Andrew Dobson AKA Tom Preston Interview

The MCM Expo in London always draws in a variety of different artists, each with different inspirations, styles and themes. There are comics about the zombie apocolypse, manga about fighting ancient demons and artists who specialise in drawing caricatures and portraits. I was lucky enough to be able to interview Andrew Dobson, known on deviantART as Tom Preston, who makes comics about video games, life as a comic artist and even does the artwork for a comic based on the comedic video game songwriter brentalfloss (whom we interviewed on MCM Buzz recently). He talks about his artistic influences, working with brentalfloss, his future plans and more.

Laura: For those who don’t know you, could you introduce yourself?

Andrew: My name is Andrew Dobson and I am a freelance cartoonist.

Laura: Some people will know you more by the name Tom Preston, what made you decide to work under that name?

Andrew: That is probably my geekiest answer. Peter Preston was the name of Scotty’s nephew in Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Kahn. When I was younger I made Star Trek home movies with my friends from school and I needed a character name. I’ve always liked the name Tom, and for some reason Peter Preston stood out to me in the movie… put them together and you get Tom Preston.

Laura: How would you describe your comic “So, You’re A Cartoonist?”

Andrew: So, You’re A Cartoonist” is a semi-autobiographical comic, as I point out the problems that cartoonists face everyday and attempt to parody the struggles and frustrations many of us go through trying to turn a hobby into a job.

Laura: What are your artistic influences?

Andrew: I’ve always been drawn to the clear line style employed by Hergé and the majority of classical 2-D animations. I really like the simple linework, the bold bright colors, and the desire to maintain reader clarity at all costs. It’s not the sort of thing I see influencing a lot of comics today.

Laura: Who were your favorite artists growing up?

Andrew: Hergé, Walt Disney, Jeff Smith, Jim Davis, Rumiko Takahashi, and Hayao Miyazaki are the biggest ones I think.

Laura: You had a lot or aggression pointed at you for some of your political cartoons. How do you feel about the reaction you got? What effect did the reactions have on how you made comics going forward?

Andrew: Honestly the aggression targeted at my political stuff is actually pretty easy to deal with. It’s odd but I never really had a problem with people voicing differences of opinions regarding political matters, messy though they might get at times. I think it’s actually very healthy to do and I look forward to being able to continue making more of them soon.

Laura: Do you encounter artist’s block? if so, how do you overcome it?

Andrew: Artist’s block was a bit more of a problem when being a cartoonist wasn’t my full time job. Now that I’ve got deadlines and goals and due dates and the like, it’s become far less of an issue. If I ever encounter an artist’s block I look for something else to work on for a while. Play some Minecraft, read some comics, watch a movie, etc. The best advice I can give is to not force yourself through it and just let it come to you naturally.

Laura: What is it like working with Brent Black and Dan Roth on the brentalfloss comics? How do your thought processes compare?

Andrew: I love it. It was a little challenging at first because I was not used to working with other people, but having that difference of opinion has really helped push me forward. They (Brent and Dan) also seem to love to give me challenges every week, pushing me to draw more detailed and specifically than I would otherwise on my own.

Laura: What can you tell us about your future plans?

Andrew: I have two websites I want to start up. One involving a story I’ve been planning for years, and another dedicated entirely to political and geek themed comics. Both are still in the early phases of development, but I am rather excited about being able to start them soon.

Laura: What can we expect to see from you at the London MCM Expo in May?

Andrew: I’ll primarily be selling my various books, many of which aren’t readily available in England.

Andrew’s art can be seen on his deviantART page here.

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50 Comments

  1. Guy says:

    You should have asked him about when he pretended to be a girl and drew inflation fetish artwork.

    • Fuckmyface says:

      He was pretending to be an underage girl who drew inflation art. Don’t forget his lesbian comic Patty. Who better to know the trials and tribulations of a sexually confused teenage girl then a balding 30 year old.

  2. Livi says:

    DON’T FORGET ANIME. HE RIPS OFF I MEAN INSPIRED BY ANIME.

    • FreddyJones says:

      Since the hell when? And how is it possible to “rip off” an entire genre? That’s like saying Vincent Van Gogh ripped off impressionism.

      • taburde says:

        Thank you fro proving that someone on the internet has a decent counter-argument. This made me a little bit happier.

      • Talus says:

        1) Rumiko Takahashi Hammerspace
        2) Chinless mouths in Alex Ze Pirate
        3) A dwarf-like old guy pervert character who steals panties
        4) Ranma’s facial expressions
        5) And many, many more….

