I figured it made sense to interview the star of our show, the artist Mark Pexton. In this first instalment he shares his earliest comic-related memories. Take it away Mark…
I first got introduced to comics by my Dad, at the local corner shop – for some reason in the early ’80s they used to stock some Marvel superhero comics, Spider-man and things – he used to read Marvel comics as a kid and I guess that inspired him to treat me and my brother to them (even though money was tight he was always spoiling us). The first issue that caught my imagination (it may have not been the first I read) was a copy of Daredevil. I loved (even as a 7 year old) the more serious tone to it than most other superhero comics (the issue I first remember reading featured the hero’s heroin addicted prostitute girlfriend and him losing his career and having his home blown up!). The issue in question was part of Frank Miller‘s return run on Daredevil (I didn’t know who Frank Miller was until much later) and featured great art by David Mazzucchelli (I remember clearly the beautiful panels he drew of Daredevil running across snowcovered brownstone rooftops, his almost photorealistic style still influences me today).
Subsequent to this first introduction I read comics off and on (but not regularly from issue to issue) until I made a friend at middle school (Ben Robinson, who even at 12 had his own jazz band), he was very much into Judge Dredd and 2000 AD, something I had not come across before. After seeing one of his issues (a trade paperback of the Judge Child quest featuring the wonderful art of Ron Smith and Brian Bolland) I was hooked and started collecting them (even though my brother teased me that it was immoral to buy 2000 AD since Fleetway, the publishers, were owned by well-known crook Robert Maxwell!). I loved the dark humour and satire of Dredd (and the scantily clad sci-fi babes didn’t hurt either), and 2000 AD for years was my weekly treat (facilitated by the almost infinite patience of my Dad getting it for me from newsagents far and wide). 2000 AD showed me what was possible in comics: fully painted artwork, adult storylines, irony. The wonderful art of Glenn Fabry and Simon Bisley, and Simon Harrison inspired me, but most of all the brilliant dark scratchy ink art of David Roach on Judge Anderson. His work really was exceptional. I produced my own comics, (mostly just copies of 2000 AD) based on that.
Ben and I decided to create our own comic, he was a talented artist much more original than me, unfortunately it never came into existence and I lost touch with him.