Welcome to DOOM! Magazine’s new interview series, Create:Comics. These discussions with the artists and writers who bring our favorite heroes and villains, cibopaths and psychopaths, mutants and zombies to life aim to illuminate the process and personalities behind the shiny covers.
People frequently ask me why I love comics so much. They’ve been asking me that question for a long time; I started my love affair with these floppy, lurid slices of imagination more than 30 years ago.
Back then it was Vampirella for me, with the occasional Spidey story arc thrown in for good measure, or the wonderful Wolfman-Kane adaptations of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter, Warlord of Mars. These days it’s the mind-boggling weirdly goodness that is Chew, the “Damn, I wish I wrote this”-ness of Jennifer Blood, and the raw, hilarious sickness that comprise the Crossed titles.
The titles don’t really matter, though; more the slick feel of the covers; the amazingly expressive line art; the rich, bigger than life characters and colors; the smell …. digital comics rock, but they will NEVER replace ink and paper. Those things have kept me coming back to comics again and again.
The combined effects of pencil, ink, and color are magical. I can spend hours studying the lines and shadows making up each page; the way one little stroke can change a character from hilarious to menacing, just one, off-skew, panel away. The colors can dazzle; pages so saturated by hue that you sink into them like an explorer in quicksand. What’s not to love?
The stories are simple; not necessarily in a bad way. Good comics give us the essence of story; archetypal characters in elemental story lines: the hero, the rogue, the siren, the prodigal … man against nature, man against man, good against evil. Comics are primal literature, brought to life by visuals that touch our primal selves.
Ha! Fuck it. Comics are fun! They’ve got amazing characters with powers we’d all love to have, using technology we’d love to use! And there are zombies, and robots, and evil guys who’re like giant octopi, dude!
And where better to start our conversations with the people who create these marvels (and D.C., Image, Top Cow, Zenescope, etc’s) than with the creator of the epic zombie series, “The Walking Dead,” Robert Kirkman?