Wednesday, November 07, 2007

20 Questions - the first half

So these are my initial designs (which I've ditched) for the SARMY peeps. Upon reviewing them weeks later, I just didn't like them. I thought they were weak pictures. So I did some new ones. I sent them to keke182, so if any of you haven't seen them yet (and I haven't heard anything either) you can hassle her/him.

As I said, when I went back to these, I just didn't like any of them. They just didn't scream, "Sylar" to me.


Anyway, what follows is the original English transcript of my interview for

1. What made you begin to work with comics, acquire a taste for it?

I have always loved comics. I had a pile of comics since before I can even remember. What got me really seriously into comics as a profession is that, I guess at heart, I'm a control freak. I love the idea that I can control every part of the story that I'm telling. I can show you what the characters look like (unlike an author). I can voice their thoughts and I can voice their dialogue. At the end of the day, it's just me and the page telling the story. I find it very primal and very immediate. Especially with the Heroes comics! Working on them is very inspiring. We draw it one week and it appears online the next! It's so gratifying to get that immediate fan feedback.

2. Which comic books most influenced you, in your career and personal life?

I guess comic books have always been known for their superhero characters. It's what I grew up reading anyway. So I guess the greatest influence on me was that moral structure. I like to think that if there was any influence, it's that I still have my integrity. For example, at the last Armageddon Expo I was approached by a great number of fans wanting to buy my prints of the characters. Unfortunately, I don't own the rights to these characters. NBC does. In fact, NBC has paid a lot of money for those rights. While they would never find out about me selling these prints. I would never do it. And so while the fans are asking me to quote a price for the prints, really they are asking me to quote a price for my integrity.

3. Which artists have inspired you on that job?

I am a big fan of Frank Quitely and John Cassaday. Colouring wise, I guess I have adapted techniques from Adi Granov. My goal is to make the comic book look exactly like the show. Similar angles, similar lighting. I tend to go for a more dramatic colour palette, but that's just my own personal preference.

4. How's the feeling to work to one of the most famous TV show?

When I got offered the job I was pretty excited. When the script actually came through I almost shot through the ceiling. I ran around like Hiro, screaming at the top of my lungs. One of the biggest buzzes was again at the Armageddon Expo. I had a queue of people two and a half hours long waiting for a five-minute sketch from me. That was the most disarming amazing incredible experience. I expected to be listening to crickets and watching tumbleweeds go by. To have this many people know of my work and be big enough fans to wait that long absolutely blew me away.

5. Recently we've been seeing some new versions on Comic books for the big screen (classic ones such as "V for Vendetta", "X-men", and recently announced "Watchmen") and TV (like the newest "Wonderwoman"). What do you think about this interaction between comics and other Medias?

To me it's all about bringing in new readers. If each one of these movies can bring in 1% of their audience to pick up the comic book associated with that movie then I'm happy. New readers mean more people for me to tell my stories to. And that's what I love about HEROES. It's brought so many new readers to comic books. I have received so many personal messages from people saying that they never looked at comic books or took them seriously until they read my HEROES stuff. And that's my goal: to bring more readers into comic books. There's some great stuff on the shelves. We just have to point people in the right direction.

6. And what do you think of this twist, because now you have a TV show (Heroes) becoming a comic book, opposite to what has normally been seen.

Again, it serves the purpose of my goal. Even more so, actually. I think it's great that one established media helps out another established media. Especially as comics aren't taken as seriously as they should be. It's great to have a TV show, that is taken seriously give comics a huge nod. And let's face it, look through season one, the number of comic book references are huge. From direct reference, to homaging stories, it's all from comic books. And yet the way they've written it, you take it all in your stride, and you take it seriously.

7. Heroes' comic books are going to be printed out on real paper, what do you think about this idea?

I am so excited to see the HEROES graphic novel, it's not funny. When I heard about it at San Diego I ran around hassling all the DC comics post-production guys. They all guaranteed me this book would be of the highest quality. Mainly I finally get to point at something and show people what I've done, rather than sending them to a URL.

8. Comic books have been losing their power and space lately. How strong do you think they still are today? Do you think Heroes and other works we've seen on TV have helped revitalizing the genre as whole somehow?

