Graham Nolan: Feeling the Sunshine

If you’ve ever wondered where characters like Bane from Batman are created then look no further. Graham Nolan is a master of the trade and with true skill he brings his creations to life. Graham has not only worked with DC and Marvel, but worked on such titles as  The Phantom Sunday strip, Rex Morgan, M.D., and created Monster Island, Joe Frankenstein, Sunshine State, and that’s to name but a few. I’m very proud to feature a true talent and discover the man behind the creations, so let’s go find out what Graham Nolan is up to.

David: Hi Graham, thank you so much for sharing your amazing work here at Don’t Pick the Flowers. You have an incredible amount of beautiful work, to start with, what’s it like in the day in the life of Graham Nolan, do you have a set schedule with all the things you have your hands in and what are the things that inspire your work?

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Click on image to enlarge

I have a pretty rigid schedule. I get up around 6:30am and have my coffee and breakfast. Check my e-mail then go to the gym. I like to start my day with a workout because it clears my head for the day as well as the health benefits of staying in shape. I actually sit down at the board around 10:30am to start my day. Generally Monday and Tuesday are set aside for (at the moment) JOE FRANKENSTEIN. Wednesday-Friday I work on REX MORGAN, M.D.

For inspiration, it depends on the project I am working on. I have so many different irons in the fire, that each one has a different inspiration.

David: Not long a go you started a web comic called “Sunshine State”, which I’ve heard you call your baby. Can you share a little about the comic and what was the influence behind it?

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Click on image to enlarge

SUNSHINE STATE is a humor strip about the whimsical adventures of two friends (Mel and Dink) as they try to navigate the encroaching technological 21st century. The world is such a busy, go-go-go, hurry up, sensory overloaded place these days that I wanted to create a strip that evoked, fun, relaxation and the feeling of vacation on the comic’s page. I grew up on the beach and a good part of that in Florida so that’s where I wanted to set my strip. Nothing relaxes me more than a day at the beach and I wanted that feeling to carry over into my strip. SUNSHINE STATE can be read on line as well in the FUNNIES EXTRA! papers around the country.

David: Having a lot of credit (The Phantom comic and Rex Morgan, M.D.) you are an excellent penciller, inker, letterer, and colorist, what are your favorite tools to work with when creating?

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Click on image to enlarge

I still do my work “old school”. I haven’t gone digital…yet. There are benefits to both but I enjoy the tactile feel of working with paper and ink and also having a piece of original artwork at the end. I enjoy the inking and coloring the most in the process. The penciling is heavy lifting work.

David: You recently had an Indiegogo project for an upcoming graphic novel “Joe Frankenstein” with Chuck Dixon (which I am proud to say I backed and looking forward to), what can we expect from this project in the future?

JOE FRANKENSTEIN is going to be a 120 pg graphic novel published by IDW and illustrated by me and co-written by Chuck Dixon and I. We are taking the Frankenstein mythos in a direction that has never been explored. JOE is the direct heir of the Frankenstein legacy…only he doesn’t know it. His entire life he’s been under the impression his name was Joe Pratt (that’s a nod to the great Boris Karloff who’s REAL name was William Henry Pratt) until the day his life is saved from a coven of vampires by an unknown benefactor who turns out to be the Frankenstein Monster. The Creature has been watching over Joe his whole life. Keeping him safe and out of the clutches of…The Bride, who needs Joe’s blood to achieve eternal life.

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Click on image to enlarge

This book is not a gore-fest but rather a classic horror/high-adventure story. We’re hoping to have it released for Halloween of 2013 but that will all depend on if I can get the art finished in time. But that’s what we’re shooting for.

David: You have been involved with comics for many years (DC, Marvel, and Eclipse). When did you decide this was the career choice for you and who are some of your cartooning hero’s that lead you in this direction? And with that what advice would you give to anyone who wanted to become involved in the comics world?

I wanted to write and draw comics since the 6th grade. It’s all I’ve every wanted to do. I’ve done lots of other stuff, advertising, illustration, package design, storyboards, but comics are where my heart is. I enjoy telling stories with pictures and making characters come to life.


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David: You have created many characters and one of the biggest being Bane from Batman with Chuck Dixon. Of all the characters you’ve created, do you have a favorite and what is it about that character that intrigues you the most? 

BANE is certainly the most well known. Now, thanks to The Dark Knight Rises, he is a pop culture icon. Chuck wrote Bane as a very complex character with an interesting layered background. It’s hard to say what character is my favorite because they all have a bit of me in them. The characters from MONSTER ISLAND tap into my love of aviation and Buz Sawyer comic strips. JOE FRANKENSTEIN taps into my love of monsters and adventure. If push came to shove and I had to pick, I’d have to say, Mel and Dink from SUNSHINE STATE. They are an amalgam of me almost entirely. You could probably find out a lot about me through them.

Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge

David: Inside the mind of Graham Nolan with Sunshine State and all of the fantastic characters and art that bring us into the stories. I really appreciate you sharing your work here and look forward to seeing more of the projects and work you will be giving us in the future! 

And for all of the fans and soon to be fans click on the links below to direct yourself to some of the fantastic creations of Graham Nolan.

Graham Nolan Website:

Sunshine State Comic:

Joe Frankenstein:

Funnies Extra:



About David Hurley

as the creator of Don't Pick The Flowers...
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