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Steve Conley Administrator Offline

Registered: 11/27/98
Posts: 2490
Loc: Arlington, Virginia, USA

BY JENNIFER "I want Trevor to design boots for me too!" CONTINO

Stunned. That's what I was when I first saw the gorgeous artwork on ComX's Cla$$War. I couldn't believe one artist was producing all this fantastic artwork. Trevor Hairsine reminded me a lot of Brian Hitch and Paul Neary, my favorite art team on The Authority. I thought - after just one issue of Cla$$War - that this comics creator was one we would definitely be seeing a lot more of. And we are. Hairsine is the latest artist to illustrate one of Marvel's icons, Captain America. THE PULSE had a short preview of his work a few months ago, and caught up with him now just before the issue (Captain America # 7) hits the stands.

THE PULSE: When you were younger, when did you discover comic books and what about them struck you as something you wanted to collect or be involved with?

HAIRSINE: I reckon i must have been about eight years old. And like most of my friends and peers, I think it was Star Wars that kicked it all off for me.

In the fever after that film I picked up one of the first copies of 2000ad, introducing me to the likes of Judge Dredd and Strontium Dog, which poured petrol on an already raging inferno. I think it was at that point I started drawing with a passion which kept me scribbling away for the next 25 years.

The art of story telling through a series of sequential images is just something that fascinates me and comics seem to me to be the most simple, direct and personal way of indulging that passion.

I have a big smile on my face at the moment.

THE PULSE: Which comics were your favorites? What did you like best about them?

HAIRSINE: 2000AD has to come top of the list. A weekly dose of "thrill power" showing off the talents of the people such as Brian Bolland, Mike McMahon, Carlos Esquerra and Glenn Fabry. Not long after that I started picking up Marvel UK editions of Spider-Man. Reprints of the old JR stuff. And Star Wars comics. Carmine Infantino.

What did I like best about them?

They contained pictures and told stories of flying people who shot lasers from their eyes and crushed buildings whilst flying about the cosmos in big spaceships.

Nuff Said.

THE PULSE: When did you first read some US comics? Which ones were they? How were they different from the UK ones

HAIRSINE: In the early eighties I started finding copies of the X-men and the Avengers turning up in our stores. John Byrne's run on the X-men, particularly the Phoenix Saga, was essential viewing. George Perez on the Avengers ditto. The US stuff I picked up was basically superhero based and the UK comics were mostly Science Fiction.

THE PULSE: What were some of the key things that made you want to create comics and be involved in their production?

HAIRSINE: Comics offered me a chance to use my imagination, to draw, visualise and tell stories. All the stuff I love doing. Except surfing. And attempting to procreate.

THE PULSE: Who were some of your creative influences?

HAIRSINE: Ooh. An easy one. Neal Adams on the X-men. Mike McMahon on Dredd and Slaine. Alan Davis on Captain Britain (Marvel UK 1980) Frank Miller on Daredevil. George Perez on JLA and the Avengers. Bolland on Dredd. Adam Hughes on girls.

THE PULSE: Once you decided you were going to make comics, what did you do to become a creator? Did you go to art school? Are you self taught?

HAIRSINE: I'm self taught, I guess.

I've been drawing comic book characters since I was 9. My parents wanted me to have nothing to do with comics at all ( you know, they rot your mind and all that.) In spite of this I went onto art college where the tutors had never seen a comic and frowned upon any form of fantasy illustration.

They made me make hats out of polystyrene. I did mine in the shape of an axe and they gave me an F.

Until the age of 21, I thought comics were drawn by volunteers with day jobs.

THE PULSE: Who helped you get some of your early comics work? What did you learn the most from those experiences?

HAIRSINE: My friends were my greatest supporters. They egged me on.

Eventually, once I'd worked out you could make a living from drawing comics, I sent in some photocopies of my work, one lot to Marvel UK and one to 2000ad. They were just photocopies with my phone number written in byro at the top.

