Q: Introduce yourself and your business for our readers.
A: Hi, I am Marc Ducrow and I’m a freelance artist but I’m also known for being a comic inker, editor and writer.
Q: When did you start doing what you do?
A: I’ve always drawn, but I started professionally about three years ago. After about a year, it got to the point where I had to quit my day job as I was so overwhelmed with commissions, I just took the leap. Over time it’s evolved from sequentials and I’m getting known for my pin ups and cover work but I’m just doing a graphic novel now. It’s slowly going back to sequentials and cover work now; It seems as if publishers want someone who’ll do both, and I can. So I’ve been doing it professionally about two years now full-time and I sit here for about 16 hours a day drawing! But I’m lucky to have my studio within my home, so I get to see my family at the same time.
Q: You’re from the West Midlands, but you’re in Cornwall – why?
A: For the kids, really. My wife used to come on family holidays to Cornwall when she was young and I used to surf down here, so we both loved it here. My wife brought me down to Tintagel one Valentine’s Day and within a year we decided to sell our business up there and move down here. In the last three years we’ve moved about five times to find the right house, but I think we’ll settle here for a bit now. We love rural life and it’s great for the kids to be close to such a beautiful beach.
Q: So what led you into the art and illustration work you’re doing now?
In my previous business, I used to doodle all the time, on quiet days at work and I started to get really quite good at it. I was training my eye and did a portrait of my wife and children. That led to friends wanting me to do things for them and it grew from there.
Q: Were you a geek and into superheroes before you started doing this?
Not really. I was never the kid who was bullied because he liked comics… I did like them though and used to draw Spiderman and other characters when I was you but never thought I’d do it professionally! I was quite open about liking them but when I was 16 and got a job, I left it all behind me, as I was putting in long hours at my job in the jewellery quarter. It wasn’t until I got my own business and had the time to reflect on things that I picked up some of the comic books that I hadn’t looked at for years. I carried them with me everywhere then and that was it.
I did a piece on Alien which got me noticed and I’d like to take that further and do some poster work on it, but I think it’s a bit late now. Alien Defiance is coming out soon (illustrated by Tristan Jones) and it looks fantastic! But schedules and money are tight for it so close to it being released, so I don’t know if I’ll be able to now. We’ll see!
Q: Can you give us a little known, interesting fact about you?
It’s really hard, as I do try to keep my family and professional lives as separate as I can… but I do enjoy a good romcom! Sometimes, my wife comes into the studio and watches one while I’m working…. Then the work gradually goes down and I lean forward and get sucked in. We watched Spanglish (with Adam Sandler) the other day and I must admit I enjoyed it!
Q: Do you have anything in the pipeline that you’re working on, which you can tell us about?
The biggest thing for me is a personal project, which I am looking to crowdfund – a comic called Standing Tall. The Kickstarter is due to start any day now, but please feel free to head over and have a look at- https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/438071560/1931744695?token=f9895e4d. It’s such a personal thing for me because it’s based on what has really happened to me through my life. Obviously, some things are enhanced and exaggerated to make it more interesting, but it’s ultimately based on me.
Q: If you weren’t doing this, what would you do as a career instead?
It’s difficult to say because I’m so adventurous! I had a reptile and exotic animals shop, hence my Chinese Water Dragon, Sebastian, over there! I’ve also been a Domicillary Care Agent looking after older people, and I do try to do as much as I can with my life. You’re only here once. Touch wood, at the moment, my work is supporting my family and that’s what it’s all about. It is scary giving up a job with a monthly salary to go it alone and you never know when the next project is going to come in. But thankfully, they keep coming!
Q: So who’s your favourite superhero or character, and why?
That would have to be Kidd, the lead character in Standing Tall, because it’s me! Someone’s gotta like me! He’s called Kidd because he’s not aware of his real name. He was left on the streets as a baby and brought up by an array of homeless people, so was given his name that way, He’s such a cool dark character and yet has a funny side to him. I’m really enjoying writing it and working on his character as I go. He’s quite ‘Spawn-esque’ – he definitely has a dark, twisted side, but he has humour as well, for some balance. There is an ongoing story so I’m hoping to be able to do more, but I’m taking the time around other commissions, to mould the character and the people around him, so that I’m really happy with the first one.
Otherwise, It’s difficult to pick one, because there are elements of lots of characters that you identify with or like. I really enjoy drawing capes, so I doodle Superman a lot. I’m also doing well with a Spiderman image at the moment,
Q: What’s your guilty pleasure?
Probably the romcoms. Though I do confess to liking One Direction… and possibly a bit of Bieber! I blame the girls of the house – it’s me and three girls. Even the cat’s female! It’s just me and Sebastian.
Q: Who do you most admire, and why?
My wife, hands down. I don’t think she believes me, but if it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t be doing this. I wouldn’t have had the backbone to think I’m good enough; she’s been right behind me.
Art wise, there are so many great people out there who’ve helped me and taught me things and I’ve been influenced by many others. Lee Bermejo has been kind enough to talk techniques and as helped me out with some information. Otherwise Alex Ross, Simone Bianche, Patrick Zircher, Ben Oliver and Jock have all influenced me, but I’m finding more and more artists every day who make me want to try something and add it to what I do, I think that’s important for an artist to grow. I’ve had a lot of help from people and so anything I can do to help others I will do, to pay it forward.