B. Mure’s third volume in the world of Ismyre is out, and we were able to grab a little time with him to discuss his art, writing, and new book The Tower in the Sea.
How did you develop the world of Ismyre?
I had this idea about a fantasy city that was beautiful but also weirdly bureaucratic and constricting when I was a teenager. The story and characters I came up along with it were very different, but I kept thinking about it for years. Every book I do I like to think about a new corner of that world and how things there would work, so it keeps growing that way.
Who are your comic and/or artistic inspirations?
I love Evan Dahm’s work a lot. I like to reread Rice Boy every now and then because it is a delight. Also I’m a really big fan of lots of the work Carta Monir has been doing at the moment as well as Molly Fairhurst who makes a lot of amazing stuff.
Your books are character-driven but have developed more and more of a theme of social consciousness and action. Are these elements ever in competition? Does one arise from another?
I don’t know that I think of them as ever in competition, because it was always something I wanted to do. Confessedly though, I’m not sure how much of a good job I do intertwining that stuff. But it’s very important for the characters to have these ideas and morals about the way things work (or conversely, to pretend like they have none at all). I don’t know how real it feels yet!
What’s your creative process like? How do you create your gorgeous, dreamlike pages?
Ahhh! I’m glad you like them! I tend to not do scripts: I write a synopsis and then I have a little book that’s a combination of thumbnails, sketches and written paragraphs/bullet points of what happens in each page. I sketch each page very loosely, then pop it on a light box and ink them and then I colour directly on top of the inks.
Which is bonkers really when I think about it. But it’s so satisfying!! I really really enjoy finishing a comic and then having a fat wedge of paper in my hand at the end.
Is there a particular character you like best to draw and/or write?
Oh, I love drawing Emlyn. He’s just so moody looking, such a treat. Also the Prime Minister and the crocodile gallery owner from the first book. I gotta go back to them!
What’s next for Ismyre, Henriett, Emlyn, and everyone else?
I’m having a break for a year and might work on some different, non related comics and then we’ve got plans for some mooooore books!