We get a glimpse inside the twisted mind of the impossibly talented Douglas Noble in preparation for the inaugural Catford Comic and Zine Fair. To be honest he’s scared the living daylights out us and we’re sleeping with the lights on.
CCZF: Hi Douglas, what are you doing right now?
DN: Right this moment I’m watching an episode of the BBC’s 1970s horror series Dead of Night. Things are getting spooky.
How long have you been doing comics and art and stuff?
DN: Always – however, like anyone who makes things, I only recognise the most recent work as being close to what it is that I want to make. Strip For Me, my comic of unfriendly romance and geographic terror, is past issue 50 now, but it’s only really the last ten or so issues that I feel articulate the things that I want to say. I recognise that will always be the case though – it’s the drive toward making something better, purer.
CCZF: Nicely put.
In order of preference, what are your three favourite soups? We’re making a chart.
DN: Not to derail your chart building, but I don’t eat soup. If I’d ever wanted to eat liquid food I’d have become an astronaut.
CCZF: Not sure what this does for our chart. It will have to go for a stewards enquiry.
Where do you stand on Hummus?
DN: At the risk of sounding like a picky eater, I don’t hummus.
CCZF: Controversy corner.
What are you reading and listening to at the moment?
DN: Today I thoroughly enjoyed re-reading Hugo Pratt’s Fable of Venice.
Next up on the pile is John Adams’ autobiography.
CCZF: I hope this is the right book Douglas. At first I thought you meant John Adams the 2nd American president but then came across the American Opera composer John Adams whose work includes Nixon in China and the controversial Death of Klinghoffer (pictured).
DN: Music-wise, I’m slowly attempting to educate myself about classical music, so I’m on a bit of a Ligeti kick at the moment. Makes any walk after dark into an adventure!
CCZF: Well, that gives Napalm Death a run for their money. I’ve just searched the internet for Ligeti and I’m listening to Requiem. This is serious business Douglas. I’m no longer surprised you don’t eat soup or Hummus. Wonderfully scary stuff. Hats off to anybody to walking around in the dark listening to Adventures for 3 voices and 7 instruments.
Talking of scary stuff, we really enjoyed Horrible Folk and its references to Hammer House of Horror. Do you have a favourite Hammer film?
DN: This is a difficult one for me as I love a lot of them, and a lot of the films that surround Hammer’s output (Amicus, Tigon, Planet Film Productions). Let me narrow it down to two though
These Are… The Damned, and
The first is an absolutely crackpot collision of genres, as a delinquent gang finds itself mixed up with a government programme to create children that can survive a nuclear war. Think Akira set in an early 60s seaside town.
Crescendo is the highpoint of Hammer’s attempts to recreate the continental tension of Les Diaboliques, and features doubles, madness, and a swimming pool, as these things often do. It’s lurid and messy and I love it.
CCZF: They’re both new to me. I’m going to be watching both. I wonder if the surname sharing femme fatale that is Danny Noble has seen Oliver Reed’s performance in These are the… Damned? Her interview is up soon. I’ll ask her.
Have you ever been to the Peter Cushing Museum in Whitstable? http://www.whitstablemuseum.org/peter-cushing/
DN: I’ve not had the pleasure – but if they have any of his paintings of birds, I’d love to pay them a visit.
CCZF: Maybe I should arrange a coach trip. My friend Darren’s the only person I know who’s been. Can’t find any of his bird paintings online. Is that a reference to a film he’s in I wonder?
If you had to recommend a comic/graphic novel/zine for an 11-year-old what would it be?
DN: The first thing that springs to mind is Dan White’s hugely entertaining Cindy and Biscuit, but frankly that recommendation extends out to every age for that. A personal favourite, and something I’d love to be read more, is the 1960s barbarian comic Kona – Monarch of Monster Isle. It’s about a group of adventurers who encounter a heroic caveman of sorts on a hidden island of prehistoric and gigantic creatures. Something that really needs to be read to be believed, but a quick google of the covers of the strip will undoubtedly make you fall in love.
CCZF: What are you working on at the moment?
DN: Currently I’m working on new pages of my comic The Lies of the Saints, which go up every week at my Patreon – https://www.patreon.com/douglasnoble
Aside from that, I’ve got two comics that I’m writing for other artists, of which I’ll stay quiet at the moment, and I’m gearing up for the next print issue of Strip For Me, which will most likely be called These Damned Skies. That one will be next year.
CCZF: Looking forward to all that lot. What advice would you give to somebody starting out in comics?
DN: Be true to your obsessions.
CCZF: Do you know how to get to the Blythe Hill Tavern?
DN: Not yet, but I have a great trust in technology and will be there with time to spare on the day!
CCZF: Splendid work Douglas, thank you. See you on the 10th!
You can bring Douglas soup and hummus and talk Ligeti, American opera and Cresendo and buy his wonderful comics at the Catford Comic and Zine fair on the 10th December at the award winning Blythe Hill Tavern.
You can follow Douglas on Twitter here and on Instagram here.
His site Strip for me here.