Published on May 25th, 2010 | by Patrick Riley
Getting the Hang of Peter
The Herts Advertiser published an extensive biography interview last month featuring the comic book legend that is Dave Gibbons!Â
GibbonsÂ was involved in drawing nearly all of the comics in the first 69 issues of Doctor Who Weekly (or as it was later known, Doctor Who Monthly, and is what modern Whovians will recognize as being Doctor Who Magazine) spent a fair chunk of the interview examining the behind-the-scenes methods of his history illustrating the likes of Tom Baker’s and Peter Davison’s Doctors, even admitting to a bit of a misunderstanding when it came to reproducing Davison for the panels:
“The only Doctor I met at the time was Peter Davison, because when I started drawing him we didn’t have any reference photos, all I had were a smudgy couple of pictures, so I tried to dodge around this by having him in long shot and so on,” he revealed.
“I turned the artwork in and his agent said to my agent, my client is not happy with this and if you can’t get the likeness right then we’re not going to allow you to do it.
“So when we explained we had no references they arranged for me to go down to the BBC where they were filming and we did shots of him all the way round him with different expressions, and I ended up with a whole organised photo reference library, so for ever after I was always able to get quite a good likeness. With Tom Baker you had his hair, the scarf and everything like that, but I got the hang of Peter in the end.”
This is but a minute slice of the fascinating insight Gibbons provides in his tale of using Doctor Who as a wormhole into the at-the-time nearly impenetrable world of comic book design.Â The article also mentions his association with The Tides of Time, delves into the exhausting process of drawing a Doctor Who graphic novel, and points out the extraordinary fact that Gibbons has only recently met Tom Baker, the Doctor whose adventures helped segue Gibbons to a long-lived career.
And it doesn’t stop there if you’re a general comic book lover; the interview is equally as descriptive of the rest of Gibbons’ portfolio as well, which includes, amongst others, Watchmen, Captain America, and even Superman!
So if you’re a Doctor Who fan, or a comic book fan, or both (and if you’re not the first, why not?) and have plenty of time to absorb this exceptionally lengthy yet highly recommended interview, follow this link – meanwhile, you can buy a copy of The Tides of Time on Amazon