I have had the pleasure of working with Russ Leach for over 3 years. In that time we put together a bunch of books for Unstoppable Comics, shared a bunch of laughs, had some disagreements but most importantly created a bond that will hopefully last a lifetime. On the heels of being nominated for a glyph award for is artwork on Interceptor #1, Russ has announced that he is now working on Doctor Who for Panini Press. Here are some of the things Russ had to say when we spoke to him about his work.
So what drove you to enter the world of comic books?
I love them.I find them the perfect mix of visual and literary entertainment. As a kid I loved all science fiction and comic books and gorged myself on them at any opportunity!
For those that do not know you, can you tell us what you do in the world of comic books?
I’m a penciller first. I’ve never really got to grips with brushes but I’m working on that – I also ink digitally a lot. This is mostly down to schedules as being able to ink your own pencils (especially on an indy book) cuts production time, but as I’ve improved I’ve found I enjoy the inking process more and more.
What are you currently working on?
Dr Who for “Doctor Who Adventures” by Panini, “Interceptor” issue 2 for Unstoppable Comics, “The road to England 66” for Invincible Books (and Clonefront Entertainment) I have other bits and pieces that I slot in as well.
How long have you been working on all of these books?
I’ve just started on Dr Who in February and hope it will be a long term project. Road to 66 also started in February and should wind up by years end, and I got together with Unstoppable in 2012 I think. Jay produces great fun stories and we have an ongoing partnership.
It looks like you have a lot on your plate, is there anything else that you worked on before all of this?
Recently I had a book released for Markosia written by Cy Dethan which was “The Indifference Engine 2 the suicedeshow”. Also from Markosia last year was the book “Terminus At Fentons Green” written by Adam Cheal who is doing some great stuff over at Ellipsium Entertainment. I’ve also had some memorable work with Tim Quinn and New Baby Productions!
And of course a number of books from Unstoppable.
Where can people find more of your work?
Doctor Who Adventures is where you will find my regular output. The style is for younger readers so it has a particular look. For my more adult style the best place would be Unstoppable Comics!
What would you like to work on that you have not worked on yet?
Anything Marvel, I know that sounds desperate, but seriously I grew up on that stuff! To get a chance at any of those characters would make me grin ear to ear. I do have a place in my heart for DC as well! Batman obviously, but swamp thing was also a favorite of mine. To be honest I’ve been constantly smiling since I got the Dr Who gig! I’ve always loved the show and to draw, not just a major license, but a character I’ve grown up with and love is just amazing! To be able to draw for a living no matter what the character, is special.
Do you still have a day job? If so how do you manage to get all your work done between that, comics and your personal life?
Personal life is down to 1 day a week – I have an understanding wife and family, I don’t have a day job. I have taken other positions ranging from teaching art to teaching karate! But I’ve been able to let them go and fill my days (and most evenings and weekends) with producing pages or art of some kind. I had a previous career in studio production where I designed, art directed and coded for a living ending up with my own business. When that came to a natural end I had a choice. Keep going with that OR chase my dream.
If someone wants to meet you at a con, are there any that you attend regularly?
I’m regularly at the LSCC in London and hope to be at Thought Bubble, both are in the UK. If I get the chance I’ll go to as many as I can but often production gets in the way.
Before we go is there any thing you would like to add that I have not touched on?
Yes – I think a comment as much about myself as it may be advice to others! Be serious about your work and be professional. There is an amount of luck in getting the jobs you want – but you have to make that luck, you have to be realistic about your abilities and you have to believe you can do it. After that just keep doing it – writing , art, designing – whatever it is just keep doing it and keep improving!