Interview(s) with Stewart Kenneth Moore :: Comic Radio Show :: Comics erfrischend subjektiv, seit 1992!  
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geschrieben von Maqz am Mittwoch, 08. März 2023 (471 Aufrufe) druckerfreundliche Ansicht

Ten Questions (or twenty?) to... Stewart Kenneth Moore

Stewart Kenneth Moore After meeting him by chance via Twitter, Stewart Kenneth Moore and I are doing this interview(s). Actually, he just wanted to know to which German Publisher he could put his Mcbeth-graphic novel adaptation in. (Please excuse my english Stewart, its horrible!). Now we are here and I want to ask him ten questions. But, as we are at the Comic Radio Show, there are ten nice and ten cheeky questions to Stewart Kenneth Moore (Dramatic Sound-Effect). Let's see which one he will answer.

And If you want to know more about Stewart Kenneth Moore (The Artist, the Comic-Artist, the Actor), visit www.lambiek.net

The First ten Question or "The Balance-Interview"

ComicRadioShow: You started out as a graphic designer before transitioning to painting and later graphic novels. How did you make those transitions, and how did your previous experiences inform your current work as a graphic novelist?

Stewart Kenneth Moore: Graphic design study gave me the page design and typography knowledge I needed to make my own books. It’s important to learn graphic design if you are a comicbook artist. It means you can make your own books and you’ll be better able to communicate with designers if you work on a weekly or monthly publication.

Stewart Kenneth Moore

ComicRadioShow: You've cited a wide range of artists and influences, both in graphic art and painting. How do you balance those influences in your own work, and how do you decide which techniques or styles to use for a particular project?

Sometimes the story suggests itself. In the case of Defoe the original artist had established a strictly black and white style. In Project MKUltra I aimed to ape styles in the American comics of the 50’s and 60’s to match the story era’s. The style for my Macbeth graphic novel came about after a conversation with Pat Mills and Celtic legend. It’s an instinct, but I try and find a unique ‘hand’ for each story. Just changing media can open stylistic worlds.

ComicRadioShow: In addition to traditional media like oil paint and pastel, you've also experimented with using red wine as paint and worked digitally on PDA phones and iPads. How do those unconventional techniques inform your artistic process, and how do you decide which medium to use for a particular project?

I just feel you can tell a story with anything, make art with anything. I’m not interested if it’s been done, but both PDA, IPAD and wine painting were unique then and I wanted to see if they were doable, what results I would get. The desire to test new media forms is strong in me. Today I’m experimenting with highly geometric portraiture.

Stewart Kenneth Moore

ComicRadioShow: Your adaptation of 'Macbeth' for the Prague Shakespeare Company has been praised for its dark and moody atmosphere. How did you approach adapting such a well-known work, and how did you balance fidelity to the original with your own artistic vision?

I wanted to generate something very stark and I went back to the original full title which is unusual, it’s only called Macbeth today, but I went for The Tragedie of Macbeth, in the original old English. The PRAGUE SHAKESPEARE production is very dark and very well done. In sketching the places I recall from childhood and my youth, from memory, I could drop the cast right into Macbeth country. Or the shadow Scotland in my mind, anyway. Comics allow the reader to marry pictures to words and this aids understanding of the old text, so it think it’s more than faithful, it restores much of the meaning that is lost today.

Stewart Kenneth Moore

ComicRadioShow: 'Project MKUltra: Sex, Drugs & the CIA' is based on a film script about the CIA's real-world experiments with LSD during the Cold War. How did you approach adapting a non-fiction story into a graphic novel, and what challenges did you encounter during the creative process?

I worked to adapt a film script that already did the job of building up characters who could navigate the patchy knowledge we have of that wicked human experiment. In drawing the film script I suddenly realised I had a huge mount of room to furnish the scenes with other elements. So every single page is a nod to one or other historic moment in music and pop culture. The challenge was getting it done, setting a high bar and keeping it there. Ultimately publisher Ted Adams reached out and wanted to be our publisher. That was wonderful and it’s been a critical success and that has proven Ted’s instinct and belief in me was right in the money.

