......30 January 2005
........17 February 2005


As I explained previously, while I am extremely grateful for all of the feedback and hope it
continues, I haven't been able to keep up with the mail I am receiving and to devote my time
to doing so would prevent me posting more art. To speed things up, at least for myself, I
have posted a few frequently asked questions of general interest here (anonymously but I
will be happy to include the senders name, if they wish, in future).

Alan
Q. How long does it take to pencil a page?

A. It may seem overly obvious to say it depends on the amount of work on the page. Not
only the amount of lines but the accuracy of the lines, that is it's easier to draw jungle than a
cityscape. Most time consuming for me though is the storytelling. I dislike art where the
characters populate the panels simply to identify who is speaking the text. On average I
pencil a page a day-- the length of day depends on how quickly I can work out the narrative
flow.
Q. Why are you doing so few issues of Uncanny?

A. I don't have any involvement in the scheduling of Uncanny. I just work on the next plot
when it arrives. I can comfortably pencil ten issues a year (and have done so in the last year
despite delays of over three weeks in total) and although I could do as many as twelve,
Marvel wants more-- I think as many as eighteen in 2005-- which is why there are regular
fill-ins.
Q. Did you design the new Rachel? And why do you draw Wolverine's mask points so
short?

A. Same answer to both questions. I didn't design Rachel's costume or any of the other
X-Men in Uncanny, except Cannonball-- and that wasn't a design so much as making him
fit in with the rest of the team-- And for choice I would have preferred to use the tall, lanky,
crew-cut and protruding ears version. Storm is the only character I had any input on
because whoever was responsible for the redesigns missed the deadline. I had to start
drawing the first issue and my last Storm design was accepted as a default. When I was
given the redesign of Wolverine I thought the cropped helmet looked weird, and said so,
but was told I had to follow it. It was almost six months later before I saw any other artists
work and realised that many had ignored the new design limitations.
Q. Did you draw the art for Meggan and Roma in the new MU Handbook, The Woman of
Marvel?

A. I haven't seen the book but I am assured that the Meggan art is from an old Excalibur
poster and, from what I have seen, the Roma figure is taken from the second cover of the
X-Men Archives featuring Captain Britain-- which is in the colour section of this site. It
seems a strange choice to me because there were many better images of Roma in
Excalibur and the Marvel Universe books.
Q. Some of the thumbnails on your site are all black.

A. I know but I don't know why or how to correct them. If anyone does know what has gone
wrong I'd be grateful for any advice. The important thing is that the thumbnails still open up if
you click on them.  
Q. Do you do commissions?

A. Very rarely. I like to focus on producing comics and when I do draw a page, like some of
those in the Unpublished Pencil Art, I do it for fun. It's nice to be able to pencil an image
without worrying about satisfying someone else's vision.
Q. Green Lantern-- Was I involved? What was I planning? Why didn't I do the book?

A. I have had a number of questions about the Green Lantern relaunch, (which I haven't
seen yet), and I'm happy to set the record straight.
When I was nearing completion of Another Nail, Peter Tomasi asked me if I'd consider writing
and pencilling one of the proposed Green Lantern relaunch titles. I agreed, enthusiastically,
with the proviso that I submit a proposal prior to signing any contract. Peter had said DC
wanted to 'shake-up' the book(s) and I needed to ensure the new direction would be one I'd
enjoy working on. I sent in a proposal which initially seemed to have been accepted but was
eventually refused because it was too radical. Which was fair comment because I had
overhauled some of the most essential elements of GL mythology in an attempt to
rationalise the convoluted continuity-- by redefining the reasons for the 24 hour recharge,
the colour yellow weakness, why there are three or four Lantern's on Earth when there are
only 3600 in the entire galaxy-- and why Hal became the Spectre.
Dan Didio suggested that I could do my story in an Elseworlds but, not only had I just spent
a year on Another Nail, my GL story specifically arose out of the mainstream continuity-- as
a solution to problems arising from that continuity. It didn't really seem as much an Elseworld
as a 'What IF..?'.   
There was never any animosity or 'falling-out' over the situation. In fact, despite the fact I
had written my proposal without a solid commission, Dan bought out my idea and I was paid
for my time. I do regret that I never got the chance to do the story I conceived but I had
always thought it a long-shot and all in all I was treated more than fairly by Peter and Dan.
Q. Do you think Marvel might use the 'War of the Worlds' movie as an opportunity to publish
a Killraven TPB?

A. I have no idea. The six issue mini-series wasn't successful enough in its own right to
justify a TPB but I had written and drawn the Killraven story to work as a graphic novel and
I'd love to see it all gathered into one book (but I won't hold my breath).