Sorry to leave you guys with my odd-ball “taxation of the blind” post for a whole week! But, I hope you’ll forgive me as I’m finally ready to present my interview with Daredevil: Road Warrior artist Peter Krause. I am so grateful that Peter was available to do this interview, and I had a great time chatting with him!
Note: Due to a slight technical mishap at the very beginning (first minute and a half or so) of our conversation, this interview will begin in medias res, so to speak. All you need to know is that when Peter and I talked, he had just finished the third episode of the series, and we quickly got into things like screen count per episode of a digital comic (for instance, ten pages translate into about twenty screens). This, in turn, brought me to the first question of the actual interview, as seen below. Clear enough? Great! Let’s get to it!
CH: I think you mentioned somewhere that these are going to be a little bit longer than a standard chapter of Insufferable?
PK: Oh yeah, definitely longer than a standard Insufferable episode. An Insufferable episode might be seven or eight screens, but these are going to be around twenty-two, twenty-three, twenty-five screens each.
CH: Interesting! I’m really looking forward to this. I wrote a post a while ago, where I was trying to push for people to try digital. It’s really much more fun than people might think. I guess some of the problem is that some still have this reluctance to pay for something that they will not be able to physically “hold.”
PK: I understand that, and I certainly have seen a few of the message boards and the response. The rates management issue is something that we, when we’re doing Thrillbent, don’t worry about, because we let people take this stuff, they can download it, they can embed it; all those sorts of things, to try to get around that issue. My guess is that eventually this will see print in some form. It would have to be reformatted. I don’t think Marvel has made any grand announcement about it, but they seem to have a track record of taking the digital stuff and putting it out in print eventually. Maybe that will alleviate some of the fear.
CH: It seems like you and Mark are really looking to use the format to its fullest to convey various aspects of the character and the story, and it seems to me like it might hold you back somewhat if you were being told that “Oh, by the way, it will also be in print later.”
PK: It’s the same story we had when we started doing Insufferable. When we first started, it was the idea of “How can we do this so that we can do it in print, as we do it digitally?” We also tried to kind of aim right down the middle. We pretty much gave that up pretty soon in and decided that we’re doing a digital comic, so let’s do a digital comic. Let’s take advantage of what we can do with this that we can’t do with print. And if we decide that we want to do it in print some day, that could happen, it would just need some major reworking on it. Let’s do it digital first, and foremost and have fun with that. We’re doing the same thing here with this.
CH: You’ve talked in previous interviews about how you’re a big Daredevil fan. I was wondering, what are some of the things that you really like about the character, as a reader and as an artist?
PK: First of all, I’m going to say that I’m old enough to remember Mike Murdock, and I remember those stories. That’ll tip off how old I am right there. I’m old enough to have had the corner drug store type of experience where we bought stuff off the spinner rack, and I think World’s Finest was the first one I can remember reading, the old DC comic with both Superman and Batman. Then we started exploring the old Marvel comics too, and it’s funny how my brother would buy some comics, I would have some friends who would buy comics, and we tended to focus on the characters we like and we’d trade. For some reason, Daredevil really appealed to me. I liked the whole idea that this character had this huge disability that he overcame. He was everything that I wasn’t, very athletic, the gymnastics stuff overtures of the character really appealed to me, and the red costume is just one of the best costumes going in comics, in my opinon.
And I have to say that my take on it is that Foggy is the real hero in Daredevil. Matt doesn’t win any awards for best friend, but Foggy is pretty cool in that he always is there for him. And I think, maybe as a kid, you do relate to Foggy a little bit. Here’s this guy who maybe isn’t the coolest guy, but he’s Daredevil’s best friend. All those things really appealed to me when I was young and started collecting the comics.
CH: One of the things I’ve really appreciated with Insufferable and also some of the other digital comics that are on Thrillbent platform is how, in digital comics, it’s possible to insert a beat, for a humorous moment, or surprise or shock. Every new panel is like a page turn, which great for both horror and comedy, which brings me to the general question of how you’ve brought all of that to this project. Will you be using all the tools in the tool box, and do you have some new tools in your tool box?
PK: Well, we do one thing, and Mark’s already talked about it, in the very first episode. We have a sequence where, through Matt’s point of view, for the most part, where we use his radar sense, and we do it as a panorama in 360 degrees. What ends up happening is that when people click through this, they’ll see a little section of the whole panorama of it. Matt is in the environment he’s in at the time, kind of sensing what’s around him. It was very hard for me to draw it, and I do draw it digitally, but it’s this very long horizontal panel that I drew all in one piece. When you view it digitally, you only see a section of the panorama, and the story goes on from there. When I got the script from Mark, I looked at it and went “Okay… How am I going to do this?” [laughs] I had to start looking at some panoramic photography and try to kind of emulate that, the way that curves the perspective of everything. It was a real challenge, but I’ll be interested to see how that looks when it gets on the screen. I’ve seen it colored already and it looks really cool.
CH: Speaking of which, who does the colors for this? Is it Javier?
PK: He is very busy, so it’s not. It’s going to be John Kalisz, who has done a lot of stuff for DC. He does Batman and Robin for DC and he’s done things for Marvel in the past. I’ve seen the first issue colored and he’s doing a great job.
