So close to the con and yet we STILL have guests to announce! Our latest guest is local comic creator and comic extraordinaire. He’s worked on some absolute CLASSICS, and that’s putting it lightly! Please welcome the very awesome Matt Brooker, aka D’Israeli!

How did you get into comics?

There’s two answers to this, depending on whether you mean reading or drawing comics:

Reading: My mum grew up with a sporty younger brother, and spent her teenage years standing on freezing cold touchlines watching him play football. When I came along, she decided to encourage me to a life of swotdom so she wouldn’t have to repeat the experience. From as far back as I can recall, I remember her buying me comics and reading them to me, partly to encourage me to read, and partly to get me into science fiction (I also remember being plonked down in from of Doctor Who and Star Trek at a very young age for the same reasons). So I grew up reading comics, first Countdown (which was 90% Gerry Anderson TV series reprints from TV21 with some new material such as contemporary Doctor Who thrown in), then Marvel UK comics like Mighty World of Marvel and Spiderman Comics Weekly, followed by 2000AD when that came along. By my 20’s I’d also got into Franco-Belgian comics (mostly work by the Metal Hurlant crowd such as Moebius, Enki Bilal, Arno and Francois Schuiten). That was where I was at when I started trying to break into comics; my big influences were Mick McMahon, Kev O’Neill and Moebius, though a full and fair list would fill a page.

Drawing: I loved drawing from being very young, but I started taking it seriously from age eleven. I studied design ay Granville College in Sheffield, and at the same time met Bryan Talbot (just before his first Nemesis The Warlock strip appeared in 2000AD) who got me into the SSI (a social club for comic artists in London). I used to bunk off college once a month to attend SSI meetings in London, where I met the likes of Mark Buckingham, David Lloyd and Neil Gaiman, and started building a web of contacts. I left college in 1987, at a time when there were a lot of small publishers putting out comics, so it wasn’t too hard to get work published, though making a living was a different matter. Because of my contacts via the SSI, I managed to get into some high-profile stuff early in my career (inking on Sandman, colouring on Miraclemen, even drawing a couple of issues of Batman), but it wasn’t till I started working for 2000AD that I really began making a steady, mortgage-paying living from comics. I often joke that I was an overnight success, but it took me fifteen years to get to the right night!

You’ve worked with some amazing writers and creative teams over the years, what has been the greatest/most interesting comic you’ve worked on?

That’s suuuccchhh a tough one! I’ve been incredibly lucky to work with so many brilliant people on some terrific projects. In terms of projects that changed my life, I’d have to pick Sandman –  working on that book has opened so many doors for me over the years it’s unbelievable. But from the point of view of most memorable to work on, I’d say SVK, a one-shot I did with Warren Ellis back in 2011. That was a black & white story with elements printed in ultraviolet security ink, so extra story elements would show up if you shone a UV torch on the pages. It’s so memorable because it’s the only project I’ve ever worked on where I started out with technical challenges I didn’t know how to solve.

What are you currently working on?
I’m currently taking a year off from 2000AD to work for Dark Horse, drawing a series of the Hellboy spin-off Witchfinder.

What will you have for us at NCC?
Volume 2 of my War of the Worlds spin off Scarlet Traces is just out, so I’ll have copies of that to sign, along with copies of Stickleback. I’ll also be doing sketches  (I do quick sketches for free or finished ones for a price) and I’ll have a crack at drawing most things as long as I can find reference for it!

Make sure you stop by D’Israeli’s table, you’d be daft not to!!!

Pick up your tickets! £1 of EVERY standard ticket goes to our charities and we also do discounts on groups of 10 or more!!