These days based in Tokyo, Skye Ogden is the art director for Perth’s ground-breaking Gestalt Comics, as well as a freelance illustrator. He made his graphic novel debut with VOWELS, a 2008 Gold Ledger-winning book that examines the human condition through eyes not human at all. Ogden also illustrated zombies in Ancient Rome for Gestalt’s Rombies series — the first edition of which was written by Tom Taylor.
“I have a hand, one way or other, in helping every Gestalt book see the light of day. I’ve done a lot of comics outside of them for third-party clients, but you might know me for VOWELS, Wastelander Panda, and Rombies — which I’m currently working on again after a long hiatus.”
Why did you start making comic books?
“I’d always wanted to work at Marvel or DC. Being a barefooted kid from the Kimberley made that dream seem so far away. That is — until I decided to move to a city to study advertising, design, multimedia and illustration. I’d read that artist Scott Campbell wanted to get into comics, so he studied design as a bridge to get into them. Therefore, I was doing the same.
“After graduating from Curtin University, I had already met Wolfgang Bylsma — who has an intense love of comics. He and I having the same dream of working in comics decided us to just do it. We created our own comic book company [Gestalt] and jumped into the void, learning as we went.”
Who were your local comic book influences?
“I’d collected a lot of local books when I lived in Australia like Platinum Grit, Hairbut the Hippo, Cyber-Swine — where is that? That was awesome — Greener Pastures, Da ‘n‘ Dill, and anything Gary Chaloner did.
“I had the great privilege of doing work-experience at Cyclone Comics, and everything that Gary taught me there shaped my thinking going forward. Gary, of course, worked on Flash Damingo, Red Kelso, Will Eisner’s John Law, Planet of the Apes, GI Joe, and more. Like I said, anything that he worked on, I’d try to find and read.”
“I’m a friend of, and big fan of Tom Taylor, actually, and very lucky to get to work with him I think. But I respect anyone from Australia sticking to their dream of making comics — because I know just how hard it is.”