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The Art of Dave Taylor
“Star Wars came out when I was 10 and nothing else has had the same impact on my life as a creative person. Any time I get the chance to do a Star Wars illustration, if possible, I jump at the chance. Of all my Star Wars illustrations, this might be my favorite – it’s about that wanderlust for travel and adventure that was pretty much only in that first film.” “I really like this one because it’s one of the very few jobs I’ve done where I get to employ some humour, the stuff usually reserved for my convention sketches. My covers are usually ‘serious’ and my con sketches usually featured my plebian sense of humour. It was all fun, start to finish and almost no job is like that. The girl trying to put her robot together is Sally and I want to draw her again.” themselves to anything outside the field of comics. Comics are better when the people creating them bring a diversity of influences to their creations. I think comic creators solely inspired or taught just by comics and nothing else are cutting themselves short. But I feel that way about every creative endeavour: filmmakers should draw inspiration from things other than cinema; musicians shouldn’t just get their ideas from other music.”
You’ve become best known mostly as a cover artist rather than someone who draws interiors. Is this just because of practical considerations? And how important is the cover for a comic?
“My career as a cover artist came about simply because I haven’t been offered a lot of interior work, for whatever reason. A cover is very important because it’s the last line in advertising while also being the first line in storytelling. The cover is how we convince a potential reader into becoming an actual reader: if I can get someone to pick up a comic, then once it’s in their hands they will probably thumb through the issue, and hopefully buy it.”
In 2012, you drew Before Watchmen: Dr Manhattan and this year, you have written and drawn a Batman Black And White story. What made you decide to take the plunge and go back to drawing interiors?
“Someone at DC Comics asked me to do the interiors. It’s as simple as that. I said yes because I feel like a comic artist that never draws comics. The only problem is that doing covers for so many years has made me slower than ever.”
You wrote as well as drew the Batman Black And White story. Are you more confident now about writing your own material and will we see more work that you write and draw yourself?
“I’d like to write and draw more stories. When I write I don’t have the same confidence issues I have when I draw because I really don’t consider myself to be a writer. When I draw there’s all these expectations of fabulousness. No one has any expectations of me as a writer, so, I’m free to have fun with it.”
You’ve become closely associated with producing covers for female superhero titles such as Catwoman, Ghost and Wonder Woman and you also do the covers for Vertigo’s Fairest series. What was it about that series that particularly appealed to you?
“Fairest isn’t a superhero comic and I thought it’d be good for me to try my creative hand at something other than superheroes. Superheroes are swell but there’s so much more that comics are about, so I wanted to dip my toes in foreign waters.”
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What are you currently working on? “Wrapping up the final 10 issues of Fairest covers, and a bunch of stuff I can’t talk about. These questions come literally as I’m closing the deals on a bunch of new and fun assignments. Some will surprise people, and some will make people go, ‘FINALLY!’” CH: Will we ever see All-Star Wonder Woman? AH: “No, I’m sorry; it’s a dead project.”