  3. Unreal Air says:

    Still couldn’t find the joke

  4. Sneezes says:

    Why does he keep calling himself a cartoonist… he doesn’t even make cartoons…

  5. Ubiquitous says:

    Should’ve asked him about his behaviour towards criticism and how he thinks improving one’s art shouldn’t be a goal.

  6. Jebuscombat says:

    Did he mention the hard man on man sex he had with Tim Buckley?

    • Gary Busey levels of insane says:

      But Mookie is Buckley’s lover! OH NO
      BUCKLEY IS A CHEATER!
      SOMEONE INFORM TVTROPES OF A LOVE TRIANGLE INVOLVING INFLATION FETISHIST AND A MISCARRIAGE GUY

  7. Kaydee says:

    Oh, look, trolls. Don’t you all have a dungeon to be infesting?

  8. Dragon Lord says:

    i don’t get the whole hatin’ here… how about letting someone do what he likes? if you don’t like it, then get lost…

    • Guest says:

      “Stop disliking what I like” – Dragon Lord

      • EnragedDragon says:

        No. How about: If you don’t like it, leave it alone.” Dragon Lord is basically telling you that you’re wasting your time criticizing someone whose art you hate when you could be doing something you actually enjoy.

        • Guest says:

          And you……you’re wasting your time criticizing someone whose criticizing someone’s art you hate when you could be doing something you actually enjoy.

          • EnragedDragon says:

            I was, until I got to the comments. I just wanted to make a point. 🙂

          • George W Bush says:

            Stop disliking the guy who dislikes what I dislike!

          • AntiDisliker says:

            Stop disliking the guy who dislikes the guy who dislikes the guy who dislikes what I dislike!

          • EnragedDragon says:

            LOL! Even funnier!

          • EnragedDragon says:

            Wow. I must be losing it to talk like that. Oh, wait…. I already have for being here in the first place.

          • EnragedDragon says:

            Hmm. Seems to me you could have come up with something better to retort with…. But that was rather funny! Good one!

  9. InflatorGator99 says:

    Andrew Dobson a.k.a. CattyN, us forumers from Bodyinflation.org will miss you dearly. You’re such a diamond in our community

  10. PrestonBlimp says:

    This *edited for offensive content* couldn’t draw *edited for offensive content* even if his pathetic life depended on it.

    • EnragedDragon says:

      He drew Big Ben…. without tracing it.

      • Guest says:

        ……..after being pressured to prove it. Note that he did not use the un-traced Big Ben drawing in the poster. Instead, he stuck with the Photoshopped version. La-la-la-laaaaazy!

  11. EnragedDragon says:

    Really? Seriously?

  12. Aaron Poehler says:

    So terrible.

  13. Kelly F. says:

    The trolls are so pathetic.
    Anyway, nice interview! 😀

  14. Jasmine H. says:

    So you’re a cartoonist? Andre Dobson is anything but. Read his comics and see that they’re nothing but strawmen set up by a horrifically angry, holier-than-thou mediocre “artist” who doesn’t know the first thing about the subject he’s writing about.

  15. RandomArtist says:

    Protip for every young aspiring artist here: Don’t be like Preston (he’s anything but a professional). Unless you truly want to be a mediocre artist you too.

  16. EnragedDragon says:

    I hope he can perform his pretzel-eating skills at MCM so Tom Pretzel will be canon.

  17. Habwjshwjsbsj says:

    Srsly MBuzz? Do your research before you decide to give one of the most pathetic and legitimately unlikeable quote unquote ‘artist’ on youtube before you put the spotlight on him.

  18. Where's Darwin? says:

    How awful to be so filled with hatred! I truly feel sorry for all of you who can do nothing but spew venom. I don’t care what you think; obviously you are starving artists who have nothing to do but sit around and wallow in your own self-pity and self-hatred. Wow! Life’s just too short to hate that much. You sure gave me a wake-up: be kind if nothing else.

  19. NetscapePizza says:

    Oh another interview with a White CIS Male what a surprise…

    • Atbob says:

      He is a white CIS male yes, but he’s also a feminist… Or so he says. I’d take a look at his Twitter “adobsoncomics” and you can judge for yourself.

      Basically, he’s the type of person who will never admit he’s at fault and instead blames the rest of the world for things not going his way (because he doesn’t want to put any effort into it.)

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