nuts and bolts
nils, jeremy and kate
impressing our friends
blame the pianist
BRENNAN: Who are your biggest influences both within and outside comics?
COOPER: Want the truth? I actually hate comics. They frustrate me, and I have found very few I'd consider worth reading. So, I actually don't have any comic-influences as such, except for French/European comics, which rekindled my interest in highschool. I've always dug the look of the Japanese manga, which did influence me (shows in the eyes), but I'm not into it, as such.
BRENNAN: Did you read any comics as a kid? Mad magazine? Archie? Donald Duck?
COOPER: A bit. Read Archie in early primary school. I was more into Monty Python when I was a kid - well before anyone else my age. At seven I could quote almost the entire Holy Grail film, and most of Drury Lane. I got it out of my system first-up. Never really liked Disney much. I was a Warner Brothers girl. Disney wasn't bent enough.
Comedic Writer/Actor Spike Milligan
Photo © Steve Double
Actual influences are as follows : French film, Hal Hartley, Gems like "Withnail and I", Spike Milligan (the only person I could ever call an 'idol'), Kate Bush (Big time), music from the PG playlist, and my eternal favourite artist, Edvard Munch. There's also real-life, but that's a given.
BRENNAN: Munch is "The Scream", yes? I don't think I've ever seen anything else by him. What attracts you to him?
COOPER: Yes. That's about all anyone's aware of his work, and I don't think it's his best.
It's a powerful painting, but it isn't my personal favourite.
"The Sick Child" by Edvard Munch, circa 1885
I connect completely with Munch. From his personal life, to his work. Munch finally articulated through his work what an image could do - something I didn't really have a solid grasp on prior to finding his images. Without precision of line, or perfection of form, Munch conveyed more to me than the technical mastery of other artists. It's raw. It's real. It's naked, in a way. He captured an atmosphere, a mood perfectly. Much of his work is so quietly eerie. One of his obsessions was with that of mortality, so mostly, his work was quite dark in theme - without ever being that specific. Munch also seemed to have an unusual grasp on female sexuality - from the powerful intensity of womanhood, to the powerless dread of puberty. He could convey so much with just a hint of shadow. The cream of the German Expressionists, his work, to me, succeeds in giving you a glimpse into his mind. Pure emotions on canvas.