Can you briefly describe the type of illustration and writing work you do?
I am a graphic novelist. A graphic novel has many components in its creation. From the story and script, to the pencil roughs, inking and final rendering of the artwork that creates a sequential story, or as some people call it a ‘comic’. My style has evolved and has an older freehand style – which was intentional – to give a unique, free spirited feel inspired by older graphic novels such as Tintin and Asterix.
The Adventures of Kory is your first graphic novel: what inspired you to create it?
I have always been intrigued by comics and graphic novels. Asterix, Tintin, Terry and the Gun Runners and 2000 AD comics have had an influence, however I wanted to create a truly New Zealand graphic novel that has its own style, with adventure and a sense of humour, and a hero and sidekick.
The novel is partially set at Manu Bay, near Raglan: does this place have particular meaning for you?
Manu Bay is a great place, the colours of native bush and the raw power of the surf rolling in. The west coast of New Zealand has a ruggedness to it and Raglan is not far from my home Hamilton. I needed a place and scene that inspired me and Manu Bay does this.
Are there other aspects of the book that are autobiographical?
There are characters and settings drawn from my own life experience. The journey that Kory and Bert take to France, reflects my own journey to France, the adventures I had and the range of people I met along the way.
You have done all the writing, illustrating and production of the book yourself: how did you find that? Would you do anything differently next time?
I have written and illustrated this book and it took a lot of planning, dedication and time. There are a lot of components to a graphic novel, from the story, script, character design, final inking, rendering and finally printing. Then you have to sell it! Plan, plan, plan, then finish, finish and complete! The process worked, however there were areas that took longer than I expected, so I would be more realistic around timelines and deadlines next time.There are always things you learn when you take on a creative project like this and it is likely to be quicker the next time you tackle one. The hardest part is taking the leap and creating the next one!
And speaking of next time, do you have another graphic novel or other book in the making?
I have an outline for the next book, which will be based around a rugby match, a mystery and a race against time for Kory to save a national treasure! Have I hooked you in?
Paul will be appearing on Word Cafe’s Illustration Panel, alongside Kat Merewether and Deborah Hinde: Saturday 15 August 2015, 1.45pm-3.15pm in the Raglan Town Hall.