Shooting The Breeze With ‘Billionaire Island’ And ‘Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass’ Artist Steve Pugh
by Olly MacNamee
Steve Pugh is something of a veteran of the comic book world with a long list of great titles to his name including not one but two stints on DC Comics’ Animal Man, as well as more recent successes such as The Flinstones and last year’s YA graphic novel Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass. He’s also the last (for now) comic book professional to shoot the breeze and give his answers to the 10 questions e’ve been asking a number of creators over the past few weeks. So, let’s have at it, readers, shall we?
Olly MacNamee: Now, for many creators a life of isolation is nothing new, but these are, I think we can all agree, unprecedented times. As such, have you noticed any changes yet to your regular daily routines, for better or for worse?
Steve Pugh: Oh, I’ve gone back to my natural troglodyte schedule, sleeping from 7:30am til 1pm. Sometimes I put my head out of the front door and hiss at joggers but my day is mostly drawing comics and talking to dolls… I mean action figures
OM: Like so many others, have you pledged to take up any new hobbies or interests during this downtime? I imagine after one week that resolution—like New Year’s Eve resolutions—may have ebbed for some? So, do you ebb or flow? And that’s not euphemism!
SP: I draw comics, My life is exactly the same. Except I open Amazon deliveries in the manner of an alien autopsy.
OM: This could very well go on for a few months, listening to the experts rather than the politicians. We’re all going to soon be clambering the walls, if we’re not distracted. What comic book gems will you have the time to go back, dig out and re-read and suggest to our readers to go order from their local comic book store to help support their business?
SP: I bought a bunch of the black and white Star Wars weekly comics. I’m reliving the strange beautiful angular Carmine Infantino art and the incredible Starlord back up by John Byrne (the strip which convinced me comics was my thing). Buying stuff from comic shops? I’d recommend buying random issues of stuff you like the look of. Just take a punt. You won’t know what’s going on, but just imagine it’s one of those non linear HBO shows. Do you like the characters, that’s the main thing.
OM: Any newer titles out there you’ve discovered or been recommended and enjoyed reading?
SP: I found out they actually finished Jupiter’s Circle (by Mark Millar and Frank Quietly), so I know how it ended now, which was nice. That’s not very new, is it? It’s new to me, and Vince (Frank Quietly) is amazing.
OM: And, what will be playing on your turntable over the coming weeks? What albums could you not live without?
SP: I generally choose a song and play it over and over until I lose all sense of time. Though I do love Röyksopp and The Knif . I got a free trial of Amazon Music to follow on groups who I’d heard bit and pieces of, but I’ve mainly been listening to TWEI who do ridiculously over dramatised covers of pop tunes in the style of move soundtracks.
OM: Any box sets you’ll be going back to rewatching? Or any new films and TV you may now have the time to invest in?
SP: I can’t watch TV when I work so there’s a ton of stuff I want to see. Keeping up with Westworld, because you can tell they really care.
OM: I must admit, getting back to comics, it’s been really pleasing to read, see and hear the comic book communities coming together at a time like this. What have been some of the positive stories coming out of the comic book industry that have caught your eye over the past week or so?
SP: Just the general community. There’s a lot of pulling together and support at odd hours of the night. They’re good people.
OM: It would have been the start of another busy comic con season on both sides of the pond, but alas no more. Will you miss these chances to socialise and meet up with fellow colleagues and friends?
SP: Ha, have you met me? No, neither has anyone else. I’m essentially a fictional character at this point.
OM: What hopes do you harbour for the comic book industry once these stormy clouds have passed?
SP: Survival, beyond that an embrace of technology that also doesn’t shaft the shops. Better minds than mine are on it.
OM: Finally, and to leave a smile on our readers’ faces, have you heard any good/bad jokes recently?
SP: Why can’t hedgehogs just learn to share the hedge?
You can catch up on all the previous interviews in this series right here. But, for now, we’re taking a break as we round up a few more comic book pros to shoot the breeze with in the not too distant future. All the best for now!