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Interview with Sean Phillips

Updated: Jan 24, 2020

Sean Phillips has been drawing comics professionally since the age of fifteen. He won an Eisner Award for his work on the series Criminal with his frequent collaborator Ed Brubaker. He has worked for all the major comics publishers. He's drawn books such as Hellblazer, Batman, and X-Men. Sean has focused more on creator-owned books the past few years including Criminal, Incognito, Fatale, The Fade Out, and Kill or be Killed. He just finished drawing My Heroes Are Always Junkies, written by Ed Brubaker. To me the collaboration between Phillips and Brubaker is on par with Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. They're probably my favorite creative team, hands down. I never miss a release by these guys. I just did an interview with Brubaker recently and decided to reach out to Sean Phillips as well.

1. You've been drawing comics for a long time, what made you want get into the comic industry?

I’ve always read them, and drawn them for fun. When I was 13 I started going to an evening class run by Ken Houghton, a UK cartoonist who mostly drew for UK comics aimed at teenage girls. By the time I was 15, with Ken’s help I was drawing them too and never had to get a real job. I did go to art college and got a degree in graphic design just in case though...

2. Who were your biggest influences, artistically, growing up?

Ken was a big influence but before him I was an avid Marvel reader so was heavily influenced by John Buscema, Jack Kirby, Gil Kane and Gene Colan back then.

3. Ed Brubaker and yourself have worked together for almost 2 decades, what is your favorite part of your collaboration?

Starting a new project, or finishing one. Not so keen on all the drawing in between.

4. What is you favorite book, with Brubaker, that you've worked on?

I think The Fade Out is probably our best book, but my favorite is usually the one we’ve just finished.

5. Is there any character, you haven't worked on, that you would like to get a chance to work on?

I’m lucky enough to have drawn them all over the years, but a year on Amazing Spider-Man with Ed would be cool.

6. You have a new OGN coming out in October with Brubaker (My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies), can you talk a little more about it?

I asked Ed a couple of years ago to write me a romance comic and this is as close as he could get.

7. Do you have any advice for artists out there trying to break in to the buisness?

Do the work. Start on small stories, a few pages long. You’re never going to do that 300 page epic at the beginning.

8. Lastly can you tease any books you're working on that haven't been announced yet?

I think Ed and I are doing a sequel to the Fade Out next. If not, something else together. I’ve no plans to work with anybody else.

Guys don't forget to pick up My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies out Oct 16

Available at your local comic shop.

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