Scott Hampton is a legend in the world of comic books and has been the illustrator creating Batman, Sandman, Black Widow, Hellraiser and Star Trek.
He began his career following in the footsteps of brother and fellow comic book creator, Bo Hampton. His work on Silverheels, from Pacific Comics in 1983, is regarded as the first continuing painted comic.
In the comic con in Bengaluru, Scott says, “When I began working on comic books in 1982, it was a very different world. Comic book characters have emerged as successful symbols of popular culture. Fans know more about the Avengers than I do, and I drew them. I personally embrace this main-streaming of comic books. It is rather foolish to fight this trend.”
He adds, ” Technology has also played a huge role in the manner characters are drawn. I combine the traditional form of doing most of my art on a storyboard or as separate images. I combine the panels using new age software like Photoshop. I feel that is a fine mesh of traditional and digital techniques.”
Scott says that he divorces himself from the visuals when he is writing the story. ” I focus on the writing purely. I will not be able to do justice to the story if I pay attention to the visuals only.”
Comics play a very important role in influencing politics and political choices, feels Hampton. “Comics deal with themes such as liberty and freedom that plays a vital role in political discourse.”
On the future of comic books, Scott is circumspect. “The format is bound to change, especially in the United States, where the classic 22-page comic book is really popular. I think that it is going to be ditched for the larger album format that is more popular globally.”
Scott says that he wants to explore the Indian comic book industry more. ” It is something that I do not have much of an idea about and want to learn. That is part of the reason I am here in India for the comic con.”