September 9th, 2010

An audience with Rufus Dayglo

Interview By Bernice Watson

In the wake of the August release of the brand new Tank Girl: Skidmarks trade paperback edition, Liberation Frequency caught up with artist extraordinaire Rufus Dayglo to discuss art, comics and life with Tankie…

LF: How has it been taking over the art of Tank Girl? Jamie Hewlett’s original work was so iconic, how have you balanced staying true to the Tank Girl spirit and bringing your own style to the series?

RD: I just tried to draw a Tank Girl comic I’d want to read. I’m a big fan of TG and avidly read Deadline. I also have a background in animation, so Jamie and I have quite similar taste… Chuck Jones, UPA Cartoons, Mort Drucker, and Ronald Searle.

I’m not Jamie, and never will be, but I just try and do my own thing. I don’t think on it as iconic or you’d freeze up…it’s just fun shite with Alan.

LF. Tank Girl was/is very much a child of the 80’s and the punk generation, do you think that kids today connect with her in the same way? Do you think she still has the same shock value or are readers too jaded to be truly stunned the way they were in the beginning?

RD: More so now. Most of our fans are young… the older fans have all anally prolapsed and taken up bowls (bowels?)

The film has brought us a whole generation of 15+ year olds who discovered the film, then the books, and they are a lot of fun. We get tonnes of feedback, and they are very supportive.

We’re not trying to be shocking… Tankie’s never been about shock value, it’s about doing your/our own thing. Alan and I have fun, and hopefully our readers will too!  If people don’t like it, they can go buy the fucking X-Men or some Neil Gaiman rubbish to look clever reading.

LF. Were you a fan of Tank Girl before you came onboard? Was it something you ever thought about working on or did it just come out of the blue? 

RD: All I ever wanted to do as a kid was draw Judge Dredd (and maybe Sgt Rock). I was a huge fan of Tankie as she was a little punk, like me, and all the girls I fancied looked like her… and they still do. I never thought I’d work on it, but it’s amazing what you can find on ebay…

LF. Tell us about the art of Skidmarks; what’s the best thing you’ve drawn so far? Have there been any WTF moments for you when the reading scripts? Tank Girl artwork has always been so rich in detail and so alive, does it take you a long time to come up with the concepts?

RD: Alan asked me to simplify/tidy up the art on Skidmarks (ie – NOT put in silly comments, side gags), so the first few episodes are pretty clean, but I then slowly sneaked all the crap and silly comments back in! I’m pretty bad at following orders.

I was getting the script week to week, so I had no fucking clue where the story was going… it’s not really a story but a series of vignettes, showing flashbacks of Tankie’s life, and friends… It’s a road trip! Like all road trips, it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.

I work pretty quickly as I have a lot to do, and my mind is small. My artwork is affected by my caffeine/chocolate balance, and what I’m listening too.

I loved drawing the School days flashbacks, and the Western Bank robbery! I always loved Jonah Hex!

LF. Finally, what’s your favourite comic at the moment? What are you reading?

RD: I’ve been reading John Gray’s ‘Straw Dogs’, a beekeeping book, David Roach’s  ‘Aaaaargh – It’s War’ and ‘The Art of War’ (Books on the 60s IPC covers of War Picture Library books) and the lovely Jaime Hernandez collection.

I read anything Guy Davis is drawing, the Jordi Bernet ‘Jonah Hex’, and BULLETPROOF COFFIN by Shaky Kane and David Hine!

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