The next day I received two phone calls. Marvel rang first and the connection was so bad I couldn't hear a word they were saying. To this day I don't know who I spoke to or what was said. Something about Jim Lee. I think they wanted me to draw like Jim Lee.

I'd just worked up the courage to go and find a phone box and ring them back when 2000ad rang to offer me work.

And that was that.

What did I learn from that experience? Friends are the greatest commodity in life and make sure you have a phone that works.

THE PULSE: How did you become involved with ComX and Cla$$war?

HAIRSINE: Oh boy. Another long story. Ok. This is ten years on (nearly) and I was fed up with earning bugger all in comics. I was just too slow you see. So I went to work for a computer games company. Regular hours, regular pay. It was really interesting and very laid back for about a year and then ComX showed me Class War. And I just couldn't turn it down. I had to draw it. I had no choice.

And so I did.

That was the short version.

THE PULSE: Your penciling and inking reminds me a great deal of Hitch and Neary. Have you been compared to them in the past? Were either's style a big influence on how you create comics now?

HAIRSINE: Yep. I have to say, Bryan and Paul on "The Authority" was a bit of an eye opener. Less from a style point of view, because my stuff is naturally Neal Adams/John Buscema based anyway, and more from a storytelling and content point of view.

I love this sort of "realism" that's creeping into the superhero genre. It brings new depth to old characters.

THE PULSE: What did you enjoy the most about working on Cla$$war?

HAIRSINE: Having a stab at the above. And loving it.

THE PULSE: We'd heard rumors you were going to be joining CrossGen and then a short time later, we heard you were working at the House of Ideas. What made you change your mind about CrossGen? What was it about Marvel that made them the better career opportunity?

HAIRSINE: Another long story.

Ok. Lets see if I can whittle it down some.

While I was on holiday in Florida last year and went to see a friend of mine, Mike Perkins, who'd moved there a couple of months prior. I met the folks at CG, liked them loads and was offered a place to which I said yes. To cut a long story short, for personal reasons I had to call the whole thing off.

Then Marvel got in touch and offered me some work which put the smile back on my face again.

THE PULSE: What did you know about Captain America before taking over the art chores?

HAIRSINE: Only that John Byrne had done a great issue in 1980 about Batroc the Leaper threatening to drive a tanker full of poison gas into New York harbour. And that Cap liked to kick Nazi butt.

THE PULSE: What did you find as the characters strongest attributes?

HAIRSINE: Me being a sad monkey, the fact that he likes to kick Nazi butt has to feature high on the list. And the fact that he is, basically, a decent human being caught up in all the mud that a political, corporate and military arena can throw up. The possibilities for drama and action are endless.

Great character.

THE PULSE: What if anything do you view as his greatest weakness?

HAIRSINE: His sometimes excessive morality. But only from an "artist who likes to draw big fights" point of view.

THE PULSE: What's been the biggest challenge to rendering this character?

How is working on Captain America different from working on characters you helped design in Cla$$war?

HAIRSINE: My biggest challenge on Cap has been one of logistics, really. Learning to get a book done in four or five weeks. It's difficult, but now I know I can do it.

The character himself I've not had a problem with. He's sort of, a prettier version of Judge Dredd. I did give him some proper boots, tood soles. Cla$$War was different because I was able to design from scratch. It's not often I get to do that.

THE PULSE: What's going on in the current Captain America story you're working on?

HAIRSINE: It's cool stuff. This five issue run has my favourite type of foe in it. One which may or may not be a villain. It'll be interesting to see which way John goes with him.

THE PULSE: Why is now a good time for readers to check the series out?

HAIRSINE: I would have to say because we've told a great story with fascinating characters.

With explosions.

And hurricanes.

And big fights.

THE PULSE: With Captain America another person is inking your work, while with Cla$$war you did your own penciling and inking. How is working with an inker different from doing it all yourself?

HAIRSINE: It is very different and something that's going to take me a few issues to get used to. Fortunately for me, I've got someone like Danny Miki to lean on.

