The Kloob Interview (Creator of Currhue)
[A few months back, Warren Ellis, the award-winning creator of graphic novels such as Fell, Ministry of Space, Planetary, and Transmetropolitan, and the author of “underground classic” Crooked Little Vein, and the webcomic Freakangels, hosted a WEBCOMICS WEEK thread on his Whitechapel message board. I came across many cool comics, including Agent-X, Apocalypse Meh, Love is in the Blood, and Currhue. While I went a few pages in to each of the other comics, and bookmarked several, it was Currhue that drew me in with its strange but instantly likeable style and story. I ate it up, and then did as much as I could to learn about the man behind this newly developing world. UK-based, he goes by Kloob, known “more dully” as Steve, and by day he works at creating DVD menus. I interviewed him via email over the last few days, and he graciously provided the following.]
What is your favorite [movie] quote? – “I’m making this up as I go” – Raiders of the Lost Ark
What is your favorite Shakespearean play? – Macbeth – probably only as its the first I studied at school.
Describe your evil twin. – He is basically the same as me but he’s prepared to kill, hence he’s a lot more successful and rich
Star Wars or Star Trek? – Star Wars – I can live without most Star Wars stuff except for The Empire Strikes Back which is better than any Star Trek I’ve seen.
Rolling Stones or Beatles? – Almost too tough to call as both are as influential and amazing in their own way. If pushed I would say the Beatles for the films, the experimentation and because I met Paul McCartney and he was a thoroughly nice person.
On what occasion did you meet Paul McCartney? Did you meet him before he was Sir Paul McCartney or after? -How did I meet Paul McCartney. As you may be able to see at www.petroldigitalmedia.com , I part-own a small company that produces online materials and features on DVD/Blu-Ray. I’ve been doing this for the last 4 years and prior to this was Creative Director at a similar company as well. While working there Paul McCartney’s people came to us and said he wanted to put some animations he had produced onto DVD. I did the menu design and as his offices were only round the corner I got to go round there and present my ideas to him. He was very warm and welcoming and very receptive to what we wanted to do. Like I said, a thoroughly nice chap! I consider myself very lucky and blessed that in a similar vein I have met Ricky Gervais and Terry Gilliam while designing menus for the DVDs of The Office (UK) and Monty Python and the Holy Grail respectively.
What sort of character would you play in a comic book (hero, humorous sidekick, villian, that abrasive newspaper guy, etc.)? – I would certainly play a hero but one of those ones that is still learning the hard way how to cope with responsibility (which I learned from having kids)
What are your artistic influences? Writing influences? – I’m only going to list my comic art influences here. These are some of the best artists whose work I adore. John Buscema (probaly my very favourite. A towering genius of the form), Eduardo Risso, Bill Sienkiewicz, Ted McKeever, Chris Samnee, Gabriel Rodriquez, Daniel Clowes and David Mazzuchelli. In terms of writing I’ll draw from a wider spectrum and cite; David Lynch, Patricia Highsmith, Dashiell Hammet, Brian Azzerello, Robert Kirkman, Hal Hartley and The Coen Brothers.
If you could time travel, what would be your first stop? – The 1960’s in London. A time of great change and very short skirts.
What is your creative process? Hardware? Software? – Post-it notes, ball-pen, Wacom Intuos 2, Photoshop CS3 and sometimes Flash CS3 too. Oh and Fallout 3 on the PS3!
Favorite beverage? – Scotch, Fine wine, Miller Genuine Draft and coffee (separately, of course)
What is your dream job? – Writing comics for a living (one day!!!)
Is there a particular comic or type of comic you’d like to write? Superhero, graphic novel, or pretty much Currhue? – I’d like to write a superhero comic and I’d probably be happy doing any one of them. I believe there are no bad characters, only bad stories, so I think I could find an angle on any of them. And it would be one childhood dream checked off the list
Do you believe a good life is attainable? or is it something that is out of our control ie subject to luck etc.? – We make our own good life. Its all about making the best of what you have.
Where do you do your best work? – half asleep in bed. That’s when the ideas come.
So that’s why Currhue has such a surreality about it! Is that your secret? – Half asleep in bed and direct from dreams as well. Several ideas have come from feature-length dreams I’ve had
If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? – Hard to say. I get itchy feet when I’m anywhere too long. I’ll narrow it down to Canada or Italy.
If you could be someone else for a day, who would it be? – Superman. Come on, who wouldn’t want to be?
What is your favorite word? – Curry – as in to curry favour
What makes you emotional? – Films which end with good things happening to good people. Maybe, sometimes, maybe..maybe, I cry at films…
What makes you laugh? – That scene in the film Porky’s and Airplane and The Thick of It and Alan Partridge.
If you were an animal in the wild, what would you be? – Can I change it to a domesticated animal and say I would like to be the well-loved puppy or kitten of a young, attractive woman
My girlfriend identified one of your facebook profile pictures as having come from the Daily Squee, do you enjoy a good squee to start each day? -I’m afraid I don’t know what squee is but I like to rotate my profile picture on a regular basis when I come across something I like or to reflect a mood.
Do you own any pets, and if so what do you have? – I have no pets. I’d like some though…
If you could travel back in time, what mistake(s) would you want to correct? – There are no mistakes! It all happens for a reason! All of this has happened before and all this will happen again!
Do you believe that the cup is half empty or half full? – Half full! Yeah!
If you had only six months to live, what would you do first? – Look for dinosaurs in the Amazon.
What are you most proud of in your life? – My children, My company (Petrol) and my legs.
Who do you admire most? – Anyone who works with the sick, chronically disabled, children and elderly
Favorite Place to Eat? – That fish and chip shop I went to as a child on the way to Cheddar Gorge.
If you had to pick one car, which would it be? – Any TVR will do!
What are some of your favorite Disney or animated films? – Anything Pixar is good. Wall-E, Ratatouille, Nemo, Toy Story…
Define yourself in 3 words: – Self-centred, grumpy, funny
What is your favorite TV show? – Mad Men. If I meet people who haven’t seen it I shake them and scream why haven’t you seen it!
What is your favorite place? – Bed
If you could have one super human power what would you choose? – Flying!
What is your favorite song of all time? – “There goes the Fear” – Doves
Tell us either a bit about your family, or something extraordinary about a particular family member: – It could have gone so wrong but fortunately my children are all handsome, clever and creative. And my wife is a talented and successful artist in her own right.
Anything you’d like to plug for your wife? – My wife is an artist specialising in funny animals and children’s illustration. She has worked on some animated sequences for a kids show on the BBC called Tikkabilla, designed some greetings cards and is hopefully about to publish a book for young children. I keep telling her to get her work online and a Deviantart account should be open for her soon.
Thanks so much, for your time, Kloob! – Cheers!