Talking with Lyndon.
It has been my great pleasure to talk to Lyndon Webb recently about his artwork, his work with SHIFT magazine and life in general. Instead of a photo he asked me to use a piece of artwork to represent himself. I also learned his ideal holiday destination would be San Diego, I do wonder if it is just a coincidence there is a certain comic convention there. He also mentioned that he once he fell asleep through a whole live Peter Gabriel concert!
Paul: Lyndon may I thank you for your time and simply start by asking a simple question. What was the first comic you recall buying and enjoying? And perhaps how old you might have been?
Lyndon: As a lot of men my age, my earliest comic memories were Commando then 2000AD, but they were probably bought for me. The comic that sticks in my mind, but not the first one I bought, would be Uncanny X-Men 205 with that incredible art by Barry Windsor Smith. Breathtakingly good. I would have been 18 for that one, I was probably around 13 when I bought my first comics, 2000AD of course.
Paul: Were you interested in creating your own art before discovering comics? Or did comics inspire you?
Lyndon: I always drew from a very early age. Way before comics. I’m probably more influenced by films
Paul: In which case could you say which comic artists have influenced you most? A lot of your art is black and white, would Steve Yeowell's Zenith work or Frank Miller's Sin City have influenced your style at all?
Lyndon: The first artists would have been Bolland, Cam Kennedy and McMahon. Then onto Miller and mostly Mike Mignola. Heavy blacks look cool and can cover many a screw up being as I ink traditionally. When you're 95% into a piece and either mess up the inking or notice some horrific bit of drawing. Out comes the brush.
Paul: Which artists would you say occasionally inspire you to colour your art?
Lyndon: I love the colour work of Arthur Ranson, Bill Sienkiewicz and Dave Stewart. I don't think any of them inform the way I colour my art. The Shift Yearbook was the first time I've had a colourist. I would never have met the deadline so Adrian got Lee Milner to step in. I can't express how much I appreciate their hard work.
Paul: As an artist how do you like to be described? As an illustrator (doing single pieces) or as a comic artist doing strip work? Which are you more comfortable with?
Lyndon: I think as a comic book artist. It covers everything. I'm very happy, now, doing covers, pin ups or sequential
Paul: You're known on social media for your excellent illustrations. How did your relationship with SHIFT begin?
Lyndon: I think Adrian asked me to produce a pin up for issue 6. He sent PDFs of the first issues and basically gave me the pick of the stories to produce an illustration from. Dega stood out for me. I drew and inked one, hated it and did another
Paul: Are you allowed to say what future projects you have lined up for SHIFT?
Lyndon: I've got a 2-part sequel to Perfect Shot. First part 'Muscle Memory' is in Volume 2 Issue 2.
Paul: I am curious to ask your opinion. I think it would be fair to say technology has altered the way comics are read and created. Especially from an artist's point of view I am told this is true. Do you work digitally and use computers or are you quite traditional?
Lyndon: I tried many moons ago when they first came out. But just didn't really enjoy it. Nowadays it's just the printed variety.
Paul: But you have no objection to people reading things like Perfect Shot digitally? Or do you prefer your art to be appreciated on paper?
Lyndon: I don't really care how people read it as long as I'm paid. Hehe. To be fair, I get digital previews from Adrian, and I don't have a problem reading them that way.
Paul: Do you enjoy conventions? Obviously, the last couple of years have been difficult because of COVID, but generally is that a part of your job you enjoy?
Lyndon: I loved the conventions before lockdown. I love Lawless, this year will be my 3rd one. I also had a great time at Bedford NICE in 2019. The camaraderie between professionals and the ones below that level i.e., me, is truly special. It's a special moment when one seeks you out to chat or look at your work. Or when you’re sat next to a legend for 2 days and they treat you as a true equal.
Paul: Can you share any fun convention stories at all?
Lyndon: My first Lawless, 3 students, very early in the day came to my table. Leader (in a Matrix coat) asked if I could draw anything. I said I'd give it a go. Could I draw a dictator on a tricycle? Not my thing really. He then held a ten pound note in my face "does this change your mind?" my response was "well, I can shove it up your arse" I then suggested he should go to the next room and ask Simon Bisley.
There's also been people just taking photos of my work, going through my portfolio. At Bedford I asked one guy to stop, he smiled, then in the most unsecretive manor set his phone to video and continued. I lost my rag and politely told him to eff off. On the nice side, just hanging out in a bar and drinking coffee and just shooting the breeze with absolute legends is great.
Paul: But would you say most fans are pretty cool and nice?
Lyndon: They're on the whole pretty great. Chatty and very supportive.
Paul: You mention it is nice shooting the breeze and chilling with legends. Can you name drop at all? Have you had a “I can't believe I've just met him/her" moment?
Lyndon: Well, my table neighbour at Bedford was Clint Langley. I can't tell you how lovely it was sitting next to him for 2 days. He gifted me some art at the end of it. I was told months later that he'd mentioned me at another con in a very nice way. Chilling with the likes of Fabry, Steve Austin and others at Lawless was very cool.
Paul: Many artists branch out into writing their own stories. Is that something you prefer the idea of, or do you like the challenge of working from a writer's script?
Lyndon: I sometimes find scripts quite limiting. The joy of Simon Furman's script for Secret History was this is the dialogue, and this happens pages 1-3, then this on 4-6 etc. Perfect Shot and all the sequels, will end up as one long story, is written, drawn, inked and coloured by me. The lettering is done by the phenomenal Robin Jones.
Paul: Can your fans eventually look forward to a Perfect Shot collected book to enjoy?
Lyndon: Absolutely. I've talked about it with Adrian. Each episode is designed in a way that I can add extra pages into each one and still keep the flow and pace. It'll be a director’s cut if you will but also have the final chapter that won't have been published beforehand.
Paul: That certainly sounds like something I'd like to read.
Lyndon: Thanks. I have pitched some suggestions for pin up artists to join in as well.
Paul: You mentioned Secret History with Simon Furman. He is legendary for his Transformers work. How did that collaboration occur?
Lyndon: Just got bullied into it by Adrian, haha. Had just finished Perfect Shot and Adrian asked if I wanted to do it. I think he said that Simon was interested in working with me, which was nice. To be honest, I didn't really know who he was. Didn't read Transformers or Death's Head etc. I knew I wouldn't hit the deadline, so Adrian offered a colourist. It was hard going but I'm happy with the results, especially after Lee did his magic
Paul: Are there any creator owned comics or ideas that we could look forward towards?
Lyndon: Way down the line, but not for a while.
Paul: It sounds like you may have a few potential ideas for the future. So, for our final question, can I please ask? "What does the future hold for Lyndon Webb?"
Lyndon: There's a GN that I've had in mind since the late 80's, which I rework every few years. There's a mini story prequel that I included in a self-published anthology I did back in 2010. Who knows when I'll get around to it? As for the future, who knows. Open to offers. I hope I'll continue with Shift. There's a couple of covers that I've done for Luke Cooper. There'll be a Techno Freak pin up later this year and hopefully something for Peter Duncan's next publication. I'm in talks with Weird Comix for something next year, essentially, I'm just hoping for a 2000AD or Megazine cover or strip
Paul: Lyndon, thank you for your time and your answers.
Lyndon: My pleasure.