TWDFC: First off thanks for taking time to talk with us, I appreciate that.
We'll start off this interview talking about who you are, and some of the things you do outside of the Walking Dead that fans may not know about.
TWDFC: You play drums in a band Mindpower Cosmic, correct?
Charlie: Well we were called Mindpower cosmic, now we are Cosmic Rays. Its a simpler name, because we've started to play gigs outside of comic conventions and things.
TWDFC: What sort of music do you guys play?
Charlie: Its rock, but its rock with a sort of pop/prog mix. There are certain members of the band that lean toward the progressive side. There are band members that lean toward the Indi/Pop side of music. Some songs are an interesting amalgam of both. Some songs are straight off on one side, and some songs are straight off on the other.
TWDFC: Do you have any YouTube videos or anything of that nature?
Charlie: we are actually on a web site called BandCamp and we do have some songs on ITunes.
TWDFC: What would you say your musical inspirations are, and what kind of music do you like?
Charlie: I love my music, I'd like to think I have varied music tastes. When I'm working I don't listen to music because I enjoy it too much that it distracts me. I tend to listen to my favorite station which is BBC 6Music Which is a very eclectic radio station and if anyone is a fan of music they should give it a go. They play anything from Sex Pistols to YES.
I can tell you the last few albums I bought, I like to physically own a hard copy instead of a vague thing in my IPOD that tells me I own this music. I bought the new David Bowie album on order, and I can't wait to hear it. I got the new John Grant LP and his stuff sounds absolutely amazing. I got the last Nick Cave album that came out a few weeks ago. And I just recently got into a band called the Von Hertzen Brothers. There is four very different eclectic bands I think!
TWDFC: We heard that you are a huge movie fan also.
Charlie: I love movies, I don't get to see them as much as I use to because of the children and work, but I am a big movie fan.
TWDFC: What are some recent movies that you have seen?
Charlie:I saw Moon Rise Kingdom recently which I thoroughly enjoyed. Two of my favorite directors which are Wes Anson and Paul Thomas Anderson. I saw the Master recently it was a disappointing film Probably his most disappointing, which is a sad thing to say. It wasn't a bad film, it was just kind of had no direction. It felt slightly empty.
I also saw Killing Me Softly, which was really good with Brad Pitt, sort of a seedy gangster. I really enjoyed that, it was a good film.
I loved the Avengers, it was absolute genius, the best super hero movie I've seen in a long time.
TWDFC: Are you watching the TV Series still?
Charlie:Of course, I've watched all I've been able to watch. I have not been able to catch up on the second half of season three yet. I think this is the best season so far. Its moving a lot faster than season two, which it was criticized for. We've got Michonne in it, which I'm over the moon for that and she is absolutely fantastic!
I still think it does exactly as an adaptation should do is keep the feel and the core of the book in tact from whatever its being adapted from.
But also do its own thing as well, because if it was just a straight carbon copy it would just be pointless.
TWDFC: Some of the graphic nature involved with the Walking Dead affect you emotionally?
Charlie: No, never. Its just marks on paper, thats all it is at the end of the day, whatever it is, its just marks on paper. For some reason, I have the ability to desensitize myself.
When I'm actually drawing it, I'm actually at my most desensitized to it. It just doesn't affect me at all, whether I get it out of my system because I actually think about it before, you know, because I read the script. So I actually congetate it in my head. I don't if thats the reason as opposed if I had to draw it straight away. I might be more affected that way.
I think Robert would have more of a problem with that kind of stuff, cause he is the one that imagines it.
TWDFC: Have you ever had a hard time drawing any scene from the book.
Charlie: I don't have a hard time, its not like I'm sitting there getting conflicting with myself over weather if I should do this. The only time I have ever ever phoned Robert up, and said convince me to do this, was the Michonne torture scene. Thats because I actually thought we had gone a bit too far. And the fact that it was taking up the majority of the issue.
But the death scenes of Lori, Tyrsse, Glen, and even with Carl loosing his eye, I've accepted them all. They're all perfectly valid kind of deaths as it were, like I've said, I've never had a problem drawing anything.
TWDFC: Last time we talked, Michonne was your favorite character, is that still the case?
Charlie: Yeah, her and Andrea, I really do like Andrea as well. Yeah, they are my join favorite.
TWDFC: What are your thoughts and feelings on some of the newer characters, such as Jesus and Negan?
Charlie: So far they are really strong characters, Negan especially. Cause I think Negan is a step up as a villain from the governor. The Governor was a bit more of a one note villain.
Negan strikes me as a lot more complex character, and I think he'll be around for a while.
I think we're going to see a lot more into him, as it were. I think there is a lot more to that guy, he's really interesting. I'm looking forward to just on a visual level if nothing else, to drawing Ezekiel and his tiger.
Out of all the characters so far, I think this is one we've gone the furthest with in terms of how he looks. Because obviously we always try to keep everything very very realistic. So I kind of think we really slightly pushing the boundaries with Ezekiel and his crew. Its going to be interesting.
TWDFC: When it comes to character development visually, how much freedom do you have?
Charlie: He gives me a lot of freedom, but he obviously gives me a description, and I take it from there. One of the more useful things Robert gives me, especially if it is an important character, is a description of a celebrity that he has in visioned. So I can almost see the exact same thing thats in his head, as opposed to paragraphs and paragraphs in trying to describe a character. It puts us both on the same page which is quite useful, and we did do that with Negan.
TWDFC: Do you see yourself attached to this book until the world ends?
Charlie: Till death do us part, yeah. As things stand at this precise moment I can't see why I won't be here in 10 years time.
TWDFC: Is there any other side projects or books you are currently working on?
Charlie: Robert and I do have another side project that we have been working on for the past 3 or 4 years. Its called the Passenger. Robert actually announced it a couple of SDCC's ago. Hopefully we'll be able to finish it this year. The Passenger is actually a science fiction thriller and its going to be a one shot book in the classic french album format. It will be between 48 and 60 pages long. Its going to be intense readying and co-published by Image In The US and Delcourt the french publisher in France.
I just signed a deal with a French company called Soleil who I did my other album with called Breath of the Wendigo. Its a two book deal and it took me a long time to get attached because we had to find the right project, and this is project pretty pretty good.
TWDFC: Do you have any art books out, a collection of your art work.
Charlie:Thats another thing I have coming out is an art book. Its one of those projects that started out quite small, originally what I was going to do was a yearly sketch book of con sketches until I realized that was too much like hard work.
And plus half the conventions I go to now I'm so busy, I don't even have time to sketch. It would have been a rather frivolous thing after one or two sketchbooks. I would be struggling for material but I decided to do a proper big art book with a major interview involved. Its almost like a biography with art work in it.
I spent five five hour plus sessions with Sina Grace because he conducts the interview. In the end I would like to have this book out in time for NYCC where we'll be celebrating the Walking Dead's 10th Anniversary. It will be a high-end book.
TWDFC: What is the craziest sketch you've ever been asked to draw at a convention?
Charlie: I got asked to do a Zombie duck once. I done a couple of zombie lego mini figure sketches; I'm a massive Lego fan. I did a zombie angry bird, it turned out really nice.
TWDFC: What are your top five Walking Dead characters?
Charlie: Michonne, Andrea, Rick, Neegan, Ezekiel
TWDFC: What are your top five Walking Dead characters that you draw?
Charlie: At the moment, Ezekiel, Jesus, Rick and I really liked to draw Dale and Douglas.