley: Not that he needs to. Do you know what I mean? He's made his point. And he doesn't have to sort of prove anything now...

SR: I know. I think anything he does from now on is just going to be for himself.

Bisley: I think pretty much so. I think the thing is he's gone beyond comic strip art now.

SR: Oh, yeah, way beyond it.

Bisley: He's way up there with the real classics and the real greats of the kind of fine art side of things, but I think it'll take time for people to realize that, or at least acknowledge that, because the fine art people are real dodgy bastards, you know? They don't know good when it's just stuck up their backsides. .

SR: Okay, well, that was a good hanincr=F|dful of names. It's just interesting to see who you like and who you're influenced by.

Bisley: Subconciously you take things from a lot of other people, you know, you think, Well, wow! That's great, that bit of shading or that bit of darkness. I think it's not so much taking away what they've done literally as opposed to, you're influenced by the mood, or just by the power of something they've done. Do you know what I mean? So you just get excited by looking, like I look at Frank's stuff and I get really excited about it, but I won't sit down with Frank's books in front of me. I totally refuse to do that because I've got to do this thing on my own. That's very, very important to me...Well, it's got be funny, isn't it? And it's gonna have that slight kind of like twist to it, that kind of humor is got to come across somehow. Because you can't take anything too seriously, you know.

SR: I think some of those Lobo covers you did were hysterical.

Bisley: Yeah, I enjoyed doing those. I'll be doing some more of that soon.

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