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Andy Diggle home
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The 28th Saló Internacional del Còmic de Barcelona opens this month with the usual impressive list of artists and writers in attendance for book signings, round-table discussions and exhibitions. A large US contingent includes underground icon Gilbert Shelton, known for his work on titles like Wonder Warthog and The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers. French invitees include Guillaume Trouillard and Jacques Tardi while from the UK come writer Andy Diggle and his drawing partner Jock (Scottish artist Mark Simpson), known for their work together on the action-thriller series The Losers, which has been made into a feature-length film. We swapped emails with Andy ahead of his visit here to find out about his work.
Have you always been interested in comics? Which ones did you read when you were younger? I learned to read with Asterix and British war comics like Battle, Warlord and Commando. Then I discovered 2000 AD when I was 10 years old, and it completely rewired my brain. You can’t overstate the impact 2000 AD had on an entire generation of British comics creators.
You have what many people would describe as a dream job—how did you get started in the industry? I studied comics at university as part of my Media Studies degree, and I think it was my dissertation on ‘comics technique’ that helped get me a job as an editorial assistant at 2000 AD. But I always wanted to write rather than edit, so eventually I quit to go freelance and I’ve never looked back.
You have written for characters like Batman, Daredevil and Judge Dredd. Is there a certain amount of pressure in writing for such loved and well-known characters? Sure, there’s pressure, but it’s pressure I put on myself. You have a balancing act to perform: giving the readers what they want, but not the way they expect. With established characters, it’s important to be respectful rather than reverential, I think. You have to be willing to mess with the formula.
How did the film adaptation of The Losers come about and how involved in the process were you and Jock? We weren’t heavily involved with the film production, although they did invite us to visit the set during the final days of filming in Puerto Rico. It was a very weird and exciting experience, seeing these characters we’d invented, walking around the place, saying our lines and blowing stuff up!
What is your general opinion on the surge of comic-book film adaptations? I’m glad Hollywood has started being a bit more respectful to the source material instead of always ‘dumbing it down’. Films like Ghost World, The Road to Perdition and A History of Violence have shown that there’s more to comics than just superheroes.
28è Saló Internacional del Còmic de Barcelona: May 6th to 9th, Fira de Barcelona, Palacio número 8, www.comic-28.ficomic.com