Christopher Brayshaw: I think I see correspondences with the work of artists like Egon Schiele or Klimt's very early pictures. For instance, Klimt's use of flat, two-dimensional space to abstract a pattern into creating a flat design unit on the surface of the page. And in some of Schiele's anatomical drawings, some of the nudes, that quality of line and the kind of knottedness to the figure I think corresponds with some of your line work.

Dave McKean: Yeah.

CB: Those would have been people you would have been looking at in art school as well?

DM: Yes. In art school, particularly, I liked Klimt. And then the further I got through art school, starting to work two or three years after leaving art school, I preferred Schiele. I still loved his landscapes a lot. But,the very, very decorative gold-leaf stuff, I've gone off it to a degree. I mean, it's wonderful, and he's an incredible draughtsman. But the more I looked at Schiele's stuff, the more he seemed to communicate. His state of mind I was fascinated by. His line work is just haunting. I can't really think of words to describe it. You have to look at them. I don't know anybody who draws better, ultimately. Through art school and since, I've looked at anything and everything I can get my hands on and you know, looking at those drawings, I just have never seen better. Just extraordinary.

It's very hard, really. It's very hard when you see something like that. And you think, "Well, that's it, really. He's done it." Part of what I do is drawing things, and here's this man who's made these perfect drawings. It's hard to block that out. It's hard to deliberately find something else, when you know damn well it's not going to be as good. Or, that's what you feel. So he's hard to shake.

Christopher Brayshaw interviews Dave McKean, from The Comics Journal #196, June 1997