Kippax, West Yorkshire, England
|Breakfast After Noon
Slow News Day
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Andrew "Andi" Watson (born 1969) is a British cartoonist and illustrator best known for the graphic novels Breakfast After Noon, Slow News Day and his series Skeleton Key and Love Fights, published by Oni Press and Slave Labor Graphics.
He is currently writing and drawing children's books, notably the "Gum Girl" series.
Andi Watson was born in the Wakefield Infirmary and raised in Kippax, West Yorkshire by working class parents. He studied foundation art at Dewsbury college followed by a graphic design / illustration course at Liverpool Polytechnic (now Liverpool John Moores University). He currently lives in Stoke-on-Trent.
For his final degree show Watson produced the small press comic Samurai Jam along with t-shirts and bubble-gum cards. The comic was rooted in skateboarding and punk rock culture and artistically influenced by Japanese Manga, specifically Akira, and the American alternative comic Love and Rockets. Three issues were produced by 1993, photocopied with covers spray-painted with a stencil, which generated some interest within the British small press comics scene.
Watson approached various American publishers and was taken on by Dan Vado of Slave Labor Graphics in 1993 who published four issues of Samurai Jam. These were not a success, due in part to the wildly different art styles Watson employed with each issue, but Vado kept the door open and Watson returned in 1995 with Skeleton Key, a monthly 16-page comic that ran for 30 issues and cemented his reputation.
After Skeleton Key Watson moved to Oni Press with Geisha, a graphic novel about a robot girl artist. Rather than approach the issue of her being a robot Watson used the story to examine the ideas of fake and real. The book was an artistic bridge for Watson between the manga-inspired Skeleton Key and his current, more European, style.
The Geisha one-shot comic marked a dramatic shift in Watson's style, bringing in stylistic influences from European creators such as François Avril and Dupuy and Berberian, but retaining the slow pacing of long-form Manga. This came to fruition with Breakfast After Noon, a "slice of life" story set in the industrial city of Stoke-on-Trent in Britain. This was followed by the novella Dumped, a love story produced in association with the BIG festival in Turin.
Watson returned to Slave Labor in 2002 with Slow News Day, a graphic novel set around a small town British newspaper which dealt with English attitudes to Americans and the theme of big versus small audience.
He followed that with a one-shot featuring the fox spirit Kitsune from his earlier series Skeleton Key, this time in a tale set in medieval Japan, scripted by Woodrow Phoenix.
Recent solo work by Watson has been all-ages stories targeted at children/young adults. Glister is about the adventures of Glister Butterworth – girl-magnet for the weird and unusual who lives at Chilblain Hall. In Princess at Midnight, Holly Crescent leads a sheltered life as a home-schooled girl by day. By night she's Princess of Castle Waxing where she wages a perilous turf war with the Horrible Horde. Both series were published by Image Comics. Both series have since been republished. Glister was published in the UK in an altered, expanded form as a four-book series by Walker Books. Princess at Midnight is currently being serialised online.
Gum Girl, Watson's current work, features stories about a girl called Grace Gibson, who is a young superhero fighting strange villains in the town of Catastrophe. The four books in this series are published by Walker Books.
Work for hire
- Samurai Jam (Slave Labor, 1993, tpb The Complete Samurai Jam, 176 pages, 2003, ISBN 0-943151-74-0)
- Skeleton Key (1995):
- Skeleton Key v1 : Beyond The Threshold (96 pages, Slave Labor, 2000, ISBN 0-943151-12-0)
- Skeleton Key v2 : The Celestial Calendar (198 pages, Slave Labor, 1999, ISBN 0-943151-15-5)
- Skeleton Key v3 : Telling Tales (96 pages, Slave Labor, 2001, ISBN 0-943151-13-9)
- Skeleton Key v4 : Cats and Dogs (104 pages, Slave Labor, 2000, ISBN 0-943151-19-8)
