"She’s about to go through some WEIRD STUFF!" Five Questions with Kate Brown!

It’s Tamsin and The Deep Day at Comics Vanguard! Following this morning’s Five Questions with writer Neill Cameron comes Five Questions with artist Kate Brown! Having worked on various books over the last few years, including her own work Fish + Chocolate as well as an issue of Young Avengers at Marvel, she’ll be returning to The Phoenix today for the first part of their new serial storyline ‘Tamsin and the Deep’.

You’ve heard how Neill views the series, as a writer – but what of artist Kate Brown, eh? What does she think? WELL! SHE THINKS THE FOLLOWING!:

Steve: What’s the basic idea of the series?

Kate: We’re on-location in Cornwall! I love Cornwall something rotten. I adore British folklore and mythology something rotten too, and this series mixes both in with our ten-year-old action heroine, Tamsin! She’s about to go through some WEIRD STUFF, and we’re gonna unravel that as we go along! 

Steve: Who are the characters? How did you go about designing them, making them, giving them personality?

Kate: We’re slowly uncovering the characters as we go. Tamsin’s our heroine, and she’s in there from Page One, along with her brother Morgan. These are our main kids! Tamsin dresses quite boyishly, and I’d been imagining she’d been given some of Morgan’s outgrown clothes, like I had when I was younger! I made her bodyboard pink, and her bedroom pinkish-purple and fairly girly — I wanted to show she can have and do both boyish and girlish things too.

Morgan’s probably my favourite character so far. He’s meant to be a jerk, but I think he’s actually a sweetie 😉 Morgan slumps around, while Tamsin’s very independant and quite mature for her age — I tried to reflect this in her body language, too. She makes mistakes, but she’s very sure of herself and terribly pragmatic (so far!)

Steve: How do you find the collaborative process with Neill Cameron? What’s he like to work with, and what are you most excited about from this new project?

Kate: After Emilie’s Turn, I kept on pestering Neill to make a longer ballet series! This ended up shifting into the Tamsin series, which we’d first started talking about well over a year ago. I was very excited — we’ve both been fans of each other’s work for quite a while, and literally all he had to do was mention “Cornwall-based mythological actiony series” and I was on board.
I respect Neill a lot, he’s incredibly hard-working and is really invested in the future of UK comics. In terms of pure working methods, it’s great that he’s an artist-writer, so he’s got both types of experience under his belt when making comics. For instance, one of the first things he did was send me a huge load of reference photos for where we’d be setting the series — he’s straight in there with the visuals! This is reassuring and helpful for me!
I think the thing I’m most excited for is just this series as a whole being new for the Phoenix, and thinking about the kids who are gonna be reading it! I would have loved this as a child SO much, and I really hope the new audience enjoys it too! 
Steve: Will you be colouring the series as well as drawing? Emilie’s Turn has a bright, pink colour palette – what kinds of colours will you be using for this story?

Kate: Yes, I’ll be colouring it too! I guess a lot was informed by the types of backgrounds the series has. For instance, we open on a beach, so I was working off blues and yellows and other sort of natural colours. A huge amount of the first and second chapters are set outside and mostly focus around coastal areas, so these types of colours kinda continue. 
I tried colourdropping from photos of the real locations, which I’d not tried before, but this led to some very dull colours; I guess transferring multi-toned photos into flat colours was never going to work as an idea, haha! I ended up just trying to use the location photos as inspirations for the colours.

Steve: What else are you currently working on? Where can people find you, and your work, online?

Kate: I’m also currently colouring the next Alex Rider adaptations by Antony Johnston and Emma Vieceli. Along with that, I’m working on my new creator-owned book, Faith Says You, and got a lot done with it last year, although had to stop due to a shoulder injury that took me out of action for 6 months. It wrecked my schedule something awful — I’ve had to put FSY on the back-burner for now, but hope I can slowly get back into it as work settles down. 
You can get me on the Twitters at https://twitter.com/autojoy, Tumblr at http://schmautojoy.tumblr.com/ and my website is http://danse-macabre.nu ^_^

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