Meet ASH COLLINS, and find out how he created the fantastic illustrations as seen in the MAXIMUM GALACTIC TRUMPAGE card game…
Ash Collins is a 2D Animator/Illustrator, versed in the ‘occult’ (digital) arts, ‘dragged up in Wales and living in London with my fiancée, two small, destructive children and a terrified cat’. He describes his work life as ‘doing some freelance here and there when I'm not wiping various foodstuffs off the furniture and/or walls’.
How and when did you first find out about Kangazang?
I was catching the train from Pontypridd to Cardiff with my fiancée every morning, and would often get on the same train as Mr. Cooper. It was upon those rain-sodden journeys that he imparted to us the details of this book he was writing...
What’s your connection to Terry?
I met Terry when I was studying animation at Glamorgan University; he was doing CG animation, a year ahead of me, so I just thought, ‘Oh, another CG animator…’ It wasn't long before I discovered that he was some kind of artist/animator/voice artist/rapper/prop maker/actor extraordinaire. Talented git. I live too far away to see him in person anymore, so I have to rely on the internet in order to harass and antagonise him. (You know, as friends do, right?)
When you read Kangazang, what were your thoughts?
I read the book, and I thought, ‘this has everything I need’. (I.E: sci-fi and comedy). Being 'fortunate' enough to hail from the valleys, I got a big laugh out of the Welsh idiosyncrasies, as well as the little hat-tips to various bits of geek culture and pop culture throughout. It's full of memorable characters and dramatic moments, not to mention heart, and - importantly - laugh out loud slapstick. Well it's important to me!
Regarding books/TV/movie, what genres do you usually prefer?
Comedy. Sci-fi. That kind of thing. I generally need lots of guns and to be made to laugh like a maniac. You have a deep, romantic subplot? Get lost. But I ain't no stranger to classical literature. For reals.
If you found yourself responsible for casting some of the characters in a movie version, who would you pick?
That's a tough one; Terry already mentioned a few actors he had in mind when creating these characters, and he mentioned a lot more when we were discussing the art for the Maximum Galactic Trumpage cards, so I automatically think of those people now! (Jeff will always be Marc Warren in my mind, and Ray is naturally Bill Bailey).
The idea of Matt Berry as philandering Rev. Wilson really tickles me though, as well as Martine McCutcheon as the bald cockney queen Shelley.
As the trilogy draws to a close in the third book, what kind of ending would you like to see?
A happy one, innit? Jeff got off to a sad enough start, I think he needs a happy ending. And I don't have time for open endings - I get distracted so easily, and I don't need to be wandering around musing about a book's ending weeks after I've read it. Headache.
Then again, the books are so much fun, that paving the way for more could only be a good thing...
Have you heard any of the Audiobook?
I have not! I can't concentrate on being read to while I'm doing things, and if I'm sitting still, it's faster to read! Although I see that it's read by Doctor Who legend Colin Baker, so I may be persuaded yet...
If you were to write something, what would you write about?
I'm far too self-critical for that. Anything I write, I immediately declare plagiarised or trite and bin it. Because it is. Although if I could wrestle an original story onto paper, it would probably be about the things covered above (Comedy & Sci-Fi). And even then it would probably turn out to be Kangazang. You know what? I think I'll leave this writing lark to the pros.