Stewart Kenneth Moore

ComicRadioShow: You've worked with both crowdfunding campaigns and established publishers like Clover Press and 2000 AD. How have those experiences differed, and how do you approach finding the right publisher for a particular project?

Actually the crowd funder at Indiegogo was established by Clover, we were already under contract with them. Today publishers can use a crowd funder to promote. Special edition, that’s why this was, it was a Blacklight dustjacket Ed version of volume 1 of MKUltra.

Stewart Kenneth Moore

Today you are better off making your own way, once you add up all the pros and cons, you may prefer to be your own boss. I was lucky that David Lloyd liked my work and published it in ACES WEEKLY though. Pat Mills liked what he saw of that work enough to push for me on his project and that’s how I ended up working for 2000AD. These guys wear many hats but David’s an artist and Pat’s a writer and if it weren’t for them I would not be published in comics, not so broadly anyway. I had a literary agent in New York and one major publisher said of MKUltra ‘It’s beautiful, we’re not interested.’ :D

I had that said of a painting of mine once ‘ It’s beautiful, I don’t know who would be interested.’ …how about them apples?

Stewart Kenneth Moore

ComicRadioShow: You've also worked as an actor in TV and movie productions. How do you balance those activities with your work as an artist, and how do they inform each other?

I do that very rarely now, but for a few years I was working every other month on a tv project or film. The best way it ever informed my comics was on Knightfall. I was working on scenes in Defoe for 2000AD, set in the 17th century. I had to draw alchemists at work with gunpowder. I then got hired to play Eudes the alchemist in Knightfall, total coincidence. While on set I studied ‘my’ alchemical equipment and barrels etc and that afternoon was driven back to my studio where I drew ‘my’ equipment into the comic.

Stewart Kenneth Moore

ComicRadioShow: You've described yourself as a "serial collaborator" and have worked with writers like Pat Mills on 'Defoe: The Divisor'. What do you enjoy about collaboration, and how do you balance your own artistic vision with a writer's vision?

Well Pat was maybe an exception, but he tries to find the artists best area of interest and work that in to the script. He learned for example that I love drawing horses and so one script arrived with an incredible chase on horseback, Defoe pursuing a demon through the countryside. I still don’t know if he did that for me or if it was a coincidence. But other times jokes I made would pop up, it was really fantastic and generous of him. In Pat’s case, I did what I’ve never done with anyone before and that was to take his vision to the very max. I went above and beyond the call of duty, I think in retrospect, sleeping only three or fours a day for a year or so. I actually began working up the background material months before I was on pay. I damaged my vision, developed an irregular heartbeat, and thought I would lose my mind at one point because {and one forgets this} on any long project life outside that project will takes it’s ups and downs and you will be taking to the edge when both the project and life hit the skids. Dali once said that anyone that creates great art dies early, so he preferred to paint bad pictures and live longer. I think I’m going to do only bad comics from now on! The visual research on Defoe alone was was enough to fill a book and Pat’s research into English history was also equally incredible and intense.

Stewart Kenneth Moore

ComicRadioShow:You've worked in a variety of genres, from horror to steampunk to historical fiction. How do you approach adapting your style to fit different genres, and how do you decide which genres to work in?

It’s a super easy decision to make - I do what comes! :D My styles shift with material choices. I decided not to cross hatch on Defoe to make the line inking distinct from other things I had done.

ComicRadioShow: What projects are you currently working on, and what can your fans look forward to in the future?

On April 5th the definitive The Tragedie of Macbeth comes out in graphic novel form and in September the collected edition of Project MKUltra comes out with brand new material.

Today I’m making new prints of my David Bowie portrait ‘Cracked Actor’ and I’m planning a Tarot Card set. I’m also working on a new game environment for a games company but can’t say anything about that now.

