TroyT_NCCGuest number 6!!

A regular in the awesome Phoenix Comic and creator of Troy Trailblazer, please welcome, Robert Deas!

What made you want to be a comic creator?

It truly is my dream job! My childhood and teenage years were all about drawing comics and to be honest this is what I’ve always wanted to do for a living. I’ve always loved coming up with stories and characters and I feel very privileged to have been able to turn my hobby into my career.

What was your first “big break” in comics?

After graduating with a degree in animation in 2001 I went on to work as a graphic designer and then a teacher and I wasn’t sure my chance would ever come. But in 2006 I entered the IMAF (International Manga and Anime Festival) competition and my entry called Unity Rising came second in the print / comic category. One of the judges was ILYA, who had just put out the first volume of Best New Manga.  He asked me if I wanted to submit a strip to appear in Best New Manga 2 and from there things just snowballed.

macbeth_coverMy strip in Best New Manga 2 led to my work being exhibited in the Japanese Embassy in London where I met Emma Hayley, the founder of SelfMadeHero. That brief exchanging of cards eventually led to me doing Macbeth for their Manga Shakespeare series.

After that I was contacted by the guys at the DFC (what would eventually become the Phoenix) and I became a full time comic artist in 2008 and have never looked back!

How did Troy Trailblazer and Phoenix come about?

I’d previously worked on another sci-fi strip called Spectrum Black for the DFC and when the Phoenix was announced as its spiritual successor I was determined to work on something for them.

TroyT_HORDE_25I had a space adventure story kicking about on my hard drive called Adam Ventura. It was basically Indiana Jones in space with a much older protagonist who is accompanied on daring missions by his butler. I decided to retool the core idea for a younger audience and after kicking it into shape with my editor Will Fickling, Troy Trailblazer was born as a single 4-page strip that first appeared in issue 10.

I think we all saw the strip had potential and after a few more short series things really hit their stride with the introduction of Troy’s new partner, Jess Jetrider. Barrus and Blip are great sidekicks but a growling furball and a deadpan droid don’t make for the snappiest of banter. The introduction of a kick ass female character that is always showing Troy up gave the series a whole new personality. The interaction between Troy and Jess has become a highlight of the strip with their constant banter giving the strip a much stronger identity!

I’ve now produced over 200 pages of Troy Trailblazer with a new series starting in the summer!

What can we expect to see at your table at NCC?

Troy Trailblazer prints, copies of the Phoenix, my adaptations of Macbeth and Pride & Prejudice. I’ll have my tablet PC with me and will be doing digital drawing demos to give people an idea of how I work. I’ll also be making an exciting announcement very soon so stay tuned to my twitter feed for more news on that soon!

We’re very excited to add Robert to our guest list!! Make sure you pick up some prints and books from him in October and get a demo of they way he works!!