Monday, 11 October 2010

One Question Interview #6: Leigh Walton

Whilst Jonathan Case's entry might not be the most "out there" entry within Leigh Walton's Tintin sketchbook, it's certainly one of our favourites.

For today's One Question Interview, we invited someone a little different to talk. Whilst creators are the heart of the comics industry, without the lungs, liver, stomach, or pancreas they'd just create a bloody mess, right? Helping add structure to this chaos is Top Shelf Productions' PR/ Marketing guy extraordinaire Leigh Walton. More than just an imposing industry "suit", he's a true blue comics fan, and nowhere is this better illustrated (pun intended) than in his Tintin sketchbook project.

For several years, Leigh's been stealing moments with all kinds of comic artists at festivals, getting them to add their spin on Hergé's beloved, sometimes controversial characters. Featuring an impressive cast of contributors including Bryan Lee O'Mally, Jeff Lemire, Raina Telgemeier, James Kochalka and a whole lot more, the project threatens to rival even Chris Pitzer's Alt-Comix Trading Card collection in terms of sheer awesome.

Why Tintin?
"I was inspired to start a themed sketchbook soon after officially joining the comics industry. Inspired by Mike Baehr's Yoda book and Brett Warnock's Kirby's Fourth World book (plus the books that fans would bring up to our artists at shows), I tried to think of a good theme. Eventually I settled on Tintin because it was something I could bring to almost any artist -- popular enough that everyone would be familiar with it (even in dumb ol' America), yet respectable enough that snooty latte-sipping lit-comix artistes would still be interested. Hergé's series is wide-ranging enough to accomodate lots of different settings, characters, and moods, so artists can take the prompt in almost any direction (and they have!). Finally, Tintin was one of my earliest and fondest memories of reading comics -- my brother and I would get Tintin, Asterix, and Elfquest out of the public library.

I've filled almost two full sketchbooks so far and there are plenty more artists that I'd love to have contribute, so I'll probably keep going! Although at SPX this year I got the itch to start up a new one for Fabian Nicieza & Rob Liefeld's Shatterstar (who I maintain is ripe for a revival)..."

Our sincere thanks go out to Leigh for taking time out from spreading the gospel of Top Shelf to answer our question. Just in case you missed the link up top, be sure to head on over to Leigh's Tintin Flickr set to have your eyes squeal with yet more delight.  Roll on Operation Shatterstar!


  1. I'm really enjoying these one question interrogations.
    Has this happened yet:
    "Are you ready for our One Question Interview?"
    "Yes.......... Have we finished?"

  2. That would be fun (but cruel)! There is an email coming your way, Sir :)