Ahead of the Melbourne/ Australian Comic-Con, Rabelais magazine was able to talk to Mitch Collins, an illustrator from Melbourne and talk about how he got into the industry and projects he’s working on. He will be at this year’s Comic-Con which will be on June 8th to 9th at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. We hope you enjoy.

Rabelais magazine: So, you’re an illustrator and from your website I can see you do many different types of work. How would you describe your occupation?

Mitch Collins: I’d best describe my work as narrative illustration, the art of telling a story visually through multiple frames

Rm: What made you get into illustration?

MC: The one thing that made me get into Illustration was animation, mainly the animation of the Batman animated series. The bold and stylized art of co-creator Bruce Timm appealed to me as a child (and continues to), and really began my love for art.

And then later as I grew up and found comics and delving deeper into animation, I saw it as a profession I could do, that illustration was an industry I could break into, and further made me fall in love with illustration and really pursue my passion as a job.

Rm: Is it hard to find work in this occupation in Melbourne?

MC: Yes, it is hard to break into a full time illustrative career working for a studio or agency, you really have to make it as a freelancer and develop your skills before an opening will be made for you, or through persistence, exposure and luck. But there is work internationally I’ve been fortunate to illustrate and provide for clients and agencies abroad

Rm: Who would you say is your biggest inspiration/ influence to do what you do? What made you get into this profession?

MC: Bruce Timm and Chuck Jones started my love and interest in Illustration. Their style is so perfect, and Chucks storytelling and humor is something that continues to inspire me and something I learn from and strive for.

Nicola Scott who will be at Oz Comic-Con is a huge influence for me, she has been a mentor for me and has always given me criticism for my work and continues to since I first showed her my folio in 2014. Other influences include Chris Samnee, Gerad Way, Mike Mignola, Darwyn Cooke, Gennedy Tartakovsky, Mitch Gerads, Gabriel Hardman, John Brack. There is so many!

Rm: What projects have you worked on in the past?

MC: My past projects are all present projects in comics. I’ve got a story I illustrated for Talgard by Gary Proudley and published by Gestalt comics, with the printed edition on sale at OZCC Melbourne this year.

I have Skyscraper being released sometime within the next few months, I’ll have promotional material for the book at OZCC. Another project I have upcoming is Undad from Creator Shane W Smith, which is an anthology series featuring a number of artists and writers, including Ryan K. Lindsay, in which I’ll illustrate my part of the volume, the book just reached its funding on Kickstarter.

Rm: I believe you’re going to be at the upcoming ComicCon with Ryan K to share your upcoming project ‘Skyscraper’, can you tell me what this project is?

MC: Skyscraper is a supernatural, mystery thriller, focusing around the strange and creepy history of KDP industries and its employees, as we explore its history we learn that it’s not what is shown on the surface, It’s what’s underneath it all that counts

Skyscraper poster courtesy of Mitch Collins

Rm: What’s next for Mitch Collins after ‘Skyscraper’?

MC: After Skyscraper I’ll be working on Undad, and hopefully have some more stories from Gestalt I could work on and there will be more from me and Ryan K.

Rm: Thanks for talking to us and best of luck

MC: Thanks!

 26.2016 Boat. Crocodile. Kettle. Boy. Hammer. By John Eddie available HERE and used under a Creative Commons Attribution. The image has not been modified.

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