Stewart Kenneth Moore


Oh shit…here it comes!

ComicRadioShow: So, Mr. Moore, did you become an artist because you couldn't find a job as a brain surgeon?

Stewart Kenneth Moore: Yes. I don’t know how you know that but yes.

ComicRadioShow: Why do you think your parents kept sending you back and forth between Los Angeles and Glasgow? Were they playing a game of transatlantic hot potato?

Very possibly, after many years with a beard I thought it might be a wonderful revelation to shave it off and reveal my actual face. Unfortunately I looked like a potato, but very definitely not a hot one.

Stewart Kenneth Moore

ComicRadioShow: What's the deal with your obsession with red wine as a painting medium? Is it because you couldn't afford actual paint?

That’s….again, I’m not sure how you know that, but yes.

ComicRadioShow: How many times did you have to drink absinthe before you thought, "you know what this needs? More LSD!"

I wish I could say I’ve had both but I’ve had neither….actually, maybe I had absinthe once. Maybe. The fact that I can’t remember would suggest that I did drink it and perhaps more than once!

Stewart Kenneth Moore

ComicRadioShow: You've worked with a lot of different art styles and techniques. Do you just have artistic ADHD, or are you secretly trying to become a one-man art school?

I haven’t tried painting with a brush up my arse yet, so I have a lot to learn before opening a school! I probably do have ADHD or Arty St Vitus Dance!

ComicRadioShow: You've mentioned being influenced by a lot of different painters, from Van Gogh to Dali. Have you considered adding Bob Ross to the mix? Happy little trees, man.

:D…as funny as people find Bob Ross at the end of each episode he had a picture! If only all life’s episodes were so productive!

Stewart Kenneth Moore

ComicRadioShow: Why did you switch from comics to painting? Was it because painting is less stressful, or because you just really love having paint all over your hands?

Comics is both the least respected visual art form and the most artistically athletic. Although you’ll never win a gold medal for comics no other visual art form demands so much, for so little and in such a short space of time, as comics. So it is THE visual arts challenge.

The reason people look impressed when you say you are a comicbook artist is that they now know something about you that they don’t know about someone who says they are an artist. Without seeing your work they know you must be able to draw like fuck! You must be able to draw anything and from your imagination and from any angle.

Think about it. If an artist enters a picture into an exhibition, that’s one picture. If a comic artist draws the show, he draws every picture, the building, the popes looking at the pictures, then she draws it again from a different angle. And then again and again….even a bad comic artist can out-draw most artists in other fields of art. We are machines…and we are the coolest. Comic art is the jazz, the rock, the classical :D

ComicRadioShow: So, you used to work on a comic strip called 'Morris Mule, Taxidermist.' Are you trying to tell us something about your hobbies?

I would try and multitask as a taxidermist, I’d be stitching the wrong bits of animals together, a proboscis on a rear-end, ears on the elbows, toes for eyes. I always hoped to show more of Mule’s taxidermy, that would have been an interesting area.

ComicRadioShow:You've acted in several TV shows and movies. Is it just to fund your art career, or are you hoping to make it big as the next Hugh Jackman?

I did have an idea for a Wolverine short around the time I auditioned for 12 Monkey’s. {Your assumption is correct, it is just to find my art career! …again, how do you know these things?}

ComicRadioShow: Finally, the most important question: do you pronounce it "MacBeth" or "MacBeeff"? We need to know.

I pronounce it ‘BigMac’ but in France they call it ‘Royale wit’ Cheese’.

Stewart Kenneth Moore:

ComicRadioShow: Thanx 4 all, Stewart! :-))

Stewart Kenneth Moore


"There are loads of images on the following links, I hope they can be of use." (SKM)

Judge Dredd



Stewart Kenneth Moore Spy Stuff MK Ultra and The CIA - Video-Interview

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