Αγαπητοί φίλες και φίλοι,
σας κοινοποιώ τη συνέντευξη που μου παραχώρησε σήμερα ο καλλιτέχνης της σειράς Roy of the Rovers. David Sque
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David Sque: «I learned that Greeks would give you the shirt off of their back if you need it!!!»
Iconic “Roy of the Rovers” football comic series artist David Sque, has made us a great honor responding to the following questions.
(An Interview to Nikos Nikolaidis)
It’s always a pleasure to contact you, so many thanks for this interview!
It is my pleasure too!
Before involving with the “Roy of the Rovers” stuff, you had been doing a lot of good work, drawing the Fred Baker’s “Martin’s Marvellous Mini” comic series in “Tiger” (1971 – 1975), a story which is very popular in Greece, too. How would you describe that experience?
I started ‘Martin’s Marvelous Mini’ and it was great to create all the characters. Martin was a younger version of me, hence the Red hair! It was great to draw their adventures in ‘George’!!
Who proposed you to be the artist of “RotR” series replacing Yvonne Hutton (r-i-p) in autumn 1975, was he “Tiger’s” editor Barrie Tomlinson or Derek Birnage?
I was drawing MMM when I was on the phone to Barrie and I asked: “ Do you have anyone to take over ROTR yet?” He said: “No, and we are in trouble!” I said: “Well, I’ll stand in till you find someone?” He said: “You are motor racing not football!!” I said: “I can draw figures. I’ll just put them in football kit!” He said: “OK, we’ll give it a try.” After about six weeks of doing both stories I was exhausted and asked Barrie if he had found someone yet as I wanted to stop doing Roy. He said: “No no, we like the way you are doing Roy and we are putting ROTR into Colour and dropping MMM back to Black & White!” So, I stayed with the money and continued with Roy. The rest is history!
I’ve read that your general interest about soccer was -like Joe Colquhoun’s one- rather poor at the beginning. Finally, has Roy Race managed to make you a keen football fan?
No. I loved playing Football at school but not watching it. My Sports are Motor racing and Golf and, in the 70’s, there was a lot of trouble at football matches in the UK. Being patriotic I watch England play in the World Cup and it was great when Roy played for England!
Has anyone of previous “RotR” artists (maybe Paul Trevillion or Yvonne) influenced you?
Again, no. I had to copy Yvonne’s style when I first started but, when the story became mine, I slowly changed to my style and gave Roy my hair style! I was big fan of Barry Mitchell’s work and nicked some of his way of drawing things.
How many hours did you need to present a full-colored (3 or 2 paged) episode of “RotR” story?
Whether I was just doing the 2 Centre pages or the Cover and back page as well, it still had to be done in one week!!!
What is your opinion about Tom Tully’s (r-i-p) scripts?
His stories were excellent and a pleasure to illustrate.
Name some real persons (not fictional characters) appeared in “RotR” storyline during all those eleven years (1975 – 1986), you were the main illustrator.
There were a lot of ‘Guest’ appearances by celebrities because Barrie used my ability to draw ‘Likenesses’. Emlyn Hughes was a lovely guy but I loved working with Spandau Ballet the most.
What is your favorite era in “RotR” story?
I was at my best during the early 80’s and I think my favourite story line was ‘Who shot Roy!’
What do you think about the relaunched “RotR” series by “Rebellion Publishing”?
I think it is wonderful that a new generation can enjoy Roy’s exploits. I am not a fan of the ‘Cartoony’ style of the modern artwork but they have asked me to do some more of their stories which I will do more in my style.
Thirty four very years after your last “RotR” pictures in “Roy of the Rovers” comic (August 1986), you returned nowadays with an excellent artwork for “RotR Summer Special 2020” edition, titled “The Old School”, by Rob Williams. How difficult was (or was not) for you to follow (or deal with) the new -more cartoon than comic, I believe- style of the series?
I really enjoyed doing it and am looking forward to doing some more. I had to work out a compromise between my, traditional style and the new approach. Basically, I drew the new versions of the classic characters in my style which seems to have gone down well.
Can you please recall some other football artwork you’ve made?
After I finished my work on Roy in 1986 I went on to do a brilliant series in the ROTR magazine called ‘Story of a Star’ in which I illustrated the life stories of famous footballers. These included Gary Lineaker, Kevin Keegan, Kenny Dalglish etc. This was full type illustrations with no Black line. I am very proud of my work on this series. Then I went on to do a daily football strip in the English newspaper called ‘The Mirror’ with Barrie Tomlinson writing the script. Three years ago, I finished illustrating a Graphic novel entitled ‘The Invincibles’ which is the story of how Football began in England and the history of Preston North End Football Club and the football league. Available on Amazon. You can check out my work that I have done over the years on my website: Google: David Sque Illustrations.
How many times have you been in Greece?
In the 60’s and the 70’s I went to my beloved Greece at least 9 times! In the days when you could smash plates to show you appreciated a ‘live’ performer!! The first time went I made friends with a Greek guy called Leon who to took me to dinner at a restaurant on the coast road South of Athens, It was owned by Mikis Theodorakis who was playing live and performing the music from ‘Zorba the Greek’ and I was introduced to him as he was a friend of Leon’s. I have been to Crete, Rhodes, Mykonos, Corfu but, my favourite place was Skiathos. This was in the days before they were overrun and spoilt by too many tourists??!! Of course I loved Nana Mouskouri !!! Especially her song ‘Try to Remember’. I remember going to a roof top restaurant in Piraeus with my girlfriend at the time and sitting under the Moon and Stars and having a TWENTY FOUR course meal which it was famous for!!!
What do you think about Greek people?
Don’t get me started on all my wonderful memories of the most hospitable people in the World or I will be here for days!!! In those days the older generation loved the English people and their hero was Churchill as we helped the Greeks to drive the Nazis (The ‘Bosh’ as they called them) out of Greece during the War. I remember my friend Bernie and I drove down in my car from England and we camped on a deserted beach near a village just north of Athens. We went ‘Snorkelling’ and I harpooned an Octopus! We took it into the village and a Taverna owner offered to cook it for us for free. Outside we drank Ouzo and made friends with people there. One said: ‘Tomorrow you come to my house for dinner’ Then another said: ‘On Thursday you come to my house’ then another said: ‘And on Friday you come to my house and eat my wife’s Mousaka!’!!! Amazing! On the drive into Athens I stopped to ask a young guy for directions to a certain place. He came round and got into the car. He took us 5 kilometers to the place we wanted then got out with smile and walked back??!!! I always went to Greece in September and never missed the ‘Wine Festivals’!!! I learned that Greeks would give you the shirt off of their back if you need it. I remember sitting outside a Taverna, on the beach, drinking Ouzo and watching the purple pink sunset with a new Greek friend I had just met and said: “This is heaven! You should advertise so that lots of people could come and enjoy this experience!” He said: “ No, no, no!” I said “Why?” He said: “We are a poor people and we couldn’t afford to entertain so many people!!” Ha haa!!!
Are you going to visit Greece again? Hoping you do so, just let me know!!!
I have it on my list of ‘to do’s’ after this Covid 19 has been sorted??!!
I wish you all the best!
I wish you and yours all the best too.
Stay safe my friend
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