Last week we talked to Joe Casey about the new Captain Victory And The Galactic Rangers series from Dynamite. In it he talks about the artists for the series. The main artist is Nathan Fox and I got to talk to him about the new project and what it's like working on a character still owned by the Jack Kirby estate.
BLEEDING COOL: Many artists consider Jack Kirby a major influence on their work. What are your feelings about Jack Kirby and how has he affected your work?
NATHAN FOX: Having not grown up reading mainstream/superhero comics I'm not sure I can make a statement one way or the other. It's a bit of both. Now as a working professional I can more than see how his work has inspired and why he is so inspirational to millions. The dynamism and action, his economy of line and movement in his compositions and characters is stunning. His compositions and design work were the most jaw dropping when I discovered his work in art school. But back then I'm not sure I recognized it enough to remain loyal or even know what I was looking at at the time. I kind of just dismissed it as more superhero stuff I just wasn't into but appreciated for some unknown reason and moved on. Back in the day, Fantagraphics, Top Shelf, Manga, printmaking and Japanese Woodblock prints and Anime were my influences and pretty much remain so today along with a few other influence I picked up along the way. I don't think I could call Kirby a huge influence today but as a working artist and storyteller and now contributor to the Captain Victory canon, I most definitely appreciate his work and the genius behind the legend. It is beyond a pleasure and honor to be working on the series with these characters.
NF: It feels great and I'm honored to be a part of it all. Very excited to be working with the original cast of character and adding in a few of our own. I hope the Kirby and CapVIC fans out there enjoy what we're working on.
BC: How did your involvement in this project come about and how do you feel about sharing the art duties with so many other artists?
NF: That list is insane and humbling to say the least!
I love collaborating with other artists. On my end I'm really trying to play around with the characters in a unique way and push the format and series creatively as a whole. Joe's scripts are amazing as ever and solid ground to do so. I am just as inspired to be working on this Kirby property as I am to be working with the cavalcade of titans that are on this arc – if not more so. Creatively, I love pushing limits and experimenting; playing around with what's possible as a storyteller. That's what made DMZ, Blue Estate and upcoming, FBP work so enjoyable. It's not just one voice telling a single story – it's multiple voices and art telling a larger, more expansive and immersive world. I find the expansive narrative possibilities collaboration brings to the table fascinating. Working with everyone on these books is truly eye opening and inspired. We are all fans of Kirby's and the series so we are just as passionate about making something amazing as fans are to read it.
NF: When Joe first approached me about the series and opportunity we had already been talking about working on something that would hopefully do just that – push the limits and really give it our all. I wouldn't say that those expectations or any others have changed anything really – if anything I'm that much more excited about the freedom we've been given and the potential the series has to take chances and play with design, character and story. Creatively, it's not about what Kirby would do. That's not the story, gig or my job as a storyteller. My goal is to take the best of Captain Victory and contribution to Kirby's legacy as I can by taking it all in in collaboration and making it "ours". Dynamite and the estate are behind us and have been beyond supportive from day one. So the only expectations I have is for experimenting with the medium, not giving in to old ways and pushing my work, approach and visual storytelling chops further. Hopefully when all is said and done, we'll all have contributed in a unique, entertaining and fun way.
Come on! – Galactic rangers, clones, alien planets, ships, plus Kirby characters – This is an intergalactic Joe Casey and crew ball of awesome. #StayTuned!
NF: Its a pretty fluid and malleable process depending on where we're at at any given time but the average production process is – Thumbnails on the script printout as I'm reading and visualizing the design, next are to-scale layouts, we review and then straight inks.
Along the way during layouts is when I do all of my research for the artifacts, architecture and reference that I'll need for each issue and then we/I just kind of get to it. Joe is pretty great about pitching where he's coming from on pages, panels and other designs he was thinking about while writing too. I get some great doodles and designs from him as well. We work on it all and it goes into the book, evolves – or it doesn't. Once all of the pre production starts and I get to inks – THAT'S when I revert back into the "at the desk", isolated – head down hermit artist thing.
BC: What is the one thing you hope readers take away from the new Captain Victory series?
NF: Adventure and enjoyment.
For more on Captain Victory And The Galactic Rangers, click here.