- Skeleton Key v5 : Roots (104 pages, Slave Labor, 2000, ISBN 0-943151-26-0)
- Negative Burn: "Skeleton Key: Bring on the Clouds" #44 (Caliber Comics, 1997)
- Dark Horse Presents:
- "Skeleton Key" (in Dark Horse Presents No. 126, Dark Horse, 1997)
- Annual 1998: "Skeleton Key: Witch" (Dark Horse, 1998)
- "Dead Love" (with pencils by David Perrin and inks by Sandu Florea, in Dark Horse Presents No. 141, Dark Horse, 1999, collected in Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus volume 4)
- "Skeleton Key: Dead Can't Dance" (in Dark Horse Presents vol. 2 #5, Dark Horse, 2011)
- "Skeleton Key: Room Service" (in Dark Horse Presents vol. 2 #6, Dark Horse, 2011)
- "Skeleton Key: Lost Property" (in Dark Horse Presents vol. 2 #7, Dark Horse, 2011)
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer #1–11, 13–15, 17–19 (Dark Horse, 1998–2000) collected as:
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus volume 3 (328 pages, February 2008, ISBN 1-59307-885-4) collects previous collections:
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus volume 4 (368 pages, May 2008, ISBN 1-59307-968-0) collects previous collections:
- Geisha (Oni, 1998, tpb The Complete Geisha, 2003, ISBN 1-929998-51-1)
- Aliens vs Predator: Xenogenesis (with pencils by Mel Rubi and inks by Mark Lipka and Norman Lee, 4-issue mini-series, Dark Horse, 1999)
- Breakfast After Noon (200 pages, Oni, 2000, ISBN 1-929998-14-7)
- X-Men Unlimited No. 30 (with Mike Lilly and Jim Mahfood, Marvel, 2000)
- Bizarro Comics (DC Comics, 240 pages, hardcover, 2001, ISBN 1-56389-779-2, softcover, 2003, ISBN 1-56389-958-2):
- "The One That Got Away" (in Star Wars Tales, Dark Horse, 2001, collected in Star Wars Tales volume 2, May 2002, Dark Horse, ISBN 1-56971-757-5, Titan Books, ISBN 1-84023-442-3)
- Slow News Day (160 pages, Slave Labor, 2001, ISBN 1-59362-080-2)
- Dumped (56 pages, Oni, 2002, ISBN 1-929998-41-4)
- Grendel: Red, White, & Black #2: "Devil's Karma" (Dark Horse, 2002, tpb, 2005, ISBN 1-59307-201-5)
- Hellboy: Weird Tales #1: "Party Pooper" (Dark Horse, 2003, collected in Hellboy: Weird Tales volume 1, December 2003, ISBN 1-56971-622-6)
- Love Fights (2003):
- Namor (with co-author Bill Jemas, and pencils by Salvador Larroca and inks by Danny Miki, 12-issue series, Tsunami/Marvel, 2003)
- Kitsune Tales (with writer Woodrow Phoenix, 48 pages, Slave Labor, 2003, ISBN 0-943151-79-1)
- Little Star (176 pages, Oni, 2005, ISBN 1-932664-38-6)
- Paris (with art by Simon Gane, 5-issue limited series, Slave Labor, 2005–2006, tpb, 144 pages, August 2007, ISBN 1-59362-081-0)
- The Amazing Adventures of The Escapist #8: "Powder Burns" (Dark Horse, 2005)
- Put the Book Back on the Shelf: a Belle and Sebastian Anthology: "I Could Be Dreaming" (Image Comics, 2006)
- Clubbing (with Josh Howard, graphic novel, 176 pages, Minx, 2007, ISBN 1-4012-0370-1)
- Glister (3-issue mini-series, Image Comics, 2007, tpb, 64 pages, October 2007, ISBN 1-58240-884-X)
- Princess at Midnight (64 pages, graphic novel, Image Comics, 2008, ISBN 1-58240-928-5)
- 15 Love (with artist Tommy Ohtsuka, 3-issue mini-series, Marvel, 2011)
- Glister and the Haunted Teapot (64 pages, graphic novel, Walker Books, 2010 ISBN 978-1406320480)
- Glister and the House Hunt (80 pages, graphic novel, Walker Books, 2010, ISBN 978-1406320497)
- Glister and the Faerie Host (80 pages, graphic novel, Walker Books, 2010, ISBN 978-1406320503)
- Glister and the Family Tree (80 pages, graphic novel, Walker Books, 2011, ISBN 978-1406320510)
- Gum Girl: Catastrophe Calling! (64 pages, graphic novel, Walker Books, 2012, ISBN 978-1406329391)
- Gum Girl: The Tentacles of Doom! (64 pages, graphic novel, Walker Books, 2012, ISBN 978-1406329407)
- Gum Girl: Countdown to Destruction! (64 pages, graphic novel, Walker Books, 2013, ISBN 978-1406329414)
- Gum Girl: Music, Mischief and Mayhem! (64 pages, graphic novel, Walker Books, 2013, ISBN 978-1406329421)
- Princess Decomposia and Count Spatula (176 pages, graphic novel, Roaring Brook Press, 2015, ISBN 978-1-62672-149-4)
- Official website
- Andi Watson on Myspace
- Andi Watson at Oni Press
- Andi Watson at Marvel.com
- Preview of Paris at Slave Labor Graphics