Liam 'Sharpie' Sharp EXCLUSIVE Interview


I find myself, yet again, at a loss for introduction. So I'll just let that be it. Anyway, after I posted my review of my Justice League # 32, It caught Liam Sharp's eye. So I was encouraged to ask him if he'd let me do a little interview for the site and I'll be hot damned if the man didn't say yes. The funny part is, Sharp lives in California. Not that far away from where I work. I mean, I'm assuming here. However, he's near Oakland and Berkeley (Go Bears), so you never know. Anyway, point is he was gracious enough to respond and I can only hope this piece does the man justice. No pun intended. So lets get on with it and see what tasty information I was able to find out! G.U: First and foremost thank you so much for taking time out of your day to do this for us. Just for the people who might just now be joining us on planet earth. Can you tell us a little bit about what you do? And Why? L.S: I draw comics. I have always loved them, always enjoyed creating them, and that was just the one direction of a possible many that has proven most successful for me. But I’m also a writer, novels as well as comics. I’ve sung in bands and written songs, and I’ve dabbled in film-making in various roles – at a very amateur and pro level. Six years ago I flexed my entrepreneurial muscles by co-founding the digital storytelling company Madefire. Before that I founded the indie publishing company Mam Tor. But I’m mostly known as a comic artist. G.U: And why art? Why this medium? L.S: Comics are films on paper, and a beautiful way to tell any kind of story you like with words and pictures – two mediums that I hold very dear. G.U: So how do you work? L.S: Very loose pencils, then straight to inks. I use a Pentel Pocket Brushpen, and Pigma Microns for the tiny details. G.U: Now here's a question out of left field, but ,If you had to identify with a type of art. Which would it be? Why? L.S: Imaginitive art. I don’t care what genre really, but I like fantasy, horror and sci-fi. All of those genres are powerful when they are used well. The best sci-fi is usually allegory, and horror is full of social commentary. G.U: That's actually pretty deep. With that being said though, what type of works do you enjoy doing most? L.S: Again, fantasy, horror or sci-fi, though my second prose book – a novella called ‘Paradise Rex Press, Inc.’ - is much harder to define! It takes inspiration from writers like James Joyce, Samuel Beckett and Dylan Thomas. But when it comes to art it’s fantasy or sci-fi.

G.U: Why? L.S: Because for me these are the roots of all stories, and what makes us human in many ways. They are the tales that drove us across oceans, and across the void to put footprints on the moon. That we can conceive and imagine things that can never be, or have not yet come into being, is incredible to me. Too often under-sold to the masses, imaginative storytelling is considered frivolous and shallow, when it is the foundations of civilization, and our understanding of the world, the universe, and our place in all of that. G.U: What do you hope to accomplish with your work professionally? L.S: I aim for ‘great’ – which is always subjective! But I want to leave a legacy that inspires, the same way I was inspired, by other greats, like Sienkiewicz, Frazetta, Moebius, Jeff Jones, Kaluta, Barry Windsor-Smith, John Buscema, and many many more. I want to be the best I can be, and to never get tired of reaching for more – by which I mean I want to keep improving until the day I can no longer draw. I have no expectation that I ever WILL be great, but it’s what I aspire to, and it keeps a fire in my belly steadily burning. G.U: What's your favorite art work? L.S: I don’t have favorites of anything, and certainly not artwork – which is an aspect of myriad mediums! I love music, the written word, the spoken word, movies, comics, illustration… every medium has a thousand heroes and I enjoy find new ones. I’m very open creatively, though I find I tend to skew fairly old-school in my own approach. I’ve tried to blast my own style apart and to deconstruct it, but I always find my most natural ‘true’ voice in highly detailed brush work. It's not the maverick rule-breaker any artist hopes to find in themselves, but it’s fundamentally how I produce my best work, so I’m concentrating on that, and trying to be better at it than I am. We’ll never stop learning as long as we pay attention and are open to it! G.U: Can we just pause for a second and admire how fucking dope that answer is! Like dope! Anyway, If you could work with any one artist who would that be? L.S: As an artist, Moebius. As a writer, M. John Harrison. I’ve been lucky enough to already work with many creative heroes, and there are some plans and ideas in the pipeline with other greats that may or may not come to anything, but we’ll see! G.U: Nice! Why those people? L.S: Moebius because he was visionary and fearless and endlessly creative. M. John Harrison because he writes some of the most creative and literate sci-fi and fantasy I have ever read. G.U: There's clearly a lot to admire about it, but, what do you dislike about the art world? L.S: Its pompous, self-congratulatory exclusivity. It makes claims for itself it has no right to, and puts charletons on thrones whilest dimishing patent genius and pouring scorn on genre. It is a bloated upper-class currency that never-the-less has changed and changed again the world. I love and despise it in equal measure. As in all things there is true greatness there, but we should be wary of buying everything we are sold. G.U: Interesting view to say the least. I can definitely sense the passion there. So what about with your work? How do you feel it can be better?

