As a lifelong fan of the magazine, Wayne Simmons is delighted to interview fellow Belfastian and thrillseeker, PJ Holden! PJ has been a droid with 2000AD for some time, drawing the likes of the mighty Judge Dredd *cue fanboy grovelling* …
Enjoy the interview!
WS: Who are you and how do you contribute towards the sci-fi/ horror genre?
PJ: I’m PJ Holden and I’ve been drawing comics for a very long time. The past 10 years has seen me work on the Galaxy’s Greatest Comics (or 2000AD as most would know it).
WS: What attracted you to the genre?
PJ: I’ve been reading 2000AD since I was 7 years old. At that time, big action movies would come out once a year, TV comprised of three channels mainly broadcasting testcards and video games comprised of one fast moving giant white square moving between two rectangular white squares while making BLORPING noises. So, comics were my only way to escape. War comics were my gateway into sci-fi, and my dad, trawling through oxfam and picking up Lion, Tigers and Century 21 (sadly no bears) when I were a nipper cemented my love of comics and sci-fi.
WS: You are currently working on the Judge Dredd strip for 2000AD. How scary is it to follow in the footsteps of veteran Dredd artists like Carlos Ezquerra and Colin MacNeill?
PJ: I kind of relish it. I’m convinced I should feel humbled, instead I feel like someone has given me their toys and said, “Go ahead, doesn’t matter if you break them.” No matter what I do to Dredd, those great works by Carlos, Colin (and many, many others) are unchanged. I get to dip in and out of that incredible world, refining my take on Dredd each time. I still haven’t nailed it, but I love getting another go.
WS: How much room for developing a story is the artist afforded?
PJ: Scripts tend to be straightforward and many of the story telling decisions are down to the artist. Wagner’s scripts have been described as ‘Very Exciting Telegrams’ – when your panel description is “Dredd looks grim”, there’s a LOT of ways to play that.
WS:What inspires your artwork?
For more interviews and book reviews by Wayne Simmons, go to www.waynesimmons.org
Belfast born, Wayne Simmons, has been loitering with intent around the horror genre for some years. Having scribbled reviews and interviews for various zines, Wayne released his debut horror novel, DROP DEAD GORGEOUS, through PERMUTED PRESS. The book was received well by both fans of the genre and reviewers alike. In April 2010, the rights to DROP DEAD GORGEOUS reverted back to Wayne. An extended version of DDG will be released through SNOWBOOKS in 2011.
Wayne released the zombie apocalyptic horror novel, FLU, through SNOWBOOKS in April 2010.
In what little spare time he has left, Wayne enjoys running, getting tattooed and listening to all manner of unseemly screeches on his BOOM-BOOM Box…