SDCC 2014: Interview with Dark Horse Comics artists

This past weekend at San Diego Comic-Con I had the opportunity to meet with some of the artists at Dark Horse Comics. One of them was Walt Simonson and the other was Georges Jeanty. They were both extremely lovely people and are very talented in their own individual ways.

If you are unaware of Georges Jeanty, he is the mastermind behind the art for the comic Serenity. After Firefly ended, or was cancelled, the story continued in a six edition comic written by Zack Whedon. Since Firefly is my favorite show, I was more than honored to talk to Georges about his work on the story.

Georges Jeanty NR

Nerd Reactor: How is it working with Serenity? I mean, Firefly is my favorite show.

Georges Jeanty: You’re not just saying that?

NR: No, I’m not. I promise.

GJ: Cause we can talk now.

It was great! I mean are you kidding? It was good working with the authenticity. Joss and Zack, they came together with this idea and showing people finally what happens after the film. The comics have been coming out but there was a lot that needed to be filled in. So this was a big responsibility. I totally knew that going in.
I worked with Josh on Buffy but first time with Zack and it was amazing. I don’t know where their family comes from, or what water they drink, but they are so good.

NR: You have to recreate what was left and what was after. What was the pressure like? Did you have any of it from fans?

GJ: There is, you know only because you are fan yourself and how rabid these fans can be. The hardest part was the ship in the film and the ship in the TV show were two different ships, so you don’t realize until you look at the details. So, that was very hard but also very rewarding.

NR: Are there any weird fan experiences you’ve had? Like requests to put in the comics?

GJ: No not really. Everyone has been really complimentary. I think the story was so game changing that they wanted to hold onto it. The first thing someone said to me was, “Please tell me no one dies,” or “Can you bring back Walsh?” So I think that was the weirdest I’ve ever gotten.

NR: What was your favorite episode on the TV show?

GJ: I do like the last episode. It really gave you an anatomy of the ship and crew and how they work. You realize it has something different, but not so out of the norm that you can relate. It’s almost looking at the crew from a different point of view. I thought it was cool and made River that much cooler.

NR: What was your favorite part about the comic?

GJ: I love the ending. It really shows you the potential. It shows you that River is way more important than you may think.

NR: What can we expect in the future?

GJ: I would love to tell you tons and tons of Serenity, almost on a monthly basis, but as I understand Joss is very particular about Serenity. While he is cool with Buffy every month, he said Serenity is a story that needs to be told. This is the first time it’s been a 6 edition issue. So this is a lot of story, but I think it’ll be a while before we see more.

End Interview

Not only did I get to meet Georges Jeanty, I also got to meet Walt Simonson, as mentioned before. I got to ask him a few questions about his work with the artwork for Robocop vs. Terminator. If you’re unfamiliar with Walt’s work, he did the artwork for the Thor comic from 1983 – 1987. So speaking with him was a huge honor for me as well.

Unfortunately I lost the audio file with all of my questions and answers from the man himself. Now, I do pride myself in having a good memory so I do remember briefly what Walt told me. So bare with me, and I’m sorry if it’s a bit vague. I would love to meet Walt once more and ask him even more questions.

Walt Simonson NR

When I asked about the inspiration for the mashup, Simonson says that it wasn’t a mashup to begin with. Frank Miller came to him with an idea and it sounded fantastic, so he didn’t want to pass it up.

I asked him what it was like working with Frank Miller. After very chirpy laugh, he responded that it was great. He even told me at the very end of the comic, Frank put in a scene with dinosaurs and wrote it into the story. Then he told me that before he had become an artist he went to college for geology and aimed to be a paleontologist. I thought this is extremely cool since my favorite thing is science and everything that has to do with it. But he was very thankful to Frank Miller for putting this in the comic and you could tell that he was really happy thought it was special.

We only had a short time each artist ask questions. I wish I could have asked each of them more and I wish that I could have elaborated more on Walt Simonson’s answers. He has a brilliant mind and is a wonderful person to talk to.

You can follow Georges on Twitter here, and Walt here. You can also follow Dark Horse Comics here.

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