Melting skulls and rampaging aliens run riot in Pete Murgatroyd’s epic SciFi scenes of colour and carnage. As well as singular, large-scale images, Pete makes comics and designs for screen printing. We like how much is going on in every available inch of larger illustrations. You could spend quite a lot of time working out who’s zapping which mutant and who has the most amazing/strangest weapon/appendage.
I work on both short comics and one-off illustrations for print. I keep a lot of sketch pads and treat them with as little respect as possible, I always plan really loosely because I like the work to have room to mutate, I find this is an integral part of my process although it can be equally frustrating.
I was heavily influenced by Heironymous Bosch and Bruegal whilst studying and my work seems to be moving more and more towards large set pieces with my most recent work ‘The Tower of Babble’ but I am equally interested in developing the experimental structure of the comics page and its uses in single page narratives, which I think is what helped me win the Cheltenham Illustration award this year. When I develop ideas for comics, I use a set grid system which helps me plan the basic layout due to its limitation, otherwise I’d get totally lost.
But, my main aim at the moment is to become a sort of cross between Mike Diana, Bosch, Bruegel and Jean Girard or Kirby. I know this is completely futile but I can’t help trying.
Also, I always Keep a Casio SK-1 and MT-65 Keyboard nearby whilst I work which I play when I need a break or frustration kicks in (I once spent seven hours drawing a horse that was about an inch in size. I just couldn’t get it right.) which accounts for a selection of terrible music on soundcloud.
My process is to then start off with a loose pencil sketch on Bristol Board and slowly tighten it up with lots and lots and lots of rubbing out then when the page has turned a grubby gray colour, I ink on another piece of paper or heavy tracing paper and finally colour on the computer.
I’m currently working on a range of prints which will be out in early 2013.
© Pete Murgatroyd, 2012