THE PULSE: What are the pros and cons to working with another artist on any given piece?

HAIRSINE: That's a good question. I don't really know yet. This is a first. Ask me at the end of the series.

THE PULSE: What other projects are you working on?

HAIRSINE: Nothing right now. Cap takes up all my time.

And then some.

newspulse Offline

Registered: 05/16/01
Posts: 235
Great interview, Jen. This guy rocked with Cla$$war and I'm looking forward to his Capt. America. If there's anybody who could fill-in for Bryan Hitch to get Ultimates out on time, this is the guy!

TheArtofComics Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/21/01
Posts: 27
Loc: Charlotte, NC USA
Great questions Jen. Trevor is someone I'm happy to have met, thru emails, and his enthusiasm for the Cap issues has made this a must-buy comic. I know he's swamped getting Cap out but I can't wait to see what the next project will be!

Chris Irvine Offline

Registered: 08/06/01
Posts: 1243
Loc: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Just a minor thing, but if Tevor is reading this, i would like for him to draw Cap`s costume with big chainmails like John Cassaday did. I think it adds to the character`s visuals almost as McFarlane`s big eyes on Spiderman.
I never was a Space Ranger
...circus showing and as he watches the 12 year old on the trapeze, turns to his date and says "Yea, I've had my eye on him for awhile." eww

PopCultureKid Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/29/02
Posts: 28
Is that supposed to be Captain America punching that guy's jaw clean off his face?

If it is, man, they really are into the Captain Facist thing right now aren't they?

Jonas_Vesterlund Offline

Registered: 10/15/02
Posts: 111
Loc: A Swede in Virginia
Originally posted by PopCultureKid:
Is that supposed to be Captain America punching that guy's jaw clean off his face?

If it is, man, they really are into the Captain Facist thing right now aren't they?

Nope, that panel is from Cla$$war....

silentbob Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/23/01
Posts: 6
Loc: Germany
Originally posted by PopCultureKid:
[QB]Is that supposed to be Captain America punching that guy's jaw clean off his face?

Im pretty sure that this is a panel from Cla$$War.


Northcott Offline

Registered: 03/20/02
Posts: 308
Loc: The Frozen North
Just to be the token history nerd; what Cassady drew wasn't mail armour. That's formed of thousands of tiny, interlinking metal rings, each individually bolted closed. It's a remarkably tough form of protection.

What Cassaday drew was scale armour; a precursor to mail (sometimes called chain-mail) armour. It's very tough, but heavier and not quite as protective -- an upward thrust from a weapon can punch right through it.

I know, I know -- I've just marked myself with whole new levels of nerd-dom.
Ed Northcott

KACH Offline

Registered: 02/08/02
Posts: 89
Loc: San Francisco, CA
Jen, a bit of critiquing. I like your interviews & all, but you guys really need to get the labeling on your images staright. All those are labeled as CAP pages, but a few are from Cla$$War.

Same with the Kaare Andrews interview. The accompanying artwork was mainly by Skottie Young.

Don't mean to nitpick.

Don't hate the player. Hate the game.

stlfan79 Offline

Registered: 05/07/02
Posts: 961
Loc: collegeville central
Trev was amazing on Cla$$war(probabaly one of my favorite titles of all time), its a shame he left. However at least it is to a title that I already read that will get him some big time exposure. Now if only the genius behind Cla$$war (Rob Williams) can get some high profile work, as long as he stays at Com.X also.

Also everyone should check out Com.X everything,and I mean EVERYTHING is great.
Favorite Comics 12/13/05
1 Daredevil
2 Ultimates
3 Rex Mundi
4 Walking Dead
5 Invincible
6 Majestic
7 Punisher
8 Goon
9 Fables
10 Y
11 Shaolin Cowboy
12 Fell
13 Desolation Jones
14 Doc Frankenstein
15 Ex Machina
If Hellboy was monthly it would be #1

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