Des Taylor or DESPOP as most know him, is one of the most unique and original artists in the game. He mixes old school charm with new school gloss. He has produced work form everything to ad campaigns to comic book (Katie Rodgers), and even the late King of Pop himself.
Mark Millar (Kick-Ass), says “Des Taylor is maybe the best artist. I haven’t worked with yet!” praise doesn’t get any higher than that.
In April, he’ll release a 4 issue mini series through Titan comic called SCARLETT COUTURE. Scarlett is a CIA operative investigating a kidnapping. You can learn about this project and others on his website: http://despop.co.uk
Enjoy the interview below!
Duff:You’re style is very unique, how would you describe it?
DT: DESPOP! Stands for Design and POP art! The emphasis is trying to create an image that looks like an animated cell, to show movement and emotion that engages you. Each image I create has about a dozen layers in it to create the desired effect. I use a lot of photography and some 3D objects in my work to make the cartoon illustration ‘live’ in the picture.
Duff: You seemed influenced by 40’s,50’s pin ups…any particular artist or model from that era?
DT:For me Gil Elvgren stands out the most from the bunch of pin-up artists of the 40-50’s. As for models? Betty Page ,of course though I tend to reference actresses Monroe, Rita Hayworth, Julie Nemmar, Yvonne Craig, Sophia Loren and Raquel Welch. These gals are the most inspirational females of the 20th Century and the most revered. My Pin-Up art would be nothing
Duff: Tell us about Scarlett? What sets her apart from other female comic heroines?
DT:I guess the main thing is she is wealthy. There aren’t many female characters out there that are the equivalent of Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark. And she won’t be fighting any super powered villains that’s for sure. Her villains are the kind of criminals you get in everyday life, the type that think they can work above the law.
Duff: You create strong female characters, do you feel there is a lack of diversity in comics?
DT: Yes. I feel that comics today don’t really take a risk. I mean look at the 60’s-70’s era of comics, you had Romance, Horror, Westerns, War, Comedy etc But now the focus is strongly on SuperHeroes, Crime and Sci-fi as the big boys (Marvel, DC) dominate and control the market. Image have resurged and are knocking out some amazing titles at the moment which have greater range but you have to understand that the world of comics has expanded beyond all expectations over the past 5-6 years. It’s now cool to like comics and from this the genre have gathered a NEW and unexpected audience… the casual reader. Somebody that can’t jump in on 75 Years superhero history ( which lets face it, changes so frequently most people are confused.)but wants to get into collecting good stories from interesting characters.
Duff: Scarlett is a 4 issue mini series…any plans for an ongoing series or brining some of your other characters, like Katie Rodgers to Titan for a run?
DT: at the moment there are no plans for an ongoing series. We are trying to create a way of telling Scarlett’s stories as if your watching a TV series. This book ‘Project Stardust’ is Season One’. The next plot will be Season Two. It would be great to continue like this as we can then bring in writers to pen different mini-series or even better …write some novels. I spoke with Nick Landau over Xmas about bringing other characters in my portfolio into Scarlett’s Universe, something I have been constantly thinking about. You might just get a surprise at the end of Scarlett Couture book one. I would also like to bring Katie to Titan but feel she would work better as a stand alone book, rather than a mini-series as the project is a mixture of comic book , prose and memo’s.