The Merksay Media Onslaught Continues!

Here is another round-up of recent interviews with various members of the And Then Emily Was Gone creative team.  This round-up features some particularly special interviews…. check them out!

First up, John Lees and Iain Laurie were interviewed by Comic Book Resources, the biggest comics site on the internet.  Interviewer Alex Dueben covered a range of topics, including some insight into the Orkney Islands for uninitiated American readers:

What are the Orkney Islands? On this side of the pond, I’m not sure how well known they are, so I was wondering if you could set the scene a little.

Lees: One of the things I love about Scotland is that it’s quite diverse for such a small nation. There are the big cities, like Glasgow and Edinburgh, which are pretty metropolitan and not all that different from other urban areas across the UK or elsewhere. Then you have the Scottish Highlands to the north, which are a lot more rural and remote, and where much of that archetypal iconography of Scotland from an outsider’s perspective of folks in tartan playing the bagpipes and rearing sheep seems to come from. But then if you go even further north, you’ll find Orkney, a cluster of about 70 islands of varying size just off the Northernmost tip of the Scottish mainland. Though geographically part of Scotland, Orcadians view themselves as quite distinct, and their history and culture is a lot more derived from Nordic tradition.

You can read the full interview here.

Next up, Scottish TV station STV Glasgow ran a feature on Lees and Laurie on their website.  Here’s an excerpt:

Scottish reluctance aside, the pair will be in the Big Apple for New York Comic Con in October. Given that Scotland isn’t exactly short of comics talent – the country is home to Mark Millar, Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely to name but three – is the pressure on?

Laurie joked: “I think Americans are just surprised that a) we’re not English and b) we’re not always drunk.

“The fact is, if you’re in the Glasgow comics scene, you’ve probably met Frank Quitely. But Morrison and Quitely are like these Gods over there, so the fact we’ve got any access to them kind of blows them away.”

He continued, “I’m really excited to go out there and just meet people.

“A lot of people I talk to about comics online are all based in the States, like [Manhattan Project artist] Nick Pitarra.

“It’ll be really interesting to meet them and,” he laughed, “see the disappointment in their faces when they finally meet me.”

Thanks to Nicola Love for the thoughtful article, which you can find in full here.

More recently, Steve Morris over at Comics Beat ran an excellent, in-depth interview with the whole creative team.  There’s a whole lot of interview to enjoy, but here’s a little peek at their discussion of the Scottish comics scene:

There’s an interesting group of Scottish comic-makers right now, with yourselves, the Master Tape team, Team Girl Comics, Dungeon Fun, and many others. What has been your experience of this Scottish community?

JOHN:  Scotland is certainly a major comics hub, and my native Glasgow is a great comics city: not just in terms of the dedicated readers – enough to support 9 comic shops, 2 comic cons and multiple marts, clubs and public events – but also in the volume and quality of creative talent. I’m a founding member and the current chairman of the Glasgow League of Writers, a kind of writing circle for comics where creators meet to discuss and critique each other’s scripts, so I get to see first-hand some of the amazing talent in the Scottish community.

Iain McGarry is a writer who’s been quietly producing some excellent short stories for various anthologies over the past year or two, and once he collects them all into a volume of his own and gets his name out there some more, he’s going to become a big deal fast, mark my words.  John McCusker is like 21 years old, was totally new to writing comics when he first joined, and already he’s better than me.  His debut book, The Alchemist, is in production with artist Jason Mathis, and is going to be incredible. You mentioned Master Tape, and Harry French is another guy primed to blow-up: his other series, Freak Out Squares, is even better.  And Freak Out Squares artist Garry McLaughlin is also kicking ass on his own series, Gonzo Cosmic.

NeverEnding, by Stephen Sutherland and Gary Kelly, is a hidden gem of a comic which should be getting distributed by a big publisher yesterday. Gordon McLean won a SICBA award for No More Heroes, which was ace, but the stuff he’s been quietly working on since is so much better. Dungeon Fun by the sublime Neil Slorance and our own Colin Bell – the first issue was one of the best single issues produced by anyone of any level last year.

Team Girl Comics, Black Hearted Press, Unthank Comics, there’s so much going on I can’t hope to cover it all.

IAIN: Yeah, there’s so much interesting and diverse stuff coming out of Glasgow, and I think John’s covered most of it. I live in Edinburgh and older than most people in that group but they’ve always been really welcoming and friendly to me.

MEGAN: I’m completely jealous of the vibe you guys have got going on over there.  Can someone please adopt me so I can be Scottish too?

JOHN: Working on this comic has made you an honorary Scot, Megan!

COLIN: Congratulations Megan! The Broons are your Gods now. My experience of the community has been nothing short of lovely. Everyone’s dead nice. And talented! I could sit here for ages and reel off so many Scots comickers deserving of attention we’ve not mentioned yet – Craig Collins, Edward Ross, Stephen Goodall’s IMR, Chris Baldie and Holley Mckend’s Never Ever After… there’s LOTS.

You can read the full interview here.

Finally, as a bonus, here’s a look at an interview with John Lees that ran in The Orcadian, Orkney’s local newspaper.  Thanks to Andrew Stewart for this great feature:




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