• Barin

    Kyle Platts: Megaskull

Illustration

Hilarious, obscene and magnificent – If you read one thing this year, make it Megaskull by Kyle Platts

Posted by Liv Siddall,

Without beating around the puke-covered bush, this is one of the most horrible, brilliant, obscenely magnificent publications ever to plop through the door of It’s Nice That. Kyle Platts, whose work we came across at the Camberwell Degree Show last year and totally swooned over, has created a whole comic book and has published it through the good people at NoBrow much to the delight of all his fans.

Dealing with backstreet abortion, BetFred addiction, nursing homes and video games, this big dribbling mess of alarmingly brilliant illustration is going to skyrocket Kyle to fame. He kindly let us ask him a few questions about the publication.

So this book is quite an achievement! Tell us a little about it.

Thanks very much! The book is an amalgamation of all the things I enjoy in comics – humour, violence, obscure characters and for those who read a little deeper, a bit of social commentary. As someone with a short attention span, I thought what it would take to keep myself engaged in a narrative for more than one page, so I’ve kept these comics short and punchy.

How long has Megaskull taken you to complete?

It’s taken six intensive months to make, constantly inventing characters and scenarios. Every page took hours to draw and separate for Litho printing. I was pretty strict with myself in terms of quality control, I would say there is probably a whole other book’s worth of ideas in the bin.

I developed a lot as an illustrator in these six months. I can see a difference in the comics I created at the start of the project, and the ones I created much later on, in terms of composition and my ability to tell a story.

  • Meg_slide01

    Kyle Platts: Megaskull

What is it about the book format you prefer to individual prints and images? 

There are so many elements to design, I love creating the front and back cover, the end papers, and the spine. I get a lot of satisfaction from working towards a larger outcome. When you see the finished product it is so gratifying!

Did you read any comics as a kid?

When I was 11 years old I discovered 2000 AD comics. They were the first comics I had ever seen with such gratuitous violence. When I think about it they probably had more of an influence on my work than I realised. But before I discovered comics I was always drawing, especially in school when I was supposed to be working. I’d rush through the written work so that I could accompany the text with little illustrations. History was my favourite, I loved drawing all the battle scenes.

The people featured in Megaskull are not often the most glamourous or desirable characters, how do you come up with them all?

Well that’s probably because they are all based on real people, I am interested in finding humour in the unfortunate, not in a sadistic way, I just have a great affection for dark humour. Most of my content comes from things that I see as being morose elements of our society, like talent shows, betting shops, and payday loans companies. I make lots of notes in my sketchbook – I might see something funny happen at Camberwell Green, and then I will think about the worst case scenario that might make it even funnier.

  • 3

    Kyle Platts: Megaskull

  • 1

    Kyle Platts: Megaskull

If you could give Megaskull to one person to read, who would it be?

I’d be very embarrassed to do so, but I would love to give a copy to punk poet John Cooper Clark. He’s had a big influence on the comics I make, I love how he can make such melancholic material so humorous. I saw him at Latitude this year, he’s still razor sharp!

Are you hatching any plans for future projects or giving your hand a rest?

I have just given myself a bit of downtime back in Sheffield where I’m from, but there are already a few projects that have been in waiting that I need to get on with. I will be creating limited edition comics for Blast Skateboards, a new skateboarding company set up by my friend the Illustrator Matt Bromley.

One will be given away with every board. Me and two friends (Lisa & Tida Finch) have been plotting a new project, I don’t want to give too much away but it involves illustration and fashion. It’s going to be fun. The whole year I have been longing to doing some painting, so maybe I will get a chance at that in between now and the next Megaskull.

  • 4

    Kyle Platts: Megaskull

  • 5

    Kyle Platts: Megaskull

  • 2
  • 6

    Kyle Platts: Megaskull

Ls-300

Posted by Liv Siddall

Liv joined It’s Nice That as an intern in 2011 and is now one of our editors. She oversees itsnicethat.com and has a particular interest in illustration, photography and music videos. She is also a regular guest and sometime host on our Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Illustration View Archive

  1. Main7

    There was a time when we at It’s Nice That were inundated with internet art – we were having so much submitted to us on a daily basis that it was pouring out of our ears in waxy gifs. It’s pleasing to be faced with it again, a year or two after the craze has kind of died out, when it’s created by someone who actually has a passion and an eye for this stuff and isn’t just jumping on a weird bandwagon.