I think it's always been an underdog media. Its main problem is it's too closely tied to one genre: superheroes. While I love superheroes, we need other stories and thats why I really like HEROES. It's walking the line between the genre dominating comics and good drama that dominates audiences.

9. Heroes did a real good job, and we think it's one of its greatest merits, gathering Comics Universe big names, such as Jeph Loeb, Tom Grummet, Alex Ross, Jim Lee, and, of course, yourself. What had effectively attracted you into it?

I think I already answered my own question as to why I'm into HEROES, and quality is a huge factor of that. It is really well-written, really well shot, and really well directed and acted. What more do you ask for in a show? I think they've been really smart to work with the people who are driving the comic industry at the moment. It's tough to walk the fence without a hand from either side.

10. And how did all started for you with the show? Was there really any kind of selection process, or was it more like an invitation?

I knew the producer Aron Eli Coleite beforehand. In fact, I had art directed one of his comics. When I was between jobs I was watching an episode of HEROES and I saw his name on it. I was shocked! I sent him an e-mail congratulating him on the show. He asked me what I been doing. I showed him. He asked if I wanted to draw one of the HEROES comics. Of course I said, "Yes!"

The script came within two hours and I couldn't believe it. Apparently the last artist had pulled out at the last minute, and they were struggling to find a replacement. It just so happened that I waved my arm in the air at just the right time. That was episode 19: Roadkill. I threw my hat into the ring with the editor Frank, and said if there's any more of these I'm up for it.

and in case you missed it:


With the new HEROES graphic novel out, and as the major contributing artist, I will be signing at:

COMICS R'US CITY: 9th November 12pm-2pm
COMICS R'US CHAPEL ST: 10th November 12pm-2pm

I will have a new print run of sketchbooks ($15) and I will be doing sketches ($10) and autographing the graphic novel (free of course!). I hope to see you all there!

UPDATE: There *might* be a delay on the graphic novels til later Friday afternoon. I will keep you updated. But right now, these times and dates still stand.


Stef {Lilithia} said...

I've never been to Comics R Us before... I'll have to find it on Friday.

Ron said... cool about Comics R Us -
and any drawing of Sylar is a terrific rendering :)
btw: how does one go about getting your first two comics? - to you when I get confirmation of correct address ok?
The Best to You -
once again, Thanks SO much!!!!

AcidBurn133 said...

o.m.g. Jas, I just got the posters and wow. :) Thanks so much ^_^


Ororo_Munroe said...

Jason we all still love the 3rd picture of this group. How can you not love that picture?

I love every single one of the 3 new designs you sent. *Wow* (Especially #2) Can't we just use all of them? :) I'm not greedy, but they are all so great I can't decide!

Glad to hear your arm is better and that you are receiving the recognition you deserve. It is always nice to hear that good things are happening to good people.

Thank you so much for donating your creativity and time!

sharp brothers said...

Hey Jason, how do you feel about this sophomore slump season 2 seems to be experiencing - has it affected your work at all knowing the show has been in a decline?

Tim Kring even put out an apology for it. Which I think is a step in the right direction.

BTW either way we will be picking up the hardcover this weekend for sure.

jasonb said...

stef: well, you found it!

ron: Glad you like Sylar. really, you don't want my first two comics. I say this not out of modesty, but rather cos they're not very good. Email me and I will send you my addy! Glad you liked the posters!

acid: Hahahahaha! COOL! they got there! Glad you like em.

Ororo: As I said, use them all! Make as much money for the Give Life Foundation that you can. It's my pleasure to help out.

Sharp: Fascinating question. I think the big change in story structure has been the lack of killer cliffhangers. I always described HEROES as a good show with unbelievable cliff-hangers. This season, it's still a good show, but no cliff-hangers in sight!

Lemme know what you think of the graphic novel!

Ororo_Munroe said...

Thank you so much, again! You will grow weary of my gratitude, I'm sure. When they put me in charge of the store I was freaked, because I can't do anything artistic. Lucky for me Sheindie is on my side, and talented people like you, Paul and Ryan are willing to donate your precious time for a worthy cause.