2000AD 1700 interview #6 – Jon Davis-Hunt

This week sees the release of 2000AD issue (or “prog” to the faithful) 1700.
As with previous issue 100’s this is down as a jumping on prog so every story is a part one, suitable for new readers looking to give 2000AD a try. To make the most of this I’ve nabbed a few quick Q&A’s with some of prog 1700′s contributors.

Next up, artist on Age of the Wolf and the man behind 1700’s frankly STUNNING cover, Mr Jon Davis-Hunt

Just quickly, before the interview thing… if anyone is interested in reading about how covers like this get put together and enjoy seeing the various stages from roughs, to pencils, to the finished product, all complete with a commentary from the artist then go check out the 2000AD covers blogspot courtesy of Mr Pete Wells. Some really amazing behind the scenes stuff on there.

Anyway, on with the Q&A with Jon.

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So as well as having a strip in this landmark issue you’ve also scored the cover. How awesome is that?

Awesome on just about every level!!!

When you were creating this cover did you know it was for this specific issue? Also, where you given guidelines or just told to come up with something cool (its VERY f***ing cool by the way)

Haha – cheers mate, that’s very nice of you. Matt (Tharg) approached me about doing a Thrill based cover and suggested maybe something to do with robots. I came up with several ideas, two of which I really liked – this one, and another idea I had where Tharg was running a demolitions company. I live out in the middle of the country side and about 3 miles away from here is an old cement works. The idea I had was for two gigantic mechs (one marked THRILL and one marked POWER) to be kicking the c**p out of each other, their fisticuffs destroying the building around them. In the foreground would be a young lad and his dog, watching next to a large sign reading ZARGAZ DEMOLITION SERVICES. I wanted it to have a kind of wistful, 50’s feel to it – kind of like a Hovis advert, but with giant manga-inspired mechs!

However, I’m not sure if the effect would have been as immediate as the cover that Matt chose and I’m really pleased how this one turned out in the end. It’s a simpler idea and quite often, it’s the simple ideas that are the most effective.

Your work inside the prog is on a story called Age of the Wolf which is a brand new strip. What can you tell us about it?

It’s your typical survival horror, end of the world scenario, but with werewolves. Or at least, that’s how it starts off anyway. Thanks to the great script by Alec, it then heads off into other territory and becomes something else, while still retaining that core dynamic. I don’t want to say too much and give things away, but it’s a really lovely tale and there are some surprising twists in it. It’s got lots of blood and snow in it too!

Your prior work has been more sci-fi and mechanically based having drawn Transformers and Mega City one. How has that compared to Age of the Wolf which is a horror strip set in the very near future?

It’s been great to work on something different. I’ve found it a really really enjoyable project to work on, especially drawing contemporary London which has been really good fun. I’ve also enjoyed the character work in this – it’s got a lot more emotion and subtext than other stories I’ve drawn and I’ve really enjoyed drawing Rowan and how she interacts with the other characters in the story.

I know you also did the colouring on your Age of the Wolf artwork. Was this something you specifically wanted to do yourself as I imagine it wasn’t a deadline friendly decision to take.

It was yeah. I think I’d been somewhat naïve about colouring up to this point. Not intentionally, but probably because I’d simply been focusing so heavily on getting my pencilling and inking right. Colouring is definitely an art all by itself and hopefully with Age of the Wolf, I’ve made some small steps to getting that right. I paid a lot of attention to how other colourists work, both overseas and on the prog itself (like Chris Blythe who is a great colourist). My favourite colourist at the moment though is Laura Martin (who did the Coipel run on Thor). She’s awesome. Colouring is definitely something I want to continue to improve on as I continue.

You worked on the Transformers 2 movie adaptation where you got to draw Megan Fox and also Age of the Wolf where I know Alec described the heroine in the script as looking like Karen (Amy Pond from Dr Who) Gillan.
Which of those was the most fun to research and can you share any pics?

Hahaha – any photo research that was carried out was done on a strictly professional basis in the name of research.

(Yeah,  spoken like a man who knows his wife will read this. Well played sir… well played)

And lastly, what else do you have on the horizon and where can people check out more of your stuff.

I’ve been doing a few things outside of comics recently, mainly in the realms of PR and advertising and also some consultancy work within the games industry, but after Age of the Wolf finishes, then hopefully, it’ll be some more stuff for AD. I’ve had an absolutely brilliant time working for the Prog and the Meg and hopefully I can continue to improve and contribute to what is such a landmark title. I’m also pestering Matt about writing and drawing a series, so hopefully, if I can bash that into shape I’ll be able to work on that at some point. In the mean time, I’m still working on Transformers and have my hands full completing the last few episodes of Age of the Wolf, so a lot more snow and blood!

Thanks Jon

Cheers mate! : )

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