“There are visions undreamed of that will grow out of the fertile imaginations of comics creators once they embrace the tablet” Frazer Irving on his love for the world of iPad comics

British artist Frazer Irving has worked his distinctive magic on such diverse books as classic 2000AD to Grant Morrison’s Batman Incorporated. If you’ve seen his digital artwork on his blog or Tumblr, then you will know he is a man who loves the world of digital comics, so I dropped him a line and asked him his thoughts on creating art on the iPad and the success of the DC relaunch.

How do you rate the iPad as a medium for reading comics and which apps do you recommend?
The iPad is the future. It’s the device I was waiting for, the herald of the next wave of interaction between machines and people. As for apps, my usage is pretty standard so far as I use it for non-work related stuff and so beyond a few games and some writing apps I haven’t delved that far into those waters. When I get more time maybe I’ll start investigating more.

Have you tried out any drawing apps on your iPad and what do you make of them?
I’ve tried them all! They’re pretty good, tho the lack of pressure sensitivity makes it tricky to really apply myself, and I hate finger painting. But if I was to set my mind to it I know it’s possible to do great art on this little thing.

With the growth of digital in recent years, have you changed how you work? Do you still work in pencils first or have you switched to a completely digital workflow?
I stopped using pencils in 2003, and I went 100% digital in 2006. I’m way ahead of the curve, baby.

Do you see yourself changing the way you work in the future to adapt to the world of comics on the iPad/iPhone?
I already have. I’m already exploring the new horizons of digital comics in-between paying gigs as there’s a lot to be done out there.

You’ve been working a lot for DC recently, what do you think of their relaunch both as an artist and as a fan and what about the fact that they are releasing digital comics on the same day as print? Good thing or bad thing?
The digital releases are exactly what we need as consumers. I never visit comic shops and comics are too expensive anyway. It’d be nice one day to see digital comics become even more affordable, but I understand the reasons they aren’t currently. Having comics available on the iPad means I can now explore stuff on a whim, just like I do with music on iTunes. As for the relaunch, I think it’s a good thing but it all boils down to execution really, so I will have to hold back opinions until I’ve read them.

How do you think the iPad and comics apps has affected the comics business? Has it been a positive or negative influence and will it last?
It will last, absolutely. It’s good because our industry needed to move into the 21st century a while ago and it’s been dragging it’s heels. Comics (and trust me, I hate that term for our art form) can and will become a new form of literature/entertainment/exploration via the possibilities offered up by tablets, moreso than music or movies did, a lot of which is because the format is so expansive for the static image. There are visions undreamed of that will grow out of the fertile imaginations of comics creators once they embrace the tablet, and the audience is totally unaware of what is just over the horizon. The only real losers in this are the retailers I think, but even they will adapt and eventually thrive once the goalposts for the Market have settled. It’s all good, we just need to look up to the stars instead of down at our laces.

You can see more of Frazer’s great digital artwork¬†here¬†or in the Modern Masters book from TwoMorrows Publishing. You can also follow him on Twitter @frazerirving