CH: Going back to the sensory aspect of things, ever since the start of volume 3, there’s been a set visual language for conveying the radar sense, which Paolo Rivera introduced and then everyone kept adding to it. I know Javier did a lot with the coloring aspects of it too, which took it up a notch, and then of course Chris Samnee inherited that. Are you working from the same template or are you changing things up for this format?
PK: I’m trying to keep it pretty true to the way it’s been done, the way Paolo’s done it and Chris has done it. The episode opens with that, it’s that same language that those guys did a great job with, Paolo introducing it, and I wouldn’t want to step on anyone’s toes. I think it’s great, it works really well.
The only thing, and this is getting into how you put together a comic, but when I saw how Paolo did it, and he’s working traditionally, with ink and paper – and I draw it all digitally – he did it with black ink on white paper and then once he put it in Photoshop, he’d reverse it, and then Javier colors it. What I did was that I drew what it would look like to you or me, a normal panel, and then I would fill it in with black over the top of it and reduce the opacity, and then actually draw it with white, tracing over it. But maybe that’s too inside, nerdy “photoshoppy” for most people. It’s just a little difference in how it was put together. It should look the same, or relatively the same.
CH: But now we’ll know to look for any subtle differences! Have you and Mark found yourselves coming up with new things when working on this? Or did you have a set of ideas coming in, for things you wanted to try, as far as the senses go?
PK: I think especially with the panorama thing, that was definitely Mark’s idea. There’s a few other things that we’re doing that kind of relate to how Matt feels at times when his senses are overwhelmed. There’s some very symbolic type of things that we put in the drawing that wouldn’t really be there, but it’s kind of what’s happening inside Matt’s mind as he tries to make sense of too many things going on, which Mark really likes to take advantage of. I think if you read through most of the things that he’s written, there are times where Matt’s senses are as much a hindrance as they are a help. There are a few things like that that we’re doing. There is some of the stuff that we have done with Insufferable; we had something happen in the third issue that might give a sense of motion when clicking through.
Any time you do these projects, you find some things that you haven’t done, but I wish we would have had more time, because I was thinking of different things similar to what we did with the panorama, which is a horizontal panel. We certainly had the chance to – which you’ll see if you read the story – do at vertical panel where you click through and you keep on going down, down, down. We just didn’t have the time to explore that.
It’s a process, you’re finding different things, it’s cool. It’s a challenge, but at the same time, it’s a lot of fun. Definitely from an artist’s standpoint, you’re thinking about this stuff all the time.
CH: I asked Chris Samnee when I did a quick interview with him at Baltimore Comic Con whether he sees the world in radar outline after doing a day of radar panels, to which he responded “No, I see it in red from rage.” Joking aside, I know how Mark mentions it a lot, how he’s constantly thinking about how things would be like for Matt Murdock, while going about his day. I can imagine how it might invade your other thoughts if you’re doing a project like this.
PK: Oh, definitely. There was a panel that I was working on here that I thought about all night. I just didn’t like the way it was put together, but I finally got that figured out. But, it does kind of leak into the rest of your life, you’re thinking about it quite a bit.
CH: In one of the preview panels I saw from another interview, it looked to me like Man-Bull was in one of them?
PK: You can probably safely assume that that is Man-Bull.
CH: Will Daredevil be meeting other villains from his past? Is there anything you can say about that without giving too much away?
PK: I would say that there are things from the past, but it’s more of Marvel’s history, not necessarily characters you would associate with Daredevil.
CH: That sounds like much of what’s been going on for volume 3 , where we’ve seen lots of old characters pulled out of dark and musky corners.
For my final question, what would you say to people who are hesitating about metaphorically “picking this up,” to convince them?
PK: Well, Mark’s writing it, so that’s the main thing. Then there’s the fact that it does plug into continuity. You don’t have to read this, you can make the switch from issue #36 – and what happens in #36 is pretty darn cool – and go on to #1, but if you have any curiosity and want to make your Daredevil experience richer, and [learn] how he got out to San Francisco, this would be a fun little story for you to read. I’d rather soft-sell it than hard-sell it.
You know, I love Daredevil, and the people that are working on this are really enjoying it. I talked to John, our colorist, and Daredevil isn’t his favorite character, but is definitely in his top four or five. It comes from that place where we’re very enthusiastic about the character, and I am very happy that I got to draw Daredevil.
CH: I’m happy to hear it, and I love what you and Mark have been doing with Insufferable. It’s a really fun story. Speaking of which, when is season three coming out?
PK: We probably want to get a couple of month’s worth of episodes together. That won’t necessarily take us a couple of months to do if we work straight through it, but I think some time late spring or early summer, probably a little later than we’d like, we’ll start the third season of Insufferable.
And that was the end of our interview! I’d like to once again, thank Peter Krause for taking the time out of his busy schedule to talk to me. I’m very excitied to finally get to see this story “in print” later this month. Just to refresh your memory, Daredevil #36 will be out on February 19, and the first issue of Daredevil: Road Warrior will be released the following Tuesday, February 25, and run for four consecutive weeks. The final issue will be released the day before the new Daredevil #1, on March 18.