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Alan Davis is an award-winning British artist and writer who is best known for his original works such as ClanDestine and the revival of Captain Britain which led directly into the creation of Excalibur.

Davis has also drawn and/or written for Aquaman, Avengers, Batman and the Outsiders (later called Adventures of the Outsiders), JSA, Killraven, Legion of Super-Heroes, and The Uncanny X-Men.

Alan Davis was an early collaboratory with Alan Moore, most notably including the first several issues of Miracleman and the Captain Britain revival. They also produced a madcap humor series (in 2000AD) called D.R. and Quinch. Sometime after this work, Moore and Davis had a falling out.

He has received recent notice for the Fantastic Four: The End and Justice League of America: The Nail and Justice League of America: Another Nail series.

Alan Davis enjoys coffee in the morning... probably.

Alan Davis Interviewed by G-Man

February 2008

Not only is Alan Davis an incredible artist and writer, he is also an incredibly nice guy. He was very patient and accommodating with all my questions. He even provided several black and white pencil images of the upcoming ClanDestine series coming out.

G-Man: ClanDestine hasn't been seen since the mid 90s, I read that this will pick up since their last "adventure" the X-Men. Does that mean this story is not taking place in the current Marvel Universe? Is this pre-Civil War, etc.

Alan Davis: The Clan are in the current mainstream Marvel Universe BUT I haven'’t seen any of the Civil War comics and hadn’'t considered how the Civil War might affect the Clan.

G-Man: I've also seen it mentioned both that this is a mini-series and an on-going. If it's a mini-series, could it evolve into an ongoing title?

Davis: That will depend entirely on sales.

G-Man: Hear that everyone? Make sure you pick up this series!

The solicits for issue #1 just list you as the writer and artist. Are you also inking? Will you be working with Mark Farmer?

Davis: Mark Farmer is inking the series— And I think its some of his best work yet..

G-Man: The characters Rory and Pandora were inspired by Spider-Man's heroics, can we assume that hasn't been erased by the "adjustment" of Spider-Man's life after the events of "One More Day"?

Davis: Again. I haven'’t seen the events of “One more day”.

G-Man: Is there a reason you don't read many comics anymore? Time? Direction of today's comics?

Davis: Years ago when I used to receive ‘comps’ from Marvel and DC I would keep an eye on everything and read what time allowed-- but the comps became intermittent so I missed key issues of long story arcs. Even though I don’'t have local comic store (the nearest is a few hours away) I would make a trip to fill the holes in continuity only to find it impossible to do so because the comps were delivered a few months after the comics hit the stores and there were no back issues in stock. As the comps grew more infrequent and eventually dried up I wasn’'t really bothered because, somewhere along the way, I had begun to read more novels and books. When I do read comics they’'re usually a collection of old books in the archives, Essentials or Showcase format.

G-Man: That makes sense. Will the Clan venture out of England?

Davis: Yes.

G-Man: Any travel plans to New York City?

Davis: Not in this story arc.

G-Man: Can we look forward to any major action scenes?

Davis: Definitely.

G-Man: Have you ever thought about writing another Killraven story? At the end of the 2003 mini they had defeated a faction of the Martian invaders and seem to have some peace, are they that lucky?

Davis: I had no definite plans to continue Killraven but I left it open for a sequel. Sadly, it didn'’t do well enough in the US market to even justify a TPB when it first debuted.

G-Man: Justice League: The Nail and Another Nail were great. Are there any more nails in the box? Would you want to do another one?

Davis: I did have an idea for a third Nail book and, when Peter Tomasi, the editor, said he hated the title ‘Another Nail’ I partly sold it to him by saying the third series would be called ‘The Final Nail’

G-Man: When you're in work mode, what's your rate of drawing? How many pages per day?

Davis: It has dropped significantly over the past few years because of a problem I have with my wrist-- but I had drawn as many as three pages of pencils and inks a day when I first got into comics but settled on one to two pages of pencils a day during most of my career in the US.

G-Man: Sorry to hear that. Do you have a certain time of day you like to draw? A certain place?

Davis: No. I’m very unprofessional. I draw when I’m in the mood or if a deadline is looming. I often have too many other things in my life I’'d rather be doing.

G-Man: I can relate to the "too many other things." When you're the writer and artist, do you plot out the issue first or do you change things on the fly as you draw the pages?

Davis: I write what I think is a thorough plot, virtually a full script without detailed panel descriptions, but I will inevitably fiddle, tweak and, on occasion, completely rework sequences or redraw pages. Plotting is like having a birds-eye view of events-- Seeing vast tracts of continuity in a moment-- but penciling forces you to analyze the minutia and focus on the cracks.

G-Man: Did it seem weird to you when Marvel re-launched Excalibur and it had nothing to do with Captain Britain and company (set instead in Genosha)? {It bothered me}

Davis: I haven’'t seen the new Excalibur.

G-Man: Lucky for you. If ClanDestine is just set as a mini-series, would you like to do an on-going series or do you prefer the mini-series?

Davis: I have other ClanDestine stories I’d like to tell but Marvel needs to see if it is worth producing more.

G-Man: Living in England, are you a Doctor Who fan? If so, what do you think of the current series?

Davis: I was a Doctor Who fan from when it started in the sixties but this new incarnation leaves a lot to be desired. The original series was ground breaking and innovative but the modern stuff seems like a camp soap opera recycling horror and sci-fi movies cliches.

G-Man: Ooh, I don't think some people will like to hear that, but I think I'd have to agree. Too many emotions involved.

Is there any piece of work you've done that you were most proud of?

Davis: Killraven is the work that closely matches my original conception which has to be a creator's yard-stick.

G-Man: What's your opinion on all the "event" driven comics these days? I know you said you don't read them but do you feel today's market demands them? ie "Death of Captain America," "Civil War," DC's "Identity Crisis," 52, and "Countdown." I'm not sure what happened to the days of fun adventures. Everything is so dark and has to have huge repercussions.

Davis: I disagree that there are ‘huge repercussions’ because the big events are often sound-bite driven plotting that demands an image to help promote a book-- but whatever changes do occur will be dumped with a reboot as soon as the sales dip.

I can understand the commercial necessity behind the crossovers but while they may appeal to the hardcore comic fans they discourage new readers because of their inaccessibility.

G-Man: You've written the X-Men a lot. If you could create your ultimate team roster (maybe 5 to 7 members) who would they be (alive or dead)?

Davis: Excalibur.

G-Man: Ha ha.

Fantastic Four: The End has just come out in TPB. How did you feel about the outcome of The End?

Davis: Space was the real problem. There were many subplots and related stories that could have been explored and developed but the main story would have been diluted or fragmented so I had to be pretty ruthless in maintaining the pace and focus.

G-Man: Did it come out the way you planned?

Davis: Pretty much. I think the only thing I didn’'t like about the TPB was that the covers had been inserted between issues when I had written and drawn the series to be read as a single book, —like the Nail books, Killraven and the ClanDestine TPB. I find it an odd practice to break up the continuity in a TPB by inserting covers. It turns what should be a Graphic Novel into a collection of comics. I cut all the covers out of my TPB.

G-Man: What goes into writing a The End story?

Davis: With the FF there was a sense of responsibility to handle justly iconic characters with respect.

G-Man: Do you like the freedom of taking the characters wherever you'd like?

Davis: Yes and no. I was given the freedom to do whatever I wanted, within reason obviously, but extending all of the themes established in the original FF stories into the future seemed to have only one logical outcome that was true to that heritage.

G-Man: Any other The End's you'd like to do?

Davis: Infinity: The End.

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