I first discovered Luke Parker’s work on issue #1 of the phenomenal Merrick: The Sensational Elephantman with its gritty, Mignola-esque vibe that was an instant draw for my pulp-loving mind……….and his work has just got better & better since then.
What was the first title you worked on?
Merrick the Sensational Elephantman #1 I’m pretty sure was the first full comic I worked on self published, which came about when i posted for a different comic job online, Tom Ward saw it and sent me the Merrick script. Before that there were a few other projects that never saw the light of day….thankfully.
My work on Merrick led to my first published full issue, Image Comics’ Sex #18 with Joe Casey and The Winternational for the Stela digital platform also with Joe.
How has your work changed since then?
Just an all round improvement I had no idea what I was doing then, now I have some knowledge or I’ve got better at disguising the faults. Working on Merrick has been a trial by fire, doing all the art, colouring and design (I put the issues together and make all the supplemental design, covers, end pages etc.) The earlier work is hard to look at for me it’s evolved a lot since then. My style is getting more unique, i definitely started off being influenced by my favourite artists a lot now I’m growing in confidence and trying to take that somewhere new.
Who are your main influences?
A lot of my influences come from the 90s comics, Mike Mignola, Frank Miller (you can see where my obsession with shadows comes from), Mike Allred, John Paul Leon, Dave Stevens, Adam Hughes, Sean Phillips, Duncan Fegredo and John Romita JR, and many more I have a hard time narrowing it down as you can see. There’s alot of newer artists that I look to Andrew McClean, James Harren, Tradd Moore, Josan Gonzalez. It’s mainly the pulp aesthetic that I’m drawn to that’s quite heavy in my own work.
I’m heavily influenced by games and film, 80’s sci-fi and horror something i try to filter in. You’ll see these influences more if i write my own stuff, working from a script obviously puts boundaries on the art.
What comics are you reading just now?
I just picked up Dan Breretons Nocturnals which is very cool, Halloween themed weird comic. I always pick up the Mignolaverse comics they never disappoint, always good artists that inspire me.
Andrew McClean’s Headlopper, Black Hammer from Jeff Lemire/ Dean Ormston come to mind for fresh exciting comics I’ve recently enjoyed.
What’s the best thing about creating comics?
There’s a lot of freedom, no ones telling you how to do it you figure it out on your own, which could be a good or bad thing i guess. There’s no special effects budget in comics you can tell stories that wouldn’t be possible without huge amount of money if done in film or Video games.
When you finish an issue or even a drawing you’ve created something that wasn’t there before it feels like time spent well. Luckily Everyone I’ve worked with has been great so far too.
What are you working on just now?
Right now I’m finishing issue #6 of Merrick the Sensational Elephantman which wraps up our latest Kickstarter 2 issue 60pg arc. And then I’ll be taking a short break and we will be getting to more Merrick this year is the plan. I’m itching to have a go at writing my own comic, as most of my influences are writer/ artists. Other then that I’m looking to diversify and set up some non comic products enamel badges, prints etc for conventions.
You can also catch-up on Luke’s work in Merrick over on the titles website.