Renowned as one of Britain’s greatest comic-book artists, Joel Meadows talks to the Scot about his latest work
Frank Quitely is one of the most highly regarded British comics artists of the past 30 years. Starting his career on Scottish indie comic Electric Soup, Quitely (real name Vincent Deighan) soon moved onto the Judge Dredd
Megazine on strips like Shimura and Missionary Man. He then began a collaboration with fellow Scottish superstar Grant Morrison on titles like We3 for Vertigo and the acclaimed All-Star Superman for DC. He worked with Morrison again on X-Men for Marvel and over the past few years, he has collaborated regularly with fellow Scottish writer Mark Millar on
Jupiter’s Legacy for Image Comics. 2017 is a significant year for the artist as a major exhibition of his work has just opened at the Kelvingrove Gallery in Glasgow, Frank Quitely: The Art Of Comics.
Comic Heroes caught up with him to find out about looking back at a 30-year career, working with Grant Morrison and Mark Millar, why the conclusion of Jupiter’s Legacy is a little late and more…
So you are finishing off the latest issue of Jupiter’s Legacy, with Mark Millar. But it is quite late, so what’s caused you to go off schedule?
It’s monstrously late. I think it’s more than a year late. It’s partly because I think Mark had hoped that if we started publishing when I was more than halfway through it we would be on schedule. But various things have happened in between. One of them was I got a slight recurrence of my back injuries. Another was that I tore a ligament off my thumb when I was paintballing. I had to get an operation to get it screwed back onto the bone. That slowed me down a wee bit. A lot of it was just the sheer number of hospital appointments and pre-op stuff. And then another thing was the exhibition at Kelvingrove.
What was the genesis of the exhibition at Kelvingrove?
The conversation started two and a half years ago. What happened was that a couple of people high up in Glasgow museums saw the BBC documentary What Do Artists Do All Day? So they had a meeting and asked if anybody knows anything about comics. So the guy who eventually curated the show, Martin Craig, said, “Not only do I know a bit about comics, but I know that guy as well”.
We were thinking we could do something that went from grass roots right up to Mark [Millar] and Grant [Morrison] for instance. We’d probably get Wagner and Grant involved in terms of the 2000AD story too. We thought about having Eddie Campbell involved as that’s something that’s very different to what most of the rest of us are doing. In terms of the timescale and
Below: Quitely is best known for his collaborative work on the stories of muchloved characters from Superman and Batman to the X-Men