Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Garth and beyond. An interview with Martin Baines
As mentioned in the previous posting, the reprints of Garth which began this week in the Daily Mirror have the addition of colour for a new audience. The work is being done by Martin Baines, who is an accomplished artist in his own right. Martin kindly agreed to my request for a brief interview about Garth and his other work...
LS: Could you give me a brief rundown of your career? Comics you've worked on, and projects you have coming up?
MB: By trade I work as a visualising and storyboard artist drawing my own work and colouring others for TV commercials. Some stuff I have done recently are for Walkers crisps, Clarks shoes and British Gas. What I like about it is that you never know what you're going to get and got in initially through Sydney Jordan.
My comic work includes a six month gig on Match of the Day, drawing Commandos, painting for People's Friend, colouring Titan's Wallace and Gromit and being the back up colourist for Scorer in the Mirror. I also drew the Dan Dare Project Pluto in the early issues of Spaceship Away which I even got away with killing Dan off in the last episode...
LS: How did the Garth gig come about?
MB: To be honest I was a bit lucky... For 5 years I was the back up colourist on Scorer when David Pugh was on holiday and was out of the blue asked by the cartoon editor was I interested. Incidentally I learnt a lot from the guys on Scorer and wish them well. I know the editor knew i was a a huge fan of Garth an actually was in the running to draw him when there was a plan to launch the strip in 2008. You can see some of the sample work here...
LS: Were you a fan of Bellamy's work before this job?
MB: Frank Bellamy is in opinion my favourite artist and I actually collect his work. I am hoping that Heros the Spartan gets reprinted one day.
LS: Technical stuff. What software do you use for colouring? Does the Mirror send you a batch of TIFFS?
MB: I use Photoshop CS and the Mirror supply me with a story at a time...
LS: The colours are subtle and enhance the line, which is a benefit now that Garth is reprinted in a slightly smaller size than it was originally intended. Did you choose the colour palette?
MB: The cartoon editor supplied me with a rough sample of what they were looking for so as an good commercial artist you do as you're told... The palette I have developed from that one. I must admit I have started to look at Fraser of Africa to try to make it Bellamy like in terms of colour.
LS: How far ahead are you with The Angels of Hell's Gap? Any idea what we can expect after that story ends?
MB: I am 30 days ahead...I will let you know what story will come next.
LS: Thanks for your time and best wishes for the future.
You can see more of Martin's work at this website:
Garth runs in the Daily Mirror every Monday to Saturday. The strip can also be viewed online at the Daily Mirror website: