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Our second guest has a most distinct and awesome style. He is the creator of the comic Random Trials has had artwork in places such as FHM and Empire. We’re pleased to welcome Dean Beattie to this year’s NCC!

You have a very distinct and awesome style but how did you get into the art business?

I did an illustration degree at KIAD in Maidstone and, although the course wasn’t very good, it opened my eyes to a range of different art styles and approaches.  I was really into children’s books in my final year there and, as a result, my work took on quite a naive and child-like quality.  At some point after leaving college I started to mesh that art style together with my love of superheroes – and everything developed from there.

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My first commission after leaving college was to draw a Samurai warrior for a Reader’s Digest Sudoku magazine.  The job came along pretty quickly – and I thought that it was going to be easy to find more work after that – but it was a huge struggle.  Being a freelance illustrator is much, much tougher than I ever imagined.

As far as illustration work goes now – I’m kind of on two different paths.  On one side, I do editorial illustrations for publications such as FHM and Empire Magazine – and then, on the other, I do pin-ups and covers for a variety of small-press comics.  Oh, and of course, I write and illustrate my own book – called Random Trials.

How did Random Trials come about?

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I started exhibiting on the UK Comic Con scene and, after a few shows, I decided I was capable of producing more than just art prints.  Nearly everyone else seemed to have their own book – and that inspired me to get my arse in gear and get working on my own title.

Random Trials is based on the idea that there’s a pharmaceutical company that has been testing experimental drugs on the general public – without their knowledge or consent.  The first issue follows one member of the public (called Charlie Cooper) who has had a catastrophically intense reaction to one of those experimental drugs.  It’s kinda like an X-File that’s taking place on a South London council estate.

The subject matter is of great interest to me as, when I started writing the story, I was actually working for the NHS – coordinating a Research Ethics Committee.  The committee’s role was to look at proposals for medical research (including drug trials) – decide whether or not those proposals were ethically sound – and then approve or reject them.  It was engaging stuff – and gave me an insight into the area I’m now exploring with my comic.

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What has been the weirdest commission you’ve received?

I’ve had a few unusual requests – but none have come anywhere close to beating my ‘Beatles Robots’ commission.  That involved drawing robotic versions of the four members of the Beatles – who were stopping a bank robbery whilst being remotely controlled by Brian Epstein (who was flying above them on a miniature yellow submarine).   I’m pretty confident that that’s the weirdest commission in history.

What can we expect to see at your table at the year’s NCC?

I’ll have Issues 1 & 2 of Random Trials, a few different art/sketchbooks, a good selection of prints and loads of original marker sketches and paintings.  Oh, and I’ll be sketching on the day too.

Make sure to visit Dean at NCC and pick up some awesome goodies!! Visit his site here.