In his 22 year career as a cartoonist/illustrator, Graham has worked on
characters for all the major comic companies but is best know for his 6
year run drawing Batman in DETECTIVE COMICS and co-creating the
Currently, Graham is illustrating the Sunday PHANTOM and the daily and
Sunday medical strip, REX MORGAN, M.D. for King Features Syndicate. In
his spare time he is working on a couple creator owned projects,
including the sequel to his self-published MONSTER ISLAND.
Lori G: Graham, we are publishing your second volume of
Phantom newspaper strips in November here at Moonstone, so I thought it would
be the PERFECT time to sit down with you for a little chat about the Phantom
and other things! Here goes! Your first question is….. How did you become
involved in the Phantom newspaper strip? Did you approach them or did they approach you?|
GRAHAM: I was trying to get a strip, MONSTER ISLAND syndicated at the time and they approached me about taking over REX MORGAN, M.D. I told them I would love to do the PHANTOM if there was ever an opening, and two months later…voila!
Lori G: Your first exposure to the Ghost Who Walks was your mom, right? (This is from your introduction for the Graham Nolan Sundays vol one).Were you reading other comics when you were growing up, what were some of your favorites? Can you point to any one comic book/character that could be seen as the catalyst for your chosen profession: professional comic book artist!
GRAHAM: My sixth grade teacher brought in a stack of comics and that’s when I got hooked. I loved anything with Superman, Batman, Spiderman in it, as well as the Doc Savage books. But my first exposure to super-heroes was probably the ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN, and BATMAN tv shows that were on at the time.
Lori G: How long have you been drawing the strip? How many newspapers does it appear in? Is this (Sadly, or local papers in Chicago do NOT print the strip, so all of us here in this area rely on the nifty reprint editions, like the one here at Moonstone!)
GRAHAM: I have been at the Phantom since 2001. The strip is
carried in some 600 papers here and abroad and is very popular in Australia,
Sweden, India, Norway and Denmark.|
Lori G:The Phantom strips that Moonstone has reprinted are Sunday strips only; do you also draw any of the dailies? Looking at the table of contents for The Graham Nolan Sundays vol one, I see that you have worked with multiple writers on the strip. How does the whole process work? Do you receive an outline first, and then draw from that, and then the dialogue is written, ala old-school Marvel?
GRAHAM: The daily strip is handled by Paul Ryan, and the regular writer is Tony DePaul on both the dailies and Sunday. I receive full scripts encompassing the 26 weeks of the story from which I interpret.
Lori G: In the Graham Nolan collected Sundays volume one, you are credited as writing one of the strips, have you written more strips since then? Will there be any more of your penned scripts in the second collection? I see multiple writers credited, are you working with just one writer currently?
GRAHAM: No, that was the only one I have written. That came about because the regular writer (Tony) took a header on his Harley and was unable to write for six months.
Lori G: What are a few of the other comic book projects you have worked on over the years? What are some of the main differences between drawing a strip vs drawing a 22-page comic?
GRAHAM: I had a six-year run drawing BATMAN in Detective Comics. I did the Vengeance of Bane series, SUPERMAN: THE ODYSSEY, WOLVERINE, HAWKWORLD, BATMAN vs SPIDERMAN…and a lot more in the 20 years I’ve been at it.
The main difference in drawing a strip vs. a comic-book is the real estate you have to work with.
Lori G: The panel layout has to be totally different, I
would assume. Is it possible to take us
thru a little of the “process” of drawing the strip?|
GRAHAM: In a Sunday strip, the panels have to break in certain spots so that newspapers have the option to format the strip in various ways to fit their comic page. The way MOONSTONE is publishing the strips is what’s known as 1/2 Tab (half a tabloid page), which is the way the original art is set up. Unfortunately there are not a lot of papers that print the strip that way, so it’s great that readers can now see it in this form.
Lori G: Are you able to squeeze in any other projects or does the Phantom strip take up most of your time?
GRAHAM: Other than the PHANTOM, I also draw the daily AND Sunday REX MORGAN, M.D. for King Features. I recently finished a specialty comic project featuring the AVENGERS for Marvel Comics. It’s a comic that will be given to the troops overseas through the AAFES (Army, Air Force, Exchange Service).
Lori G: I’m sorry
Graham, but I just MUST ask you one final question:if you could have ONE superpower, what would
it be and more importantly WHY? (I ask
everyone I interview this question because we are ALL comic book fans, so it
just seems like the natural thing to do!)|
GRAHAM: Well, I always wanted to be a pilot, so I guess being able to fly.
Lori G: Well, Graham, I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to chat with me about the Phantom!
GRAHAM: My pleasure!
Don’t forget children, Volume One of the Phantom Graham
Nolan Sundays is available NOW on this website, or ask your local retailer if
they have a copy. Volume Two is coming
in November, so look for it; it is MUST-HAVE for ALL Phantom Phans!!! |
Pre-order yours TODAY from your LCS!
Until next time,
Click here for great Moonstone Merchandise!|