Saturday, 29 December 2007

Because I wanted to talk to...David Baillie (Part Three)

You don't just make comics. Please tell us something about your other projects.

I pole dance.

No, really I do.


What do you mean then?


Yeah, it's funny - I was calling myself a writer/artist for years before anyone took me seriously. On a whim I plopped 'designer' alongside the other two job descriptions, and five minutes later the world was battering down my door. I'm currently the features and cover designer on Comics International. I also have a portfolio of clients that harass me on a daily basis (but also pay my rent some months, so I'm not complaining) for web design, logo design, document design.

Everything except interior design, but I doubt that's far off.

As much as possible I'm trying to take on projects that help develop the skills I want to use in my comics work.

My illustration work has taken off this year too, with my client filofax not exactly bulging but healthily overweight.

Listen to me... Filofax.

I, of course, mean bit-of-paper-folded-in-four.

What's all this about Camden Market? Has it been a success? Who else is involved? Whose idea was it?

I think we both know who's responsible! Young Oli Smith came up with the idea when he saw someone else (the Brodie's Law guys) doing exactly the same thing. His 'I'll have some of that for myself!' attitude will serve him well in the cutthroat comics industry that he's determined to penetrate after he leaves primary school.

So, every weekend a co-op of indie creators have been gathering at Camden Lock to sell our wares to the general public and it's been a monumental success. I think a few of us were getting jaded with the bog standard comics convention where you get the same faces showing up biannually... I mean they're great faces, but it's depressing being so painfully aware that everyone has aged six months since the last time you saw them. It's like when strobe lights come on in a nightclub and if you blink you experience discreet static moments instead of continuous time. Like really bad time travel.

And we sell loads. And loads. And loads. Of comics. And the public love us.
I'm hoping that when word gets out we can expand to two or three stalls. Or ten!

I think the scene has been crying out for a proper regular outlet like this. After all, if independent creators can actually make a bit of money from their self-publishing instead of optimistically hoping to break even at Birmingham or Bristol or somewhere else beginning with a 'B', then they can devote more time to actual comic creation without going hungry.

Another interesting side effect is that already we're talking about escaping this mindset of aiming to produce a new piece of work for one of the 'tent pole' cons. Sean Azzopardi's hoping to get something new out every 4 or 5 weeks.

And it's fun. We have a great time. Someone's always hungover (have you met Karrie Fransman? She makes great soul searching, life-affirming comics), someone's usually surrounded by jail-bait rabid fans (that would be Oli, who's too young to be jailed and so doesn't care), someone's frequently found foisting his books on hot goth girls (that would be Phil Spence of Ninja Bunny fame) and someone is always at the artists corner of the table drawing like a demon. That's most likely to be mad-genius Oliver Lamden of Tales From The Flat / Curtis Terrorist fame.

I'm not sure why we call it Artists Corner actually... It's the middle of the table.

David Baillie, thanks for your time. For more on David and his comics, please visit his website.


Jim Medway said...

Nice interview - very interesting. I look forward to reading more! Keep up the good work!

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