This interview with
comic book writer and artist Hunt
Emerson was conducted by Director Sebastien
Dumesnil via email during the editing of Adventures
Into Digital Comics. This interview is a part of
the second set of interviews, which means that Hunt
Emerson was asked to answer questions accordingly
to the final cut of the movie.
Can you tell us about
Born 1952, Newcastle
on Tyne, UK. First began drawing comics seriously in
1972/73 when I saw American undergrounds by the likes
of Gilbert Shelton and Robert Crumb. I have published
20 or so comic books with Knockabout Comics, and a few
more with other publishers.
In the film, we discuss
the nature of comic books. Can you tell us what, for
you, a comic book is? What are the strengths and ideas
you like or intend to explore?
For me, comics are funny.
They can deal with Serious Ideas, but in my opinion
rarely work as a Serious Medium.
What can you find
in comics that you wouldn't find in another type of
I like seeing good drawing,
and I like being able to follow stories and jokes at
my own pace. But I prefer reading a book.
Can you talk a little
bit about the comic book market in the UK? How diverse
is the production? Is it difficult to get published?
I don't think the market
is very good in the UK, but I don't have a lot of information
about it. I don't often buy or read comics.
In contemporary comics,
storytelling tools like thought balloons or captions
are mostly absent. As an example, John
Byrne told us he stopped using captions when he
realized that readers did not read them. Do you think
that writers have a tendency to find their style in
movies instead of working on the specific strengths
Sorry, don't know.
In the 90s, we saw
the rise of digital lettering and coloring. Nowadays,
there's even this new trend of digital inking that people
Townsend dislike a lot. What do you think about
the use of these digital tools in the making of print
Computers are a tool
and must be used as such. They cannot be ignored. Digital
lettering and colouring is fine by me, but digital inking,
or what I've seen of it, feels sort of unfinished, scratchy.
But I haven't seen much of it. I wasn't aware it is
being widely used.
Nowadays, would you
say that printed comics are for kids, for grown-ups
or for everyone? Is there a stigma attached to the pamphlet?
Some webcomics use
animation, others sound, and other tools. To you, what
is a webcomic? Is there really such a difference between
print comics and webcomics?
I have seen very little
webomicspossibly none. I don't spend much time
on the internet.
In the film, artists
Farley and Cat
Garza say they make webcomics because publishers
would not touch their work, because it's too offensive,
different, etc. As an example, Patrick talks about his
webcomic, a Manga style rewriting of the Book of Revelations.
Do you think that the Internet could be the next logical
step of the comic book for artistic or business-related
If there is a way of
making money by doing comics for the internet then it
will become viable. Until then it is a hobby.
Do you think that
the tactile experience of holding a book in your hands
is necessary to the comic book reading experience?
It is for me. I hate
reading comics (and text) on screen. My eyes aren't
up to it anymore.