Comic artist shifts job description to comic writer is a well-trodden path. Comic artists are, after all, visual storytellers. Comic artist becomes fantasy novelist however, is a far more unusual tangent. If you've been a fan of Liam Sharp's Frank Frazetta meets HR Giger-esque comic art - muscled barbarians mixed with Blade Runner neon and detritus-swept colour schemes - you'll know that this is a creator with a distinct vision, dedicated to creating tangible other worlds. God Killers is Sharp fleshing these fantasy landscapes out, giving them detail and life.
It's something he does remarkably well. The main strength of the prose and poetry collection God Killers, and its near 200 page central story, Machivarius Point, is how fully formed Sharp's fantasy feels. The different races, the descriptions of the architecture, the history of its worlds - Sharp's commits them with great confidence. God Killers does that most difficult thing in fantasy fiction. It absorbs its influences -China Mieville (who offers a praising cover quote and gave advice on the proof), Lovecraft and M John Harrison - but feels like a personal, unaffected realisation nonetheless.
That same strength is also its relatively minor weakness. Sharp sometimes gets caught up in descriptive passages when the plot should move on. He knows how to tease a reader though - Hergal, his warrior central character (a healthily macho, sword-skilled protagonist) travels across other worlds and inhabits other lives but can't recall why, and Sharp is skilfully economic in how he reveals the truth. When the finale comes it's suitably epic, dealing with eternity, nothingness and `vile space'. It would be too easy to describe God Killers as a promising debut. Sharp writes fantasy with the assurance of an otherworld-seeing prophet.
Rob Williams -- SFX magazine, May 2009
About the Author
Liam Sharp was born in Derby in 1968. He went to School at Brackensdale Junior, and then Infants School, before moving to Allestree Lawn Junior School due to his parents work. At the suggestion of his teachers he was advised to meet with the Gifted Children's Society, who in turn advised St. Andrew's Prep School in Meads, Eastbourne, to take Sharp on and establish their first Art Scholarship. He then went on to win the first Art Scholarship to Eastbourne College, where he stayed until his A Levels. He made his debut as a comic strip artist in the famous science-fiction magazine 2000 AD during the late 1980s after a year's apprenticeship with the legendary strip illustrator Don Lawrence, artist on the seminal Dutch comic 'Storm'. His works included many Judge Dredd stories, the origin of Finn, an ABC Warriors series, and one of Tharg's Future Shocks. Sharp then moved to Marvel UK, for which he drew the famous mini-series Death's Head II. Thereafter he began working mainly in the United States on books as diverse as X-Men, The Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man, Venom, Man-Thing (for Marvel Comics), Superman, Batman for DC Comics, and Spawn: The Dark Ages (for Todd McFarlane's Image comics). Sharp has also worked on more mature themed books for Verotik, doing GOTH, Jaguar God and Frank Frazetta's "The Death Dealer". He briefly worked on a strip originated by Stan Winston called 'Realm of the Claw'. Later he co-created the Wildstorm series 'The Possessed' with writer Geoff Johns. Sharp recently illustrated the controversial and critically acclaimed DC Vertigo comic series 'Testament' which he co-created with best-selling New York based author Douglas Rushkoff, and is now providing the art for the DC/Wildstorm title based on the smash-hit video game 'Gears of War' - DC biggest print run of 2008. Sharp is involved with a UK Midland-based art movement Beardism, certain elements of which are similar to Dadaism. The practitioners are required to wear beards, though this can be interpreted as symbolic. A recent exhibition was held in the Crompton Arms, a Derby public house and alternative art gallery, featuring the work of Sharp, Ali Pow3rs, Adam Dutton and Chris Tree. Sharps next book, 'Andrew Wilmingot's PARADISE REX PRESS, INC.' directly ties in to this movement. Liam lives in Derby with his wife, three children, and cat.