February 2, 2013 by Craig Sutherland
Who is Jock?
‘Jock’ is the pseudonym of British comics artist Mark Simpson, best known for his incredible work on The Losers, 2000AD and more recently Batman: Detective Comics. Jock has fast become hot property in Hollywood as a conceptual artist, he has seven film credits on IMDB (Children of Men, Hancock, The Losers, Hanna, Battleship, Dredd and G.I. Joe: Retaliation) and he is working on the new X-Men film Days of Future Past.
He began illustrating for British comic 2000AD in 1999 where he worked with Gordon Rennie, John Wagner and eventually Andy Diggle. After Jock and Diggle worked on Mega-City Undercover together for Judge Dredd Megazine they created ‘The Losers’.
The Losers (Vertigo Comics) ran for three years and 32 issues. The Losers are a special forces team betrayed by their handler Max and left for dead once their mission is complete, now looking for revenge and to clear their names from a CIA death list.
A film version of The Losers was released in 2010, Directed by Sylvian White. The film is an inoffensive romp, littered with great one-liners and fun action but probably enjoyed itself too much and struggled with comparisons with A-Team which was released shortly afterwards. It’s currently 49% Rotten on Rotten Tomatoes.
Sylvian White sought advice from Jock and Diggle on numerous elements of the film ”I would talk to Jock often, because he’s obviously got an amazing eye, and they came down during production. I’m actually talking to them almost every day right now, talking to Jock in terms of design. We included some of his design work into the design of the movie. I’m not going to give it away, but it’s certain little design elements that we use to introduce the characters or transition from one location to the next.”
$25 Million was spent on the production with the worldwide gross nearly hitting $30 Million.
Jock was the principal Concept Designer on Dredd (2012) for Pete Travis. Dredd has been well received, it’s 77% Fresh on rotten tomatoes although commercially it underperformed at the box office, but seems to be finding its audience on DVD. Dredd is a great piece of film-making and there are a lot of people hoping that we see a sequel soon…
I caught up with Jock a few days ago, here’s what we spoke about…
C: How did you get into illustration & design, did you go to art school?
J: ”I did a foundation course in Art + Design, but didn’t go on to do a degree. At the time, the kind of art I was into was very frowned upon in college.”
C: What did you think of the adaptation of The Losers?
J: ”I thought it was pretty good! There was a lot to like about it, but I did have issues with some of it. But I guess that’s bound to happen with any adaptation of your work. The tone surprised me – it was so light. THE LOSERS comic wasn’t exactly Shakespeare, but we were definitely going for drama and high stakes. But saying that, the movie has a great cast, so the team dynamics and humour was a lot of fun to watch.”
C: Your new Comic for Image Comics with Andy Diggle looks great, can you tell us a little bit about it?
J: ”SNAPSHOT is a 4 part thriller about a kid that works in a comic store in San Francisco, and one morning he finds a phone in Golden Gate park. When he checks through the content with his friend, he’s horrified to discover pictures of a murder victim. Right at that moment, the phone rings and it’s the SFPD on the line – They want the phone in conjunction with a murder enquiry. Jake is told to keep it safe while a detective is sent to pick it up. The guy that arrives at the comic store isn’t a cop, and he wants his phone back! It’s on sale Feb 6th from IMAGE COMICS.”
C: Lastly, i saw on your twitter that you were working on the new X-men movie, can you tell us what you’ve been involved in so far?
J: ”Mainly costume design at the moment. I can’t really say any more details than that I’m afraid!”
There you have it guys, Jock is working on the costume design for Bryan Singer’s new X-Men film, i bet they will look awesome!
Buy Jock’s books here
The Losers DVD available here
Jock’s MONDO work is sold through here
Buy Original art here
If all else fails, pester him here @jock4twenty
- Snapshot #1 Gets Second Printing (graphicpolicy.com)
- Andy Diggle & Jock Signing Snapshot #1 (geeksyndicate.co.uk)
- Contest: Stage a Murder, Win Original SNAPSHOT Art from Jock (ifanboy.com)
- Biff Bam Pop! Exclusive Interview: Writer Andy Diggle Takes A Snapshot (biffbampop.com)
- Bryan Singer talks Adapting Days of Future Past (marveldisassembled.com)
- ‘X-Men: Days Of Future Past’ Set Photo Shows Cerebro (splashpage.mtv.com)
- Halle Berry Returns As Storm in Singer’s “X-Men: Days of Future Past” (comicbookresources.com)