REFLECTIONS: Talking with Artist Frazer Irving

Sun, February 19th, 2006 at 12:00am PST

Comic Books
Robert Taylor, Staff Writer

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REFLECTIONS


Volume 2, Number 3

Like about 40,000 other readers, I picked up the first issue of "Klarion The Witch Boy" with no idea who Frazer Irving was. Then I finished the issue and tattooed "Irving For Life!" on my arm, right next to my tattoos promising love always to "Clarissa Explains It All" and She-Ra.

Irving brought a new style of artwork to mainstream comic artwork with "Klarion," and overnight became one of the most talked about newbies in the business. After "Klarion" wrapped his next announced project was "Iron Man: Inevitable," written by Joe Casey.

The project seemed to be about as far removed from "Klarion" as anything. Tony Stark lives among the skyscrapers and bright skies, while Klarion lived underground in the dark and dreck. But Irving's edgy style was still intact when the first issue of the miniseries hit stands, albeit a bit more refined.

Irving's editor uncuffed him from his drawing board, and after showering and eating, Irving took a few minutes to talk up the miniseries.

Robert Taylor: Let's begin with the classic question: Who exactly is Frazer Irving?

Frazer Irving: I'm a 34-year-old Essex boy with glasses and an ego.

RT: Just like me! Except I'm not 34, not from Essex and I don't wear glasses. But the whole ego thing? Right on. Last time we talked, "Klarion The Witch Boy" was just beginning. Since then you have garnered a lot of industry buzz around your work and are currently drawing one of Marvel's iconic characters. How have things changed for you between then and now?

FI: Well, not a lot I must say. In terms of work, I still have the same hassles of finding follow-up gigs, but I must say there has been a marked increase in the number of "draw my strip, I'll be your best friend ever!" requests from all over the place, but I kinda expected that.

RT: Looking back, are you satisfied with your work on "Klarion?"

FI: Pretty much, yeah. There were certain panels/pages which I felt were weaker than they should have been, some designs maybe lacking a bit, but the good stuff outweighed that and since it went on sale I've had a lot of positive feedback from unexpected readers i.e. girls. Apparently they all think Klarion is cute. Awesome.

RT: Tell us about how you got your current gig on "Iron Man: Inevitable."

FI: The same way I got the others. Joe Casey emailed me saying he wanted to do this book, I said "Yes, done deal."

RT: What's the book about?

FI: It's about lies, masks, responsibility and delusions. Good standard superhero stuff (laughs).

RT: How have you changed your artistic style to suit Iron Man and his universe?

FI: For this, I went to pens as opposed to brushes to get a more sterile line, and filled in most of the art with color effects to convey a more cosmic vibe to the whole thing.

RT: What drew you to the character of Tony Stark (no pun intended)?

FI: Uh…

RT: I know…it was a bad pun. Okay, tell us about collaborating with Joe Casey.

FI: Joe is full of enthusiasm and boyish glee about his stories and he's also very professional and gets his scripts in on time.

RT: Why do you color all your own work?

FI: You have to ask!? I don't like modern coloring methods, plus if I can do it, then I should do it. Like, would you take your girl out on a date and then let some other guy take her home?

RT: Uh…

FI: No way. I'm an all-or-nothing kind of guy.

RT: What is your favorite genre to draw in?

FI: Horror mainly, though I dig the noir stuff and also really over-the-top cosmic stuff. Anything that goes beyond the mundane.

RT: What comics are you reading right now?

FI: "Seven Soldiers"

RT: What other writers would you like to work with in the future?

FI: Alan Moore. Maybe.

RT: Maybe?

FI: Maybe.

RT: What characters?

FI: I have a Hulk story in my head, though I do dig the Silver Surfer. It all depends on the story basically.

RT: What do you have coming up next after the miniseries wraps?

FI: That would be a secret.

RT: Allright then, how about your first comic. What was that?

FI: Dunno, probably some Marvel black-and-white reprint thing.

RT: And your your favorite comic book of all time?

FI: Don't have one.

RT: Has there ever been a comic book that touched/changed your life? What was it?

FI: I was really moved by "X-Men" #147 (I think), which was the funeral of Phoenix. It had loads of recaps of the glorious adventures they'd all had together, focusing on Jean Grey's role in them and, as a tender 8-year-old, I was cut up emotionally by the sheer tragedy of that comic for years.

RT: If you could only draw one book for the rest of your career, what would it be?

FI: Something that A) was assured to sell loads and B) meant I had creative freedom to draw whatever I wanted in whatever style I wanted forever.

RT: What's the best comic book movie ever made?

FI: "Mystery Men."

RT: What is your weirdest convention experience?

FI: Vomiting for seven hours straight at Winterfest 2003 in London

RT: If you were remembered for only one thing in your career, what would you want it to be?

FI: Haven't done it yet.

Contact "Reflections" writer Robert Taylor at rtaylor@comicbookresources.com. Got a favorite creator you'd like to see interviewed? Drop an e-mail to the address above and we'll see if we can get them lined up for upcoming editions of "Reflections" pronto.

 
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