March 27th, 2016
Our very own Dan White (aka The Beast Must Die) has been interviewed by Matt Colegate for The Comics Journal! Colegate talks to The Most Handsome Mindless* about Terminus, Insomnia, Cindy and Biscuit, writing for this site, and the development of his art style, and it’s all well worth a read if you like what’s best in life.
A teasing excerpt:
When did you start noticing that your style was developing? Was it an incidental discovery or was it something you were working towards?
There’s a hodgepodge of influences that I can see in everything I do, but it’s nice that a style has formed. When I’m doing a brush stroke I’ll be thinking “the way I’ve drawn those bushes is really Bill Watterson.” The style also came out of admitting that I didn’t have to do figurative art work. I could still tell stories that I liked by using cartoons. I should say that the biggest influence in my life is Chuck Jones. Seeing the Warner Bros. cartoons broke me forever.
So you were quite strict about wanting to be a cartoonist?
I just admitted, y’know, “You’re not going to be Simon Bisley and you’re not going to be able to draw Batman”. Nor would I want to. My uncle was an illustrator and I used to look at his work and the looseness of the brush work used to really appeal to me. When I realized I could tell the stories that I wanted by cartooning, and not being a slave to anatomy and photo-referencing, that was really liberating and I think the style developed there. It was quite organic.
A lot of your work – Terminus for example, which you did weekly for Mindless Ones – consists of single panel pieces. What is it that appeals about that format?
The one panel strip is traditionally used for political cartoons or simple visual gags, but I wanted to explore what you could do. They were like haiku experiments in paring down the text. Doing it on a weekly basis was great – doing anything on a weekly basis is great because it’s a way to refine your style – and I noticed that I was getting much better at paring the words down. I wanted to do something that wasn’t necessarily funny. What about if you had a one-panel comic that just disturbed you, or made you feel a bit sad? Somebody on the internet said “It’s like a fortune cookie that you open up and inside there’s an obituary.” That was the perfect description of what I was trying to do. He didn’t mean it as a compliment but I put it on the back of the first collection anyway. It was about trying to capture something and suggest a whole world in a panel. There was a nerdy element also, because I got to tell a science fiction or horror story simply. Horror is a thing that comes up again and again in my work and Terminus was a good way to flex some of those muscles.
If you’ll forgive me for sliding straight into huckster mode – this is the internet in 2016, after all – I’ll just right ahead and say that if the interview put you in the mood to read/buy Dan’s comics, we can help you out with that!
I mean just look at this sequence, from the most recent Cindy and Biscuit book:
**Unless you’re broke, obviously. We don’t actually want to bankrupt you or anything. Or at least, The Beast Must Die doesn’t…
June 2nd, 2014
STRUGGLING IN THE VORTEX, WITH MY JACKET MADE OF GORETEX
Today, for you smiling meatsax, Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735 will consult the great oracle DESREE to find for you the meaning of life. Speak oh great one:
“I don’t want to see a ghost
It’s a sight that I fear most
I’d rather have a piece of toast
And watch the evening news
Life, oh life, oh life, oh life
Doo, doo doo doo
Life, oh life, oh life, oh life
Doo, doo doo doo”
Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735 agrees Desree, toast rather than ghost! ALWAYS! Who would want ghost? And Life IS doo doo doo isn’t it? You really nailed it. No more questions! ALL ANSWERED.
Now onto the latest edition of SILENCE! featuring 100% more The Beast Must Die, but with almost 100% less Bobsy. Same Gary Lactus content though. Just right, as Goldilocks said before she nicked all the porridge and those three vegetarian peace loving bears starved to death.
After a cursory admin session, The Beast talks about his upcoming Cindy & Biscuit art installation up in that bloody London. More details follow after the blurb.
[ITEM] The ‘lads’ answer some more listenoid quizzlers in their slackadaisical fashion. Worth the wait? YOU DECIDE! Amongst the answerage: Doop, bad comics by good creators, Grant Morrison’s Spawn, The Family Must Die, planet-shaped dinner, Heralds, Mighty Crusaders, The Secret Origin of Mindless Ones, Frank Miller, Give Me Liberty, Robo-Hunter, humorous comics, Saturday Night Live, 2000AD, The Studio, creating comics, How To Talk To Girls, drawing comics, Sklent, Greatest Stories Ever Told, Tharg’s Future Shocks, Terminus
[ITEM] A quick dip in the shimmering surf of the Reviewniverse with talk of Southern Bastards, Ordinary, Sparta USA, Titan Comics, MPH, Trees, Saga, Mighty Avengers, SILENCE! Shout out, Deadly Class, non-drowsy decongestants, Red Rover Charlie and a bit more too.
But wait…I have thought of another question.. all is not answered…do not forsake me oh Desree…ANSWER ME!!!!
[AND NOW, A BONUS MESSAGE FROM THE BEAST]