Catching Up With David Lloyd

Catching Up With David Lloyd

For being such an accomplished and acclaimed comics creator, David Lloyd is still someone who you have to look for if you want to know what he’s up to. Best known for his art on his and Alan Moore’s V for Vendetta, Lloyd keeps a relatively love profile these days, although he did make headlines in 2006 with the American release of his graphic novel Kickback through Dark Horse.

We recently had a chance to catch up with the creator who just added one more acclaim to his long list – the first “Comic Bookshops Career Prize” from the AFUI (Association of Italian Comics Bookshops), where Kickback was recently published by Magic Press.

Newsarama: First off David – congratulations on your award. What was it for, in your words?

David Lloyd: It's a career prize - Premio Alla Carriera - the first the Association Of Italian Comics Bookshops has given. And it's a great pleasure to have received such a thing from a country that has so many great homegrown comic creators. From Sergio Toppi to Lorenzo Mattotti. From Diabolik to Dylan Dog. It's terrific to get any award, but especially so in such circumstances.

NRAMA: I think American audiences can often not follow how a creator’s work may spread out throughout Europe, for example, Kickback, which was published here in 2006 just was published in Italy?

DL: Kickback was published there early this year, and I've been over twice to tour with it. Just back from the third trip. It's one of the best ways to promote a book if you like going out on the road and chatting and signing, and you have the time to give to it - which is not something that's always available for those of us who have to create with brush rather than just word. But I enjoy it a lot. Enjoy the travel most of the time, and meeting the store owners and all the people who come to the signings. And the reception I get is never short of enthusiastic and appreciative.

The folks in other countries who buy US/UK originated work, don't get to see many of the people who've created it - and I think it's important they should. The global market is a big market and deserves attention from the creators who benefit from it. A lot of the stores I travel to in Europe don't believe it's possible to have regular visits from creators in the UK, even though it's just a short plane ride to get to many of them. I'm convinced more would go if they were invited, and I'm always telling store owners they should try to extend such invitations. Of course it's harder for US folks to make such trips in this deadline-filled world of ours...

NRAMA: True. What’s your Italian fanbase like? Do you find that different work resonates with different audiences?

DL: I think they value the lasting more than the transient - that's one thing. Though they're as enthusiastic about great new stuff as any other crowd. They're appreciative of the variety of the work that comes from the US/UK, too, and how characters and series can be subject to many changes of form. There's some real discontent over the formulaic nature of much of the Italian books, which are blessed with astounding quality but cursed with an inability to develop beyond rigid structural lines.

NRAMA: Speaking of Kickback – it’s been a while since we saw some work from you. What’ve you got in the hopper? You’re working with Jamie Delano on a Hellblazer story, right?

DL: Yes. An 8-pager for a special I'll complete at the end of October. I've also been spending lots of time selling and promoting Kickback around the world - Spain, Germany, Italy, Greece, Brasil - as well as promoting it in the US/UK to people who still haven't heard about it. And I've drawn a 6-pager for a French anthology of true stories about children who were separated from their parents during wartime, called Words of Stars, which will be published in English early next year. And I'm lined up for an issue of a French series I'm supposed to start drawing in November.

NRAMA: We’d of course be remiss if we didn’t ask about your highest profile project in the eyes of many, V for Vendetta. As our future and that of V seem to be heading towards an intersection point, are you ever tempted to revisit Evey, even on your own?

DL: That's a very gloomy view to take, I must say. I hope you're wrong! But I wouldn't dream of doing more on Vendetta, and most certainly not without Alan. Revisiting the thematic nature of V is a different kettle of fish. In V, society frees itself from corruption; in Kickback, one man does the same thing. Fascinating thing, corruption. How easily tempted we are to commit wrong and what leads us to it. Paradise would be ours if we could just fix that problem.

NRAMA: Very true. But still - does the closeness of the future portrayed in V to our world now give you pause today, still?

DL: If I was a blinkered idealist, it might. But my idealism is moderated by realism. Ideally, people would act/vote from a standpoint of principal, but, realistically, they don't and never will. Shame, eh?

NRAMA: Fair enough. Back to broader subjects, At this point in your career, what motivates you to take on a new project?

DL: Complete freedom. But, meanwhile, I'm happy to be working with great folks like Jamie, again.

NRAMA: That said, are you looking ahead to another larger project, a la Kickback?

DL: Next year I'll be doing another graphic novel on my own. I don't know what the subject will be yet because I have four ideas for different markets and I don't know which of them will be appropriate to do at the time. And, of course, I have to convince someone to buy it!

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