Muppet-Show-05We’re very pleased and honoured to announce our first guest at this year’s Nottingham Comic Con – the Harvey and Eisner Award Winning Artist and Writer, Mr Roger Langridge. He is a Harvey Award-winner with his stint on The Muppet Show and an Eisner Award Winner with his book Snarked and his latest book, Abigail and the Snowman looks to follow in these big footsteps.

We asked Roger a couple of questions:

How did you start out in art?

I wanted to be a cartoonist from around the age of seven, although I’d been “reading” Carl Barks’ Donald Duck comics since before I was able to actually read, inferring the dialogue from the pictures and filling in the word balloons with my own imagination. But my “eureka” moment came when I was 7 years old and our teacher gave the class an art project to draw a comic strip. Everyone was given a strip of paper to draw their three or four panels on; I covered mine with sixteen panels, then turned the paper over and did more on the back. I’d found my thing! I never really seriously considered doing anything else as a career from that point on. I just spent all my spare time drawing and having no mates (useful practice for later life in both cases).

SNARKED_V1_CVRWhat was your “big break”?

I had a couple, I guess… depending on how you define it. I grew up in New Zealand, where there isn’t a comic industry as such, so arguably my first big break was getting work published internationally, which would have been Art d’Ecco #1 from Fantagraphics at the tail end of 1989. It was essentially the fourth issue of a mini-comic my brother Andrew and I had been doing in New Zealand; we called it “Volume 2 Number 1”, knowing full well that most people would never get a chance to see Volume 1.

The big thing that really forced me to become a full-time professional, though, was moving from New Zealand to the UK in September of 1990. I had no other job, I’d committed everything to the trip, it was a case of finding work or starving. That kind of urgency sharpens the mind. I knocked on doors and hassled pretty much everybody until I somehow got a regular gig drawing The Straitjacket Fits for the Judge Dredd Megazine. (I’m sure having a few things published by Fantagraphics by that point helped me enormously, as it demonstrated that I could see a job through.) That was when I started earning an actual living from comics, and I’ve been more or less hanging on by my fingernails ever since, by virtue of the fact that I simply refuse to go away. (Still waiting for my really big break, though!)

garfieldYou have an amazing back catalogue of work and a huge variety of well known properties, but is there a property you’d love to work on?

There are some literary adaptations I’d love to have a crack at, do they count? I would love to do a graphic novel of one of the Doctor Dolittle books, in the style of Hugh Lofting’s original illustrations. A P G Wodehouse Jeeves and Wooster story would be a delight to work on. There is a comic I’d love to take on: I’ve done a Barney Google story in the pages of Popeye, but a regular Barney Google comic would be a dream come true… and likely to sell exactly three copies, two of them to my immediate family. Still, one can dream.

abigailWhat can we expect to see from you at the year’s NCC?

By the time October rolls around, I expect there’ll be collections of Mandrake the Magician and Abigail and the Snowman available (both currently being serialised by Dynamite and KaBoom, respectively). The next major thing I’ll be working on is a Fred the Clown graphic novel, returning to the character I self-published in the early 2000s; I expect it will be finished by then, but whether it’ll have a publisher or I’ll just be showing photocopies to anyone who asks nicely is anyone’s guess. And, as usual, I’ll have a selection of my earlier books: Fred the Clown, Snarked, and whatever else I have lying around taking up space in my office, plus original art and other bric-a-brac.

Check out Roger’s very impressive website and his NCC exclusive home page banner!!! Make sure you visit Roger at his table in October.