L.S: In a thousand ways! I seek to be tighter, yet freer. Expressive, yet realistic. I want to draw as realistically as I can, and yet leave room to interpret. I want a better line, and to do more with less. I want to paint more, and long for more time to write. I always feel like I’m only just starting out – though I have finally accepted that I show some promise.

G.U: Jinkies! Nice! Ok, so I know they say inspiration can come from any where. What about for you? What inspires Liam Sharp? L.S: Music, life, friends, living, other artists, other writers, landscapes and dreams. I think that’s those are the big things! G.U: And when you're in that mode of lets do this. What tunes are you blasting L.S: I have a very eclectic taste in music. I will play pretty much anything – as long as it’s great! I struggle to work to most hiphop for some reason, and also vacuous teeny pop or hardcore jazz. But pretty much any form of rock, from prog to metal and everything inbetween. Classical, soundtracks, electronic, ambient, indie, bluegrass, punk, blues, soul, funk… I’ll give pretty much anything a go! G.U: How about foods you're munching on? L.S: Been loosing weight, so no bread, sugar or alcohol during the week for me! Pizza and beer on Friday night. Fruit, veg, brown rice, chicken, lentils, beans… all that good stuff! Been back in the gym because life was getting far too sedentary and I was getting out of shape. G.U: Haha, nice. Gotta love a Pizza and Beer night. So let me pose this question to you. Should art be funded? L.S: Yes. G.U: What role would that play? L.S: If opera wasn’t funded there would be no more opera. It’s important that these art forms are not forgotten. We need museums, we need exhibitions, and all of these things need funds. A world without free art to go see or listen to doesn’t bear thinking about. We would be lost. Art is the story of our dreams, hopes and aspirations. It’s also the story of our fears. It is, and will always be, a mirror to those that dare look. G.U: That's freaking deep! So what is your dream project L.S: On it. Can’t talk about it – yet!

G.U: And here's hoping we're one of the first people to talk to when you can. Would love some sneak peaks! *Wink, wink* So as you know, this is a comic book and tech site. So if you could have any superpower what would it be and why? L.S: I always wanted super-strength and flight. Strength because I was a bullied kid and I wanted to be invulnerable, and flight so I could go anywhere, and be free of the troubles of the world, looking down at the incredible inconsequential tininess of everything with impunity. G.U: Also, what phone are you rocking right now? L.S: Iphone. G.U: Why that one? L.S: It’s not a phone. It’s a device that makes me part cyborg, and that is like being a superhero! G.U: We know you do digital work. What's your set up like? L.S: Citiq and a power mac. For motion books I use the free madefire tool – http://www.create.madefire.com But for my comic work I’m old-school ink on paper mostly. G.U: So as we start to wind down here. What's the best piece of advice you've been given? L.S: It’s as important to be interested as interesting. G.U: And I guess the only question left is what's next for you? L.S: Ha ha! I cannot say – yet! Keep an eye out! News coming soon!

And we definitely cannot wait! They hype is real! I just want to take more time to further express my gratitude to Sharp for doing this. Geek Unhinged is a small up and coming site. So to land such a big name is definitely awesome. With that being said. Just look at that drawing of Cyborg. I mean is that not fucking awesome or what!? Anyway, I think I speak for geek kind when I say we're excited to see what you've got in the pipeline and can't wait for whats next.

Twitter: @LiamRSharp

#interview #justiceleague #DCComics