Interview With Modern Monstrosity Comics’ Oliver Lambden

When looking around Artists Alley at the MCM Expo, you’ll see comic books and Manga on a variety of different topics, meaning standing out from the crowd can be a challenge for artists. One of the more eye catching comics of the past few years at the MCM Expo was a short comic titled Curtis And Terrorist, a series of single page images designed to provide a satirical look at the subject of terrorism. I was recently able to interview Modern Monstrosity Comics’ Oliver Lambden about his past works, his future plans and what we can expect from him at MCM in the future.

Laura: For those who don’t know, could you tell us a little about yourself? How did you get into writing comics? How did you get where you are today?

Oliver: Hello! My name’s Oliver Lambden and I’ve been sporadically self publishing comic books for about seven years now. Me and my good friend, Laurence Powell started out with a comic called Tales From The Flat, selling it at various conventions around the country and I’ve since made other comics with various people I’ve met via those events, such as The Dan Lester Mysteries with Dan Lester and BLOC with Oli Smith.

Laura: My first introduction to your comics was Curtis and Terrorist. Where did the idea for that come from?

Oliver: It’s a reaction to the scaremongering that came from some of the more sensationalist news outlets in the months and years after the attacks on the World Trade Centre. I remember drawing a little sketch of an evil Mister Men type character shouting “I am Terrorist, give me your babies!” not long after it all happened. Years later I rediscovered it and spun the idea into a short mini-comic. I started using the word Terrorism as a metaphor for things like cheap celebrity and corrupt politics as well.

Laura: Do you ever encounter writers block? If so, how do you overcome it?

Oliver: I think I’ve been suffering a general creative block for quite some time now! I’m definitely far less active on the scene than I used to be and I think it comes mainly from getting myself a “proper” job a while back, as well as being really slack with my time management when I’m not working soul crushing 13 hour shifts. Time is always available for making comics; it’s just a matter of making the most of that time, which I don’t do enough. In terms of overcoming some sort of creative block, I find the best medicines are just immersing myself in good books, comics and films, or if I’m stuck on something specific, I reckon a good long walk always does the trick.

Laura: Do you have anything new in the works you can tell us about? If so, when can we expect to see it?

Oliver: I’ve been saying it every year since the last issue came out (which was, embarrassingly, back in 2007), but this year is definitely going to be the year that Tales From The Flat comes back from the dead. We’ll have both issues eight and nine out, which wrap up the story that was set-up in issue seven (FIVE years ago!) and we’re printing new, sexier versions of the first two volumes which collect issues #1 – #3 and #4 – #6. Hopefully, the first volume will be ready for the MCM event in London in May as well as a new Curtis and Terrorist comic called Curtis and Terrorist In Space.

Laura: Can you explain more about Tales From The Flat for those who don’t know about it ?

Oliver: Me and Laurence dreamt up TFTF when we were about fifteen. It’s the product of a fine diet of Kevin Smith movies and Jim Mahfood comics throughout our teens. We like to label it as an action/adventure sit-com. It’s about four childhood friends who share a flat in a kind of an alternate reality version of London, so there’s all the usual flat sharing malarky going on as well as the occasional epic brawl with demons, robots, chav ninjas and gangsters. One of their best friends is also an upcoming superhero trying to make a name for herself in a very competitive superhero industry where corporate sponsorship is a must if you want to get anywhere. I can definitely say, with no ego whatsoever, that despite there not being much new TFTF material in quite some time, that it remains one of the best self published comics in the UK. Ever 😉

Laura: How should we expect Curtis and Terrorist in Space to differ from Curtis and terrorist, besides the obvious?

Oliver: The first Curtis and Terrorist comic was just a series of unconnected gags. Curtis and Terrorist in Space is going to be a full, proper story with a beginning, middle and an end. It’s also told with pretty much no dialogue at all. I’m a big fan of wordless or “silent” comic books and just letting the pictures do all the work. And for anyone else who’s a fan of wordless comics, I recommend picking up BLOC by myself and Doctor Who computer game and novel writer, Oli Smith. It’s a good ‘un.

Laura: What plans do you have for your website when it’s back online?

Oliver: I’ve been slowly tinkering away with it behind the scenes and it should be back in action this summer. It’ll have a bit more content this time around. There wasn’t really much to get your teeth into before.

Laura: What sort of reception do you get at conventions, in particular the MCM Expo?

Oliver: We’ve been on the scene long enough now to have picked up a nice little following, so it’s always good to see familiar faces at all the events we go to, even if we don’t have anything brand new out. The MCM shows always have large, varied audiences and they were a breath of fresh air when we first started attending them in 2006 (compared to some of the other events we were exhibiting at). Back then, there weren’t many other people like us selling self published comic books but it’s gone from strength to strength over the years and I reckon a large percentage of people who pick up my comics were probably introduced to them through the MCM shows.

Laura: Do you have any plans to attend MCM events in the future?

Oliver: Yup! I’ll be at the next London event in May and most definitely again in October.

Laura: Do you have any final words?

Oliver: I have nothing to declare.


You can see examples of Modern Monstrosity Comics‘ work at the London MCM Expo this coming May.

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