  2. Main

    Considering I love smoking, guitars, bright colours and farts, I’m pretty overwhelmed by how great this work by Spanish illustrator Puño is. In a recent exhibition entitled Miseria the multi-faceted artist stuck drawings and coloured squares all over the walls much to the delight of his seemingly really good-looking friends who came to see it. Work like this, made in the gaps between Puño’s rather professional editorial illustration, is just joyous isn’t it? You can almost imagine him grinning as he cut out the yellow butts and sticky-out legs from the pastel-coloured paper. Don’t even get me started on this GIF that he made. You can see some shots of the exhibition plus arty French babes over here

  3. Main9

    Edward Cushenberry actually wrote to me to show me a really interesting photography project he’s working on at the moment. Unfortunately that was about the millionth interesting photography project we had seen this week, but one thing we were a bit short on was brilliant, entertaining, lo-fi illustration we could relate to. Let’s give a warm welcome then to Edward’s comics in which he deals with traumatic or memorable experiences from his own memory, or borrowed from this friends. His drawings cover such life topics as How to Properly Bury A Turtle and that awkward moment when the girl you kissed says that making out with you was “like drinking a glass of water.” Classic. Edward’s got his fingers in a lot of creative pies, but I’d say these comics were our personal favourites.

  4. Sdlist

    Girls just wanna… doodle! Celebrities including Yoko Ono, Sarah Silverman, Pussy Riot and Courtney Love are backing a Kickstarter project to inspire girls to get drawing. Confidence, curiosity, courage and creativity are terms being bandied around by the School of Doodle, which will be “a free online high school for the imagination” where teen girls can take part in lessons taught by artists or peers. It might sound a little cheesy, but with brilliant creatives like artist John Baldessari, Kim Hasreiter, founder of Paper magazine, and Salman Rushdie signed up as teachers, it promises great things.

  5. List_2

    It’s not especially often that creatives flock to Cornwall en masse, but the little nook of England has been awash with activity this weekend due to Port Eliot festival, featuring musicians, artists, fashion designers and journalists. It also saw the launch of The Girl Who Fell to Earth, a story written by Luella Bartley and illustrated by Zoë Taylor, a graphic artist we make no secret of our love for.

  6. Main

    It’s not only the level of detail in Laurie Lipton’s drawings which is crazy; the illustrations are too. With charcoal and pencil she creates bonkers worlds in black and white which look like pictures for a short story written by the love child of Charles Dickens and George Orwell. The blacking factory meets Big Brother.

  7. List

    Ping Zhu is a force to be reckoned with in the world of illustration. Not only is she talented, mastering an inimitable style in every way imaginable, and then using it as very efficient bait to reel in the big clients, The Sunday Times, Pentagram and Nobrow included, but she’s also future proof – developing her style with every project she undertakes to make her as exciting as she is reliable, and delivering consistently good work to a broad spectrum of briefs.

  8. Mt101top

    There’s some schadenfreude at play in Masami Tsukishima’s illustrations. His series Life Of A Salesman follows lonely suited blokes trudging to and from work, talking on their phones and lugging their suitcases. I like how he plays with the angles of his illustrations; life is literally an uphill struggle for some of these poor office drones, as they plod along lanes slanting up and away from them. There’s also some sort of alternate universe in the series, where trains go up in flames and spread-eagled salesmen fall through the sky and run away from looming giant iPhones. One second the salesmen are sedately reading their emails, the next everything has spiralled out of control. The sentiment is a tongue-in-cheek 21st century Japanese rendering of “Slough”. I’m guessing Masami Tsukishima doesn’t wear a suit to work.

  9. Glaserlist

    We adore this article from NYT’s T Magazine today, in which a heap of creatives sing hallelujah for old school artistic tools, with brilliant illustrations to boot.

  10. List

    There are several reasons why we love Kyle Pellet and everything that comes out of his Pellet Factory, but first and foremost on the list is that his work is good, plain, unadulterated fun. There’s no need to muse on his choice of medium, or the narratives which seem to run from one image to the next, or the squishy-faced characters who pop up again and again, because why would you when you can look at them, laugh and imagine you’re running through a gallery with a pack of assorted animals? Turns out he’s been incredibly busy churning out work at an impressive rate, so here’s an update on what he’s been up to! If you’re curious, you can also check out five of his favourite books over here on his bookshelf.

  11. Gflist

    Doodling isn’t just for school kids. It’s about discovery. “It’s a healthy way to let it all out, with no restrictions or external rules,” says Guy, a designer and illustrator. “You just go for it.” Every single page of his sketchbooks is packed with faces, animals, monsters, questions and squiggles. “Sometimes you’ll draw a face or a hand or a dog in a way you’ve never seen or done before and that’s always a good feeling. And sometimes you just make yourself laugh!”

  12. Main9

    Scrolling through Marcel George’s hand-painted watercolour illustrations is like going on safari. Lipsticks hiding behind palm fronds, flamingos stalking around sunglasses, the Lacoste crocodile roaring at trainers.

  13. Dadulist

    There’s something otherworldly about Dadu Shin’s illustrations. Miniature people wander about an overgrown fairy-tale forest, an avatar-like hand reaches out into a tie-dye galaxy, a man walks a lonely path over rocks which form the silhouette of a woman’s face.