Benjamin Read – Interview

February 1, 2013


HoB will let you into a little secret, because y’know…you might not know this already; we love PORCELAIN: a gothic fairytale, the snippet we’ve managed to gobble of Butterfly Gate and all the folks at Improper Books.

Imagine our delight when the wonderfully passionate, friendly and mega-talented Benjamin Read took a bit or time out from writing comics and writing/producing films to answer a few of our HoBby questions. Needless to say that Ben’s fondness of tea had earned hima spot round HoB HQ for a brew anytime!


Describe yourself in five words

Scared of dying before finishing.


The best thing about creating something for other people is:

finding the courage not to. Best thing I ever did as a writer was stop writing for other people and start writing for me. I write the comics, books and films that are precisely what I would want to watch and read. The stuff that makes me go ‘ooh!’. I get a kick writing it, I’m generally much happier with the final product (well, as I’ll ever be – it can ALWAYS BE BETTER), and, remarkably, other people seem to like it too.


The best thing about creating something for myself is:

I may just have accidentally answered this. (sorry)


My biggest inspiration is.:

Bah. God, I don’t know. I read and watch everything I can get my hands on, preferably as far from my own genre-leanings as possible, then go for long walks and let it percolate. ‘Fresh air’ is probably the most honest response, but the Brothers Grimm have got a lot to answer for too.


Without ______ I wouldn’t be able to do what I do.

Tea. My sole remaining vice *sob*. The punctuation to my working day. (whisky is not a vice, but a medical necessity, so I don’t count it.)


Who or what can’t you get enough of at the mo’ ?

I do a lot of work to music,  so on my current constant replay list is Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s ‘The Heist’, which is the freshest hip hop album I’ve heard in a decade. I’m also head over heels for my mate Liz lawrence’s new album, Bedroom Hero. Sassy, heartfelt, songs tinged with a hundred hungover cigarettes. It just sounds like London to me and I’ve had it on repeat for weeks.


What’s your favourite kind of day?

This is: I particularly agree with the bits about walking, tea, and most of all: “And it is essential of the happy life that a man would have almost no mail and never dread the postman’s knock.”


What’s next?

God, loads. Porcelain comes out on Feb 27th in limited edition in the UK. Chris Wildgoose and I have 2 other projects in the pipeline – Butterfly Gate (our long-form sci-fi thing), and Briar, which takes us back into fairy tale territory but is, I promise, not like any interpretation you’ve seen before. I’m doing Night Post with Laura Trinder, our lovely, silent, tale of the Postman whose round starts at midnight and who has to deliver to the supernatural community. I’ve got a series of linked self-contained shorts coming up too – the first one’s called ‘Frost Fair’ and that’s with Alice Duke. There’s a stack of other unnannounced stuff as well; I’ve got a couple of artists I really want to work with this year so I’m grafting away on stuff for them now. Film-wise, Warhouse, my beloved first film (made with partner-in-crime, Luke Massey is just negotiating the final fences of distribution, 500 Miles North, our second film, is finishing post, and I’m just about to sit down and write the third to shoot this summer. Sometimes, the caffeine wears off long enough for me to sleep too.


Tell us something ace.

My dad has a small farm and he’s just fenced a portion of one of the fields off and we’re going to plant a wood. How ace is that?



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  1. […] getting. In addition to these lovely reviews, House of Betty has also done interviews with both Benjamin Read and Chris […]

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