Back in November we ran a story about a fan fiction called Batman: The Deal by Gerardo Preciado and Daniel Bayliss. We were not the only ones to cover it as it was quite a unique and dramatic project. Seems the folks at Boom! Studios were paying attention as well since they picked up Bayliss to do their new series Translucid. So what was the deal with Batman: The Deal? Lets find out…
BLEEDING COOL: Let me start by asking you about the project you did with writer Gerardo Preciado, Batman: The Deal. This was basically fan fiction you put out on the web. What did the two of you hope to get from doing the project? Were you surprised at just how much attention it got?
DANIEL BAYLISS: We made The Deal out of pure fan love. Gerardo and I have been making our short stories for years now, as a kind of training, to learn the ways of making comics, you know, late at night after our day jobs. So this one was our first attempt at tackling popular characters, and to be honest we definitely didn't expect the amount of attention it got. We thought it will only be seen by a couple of friends and suddenly it went viral on Facebook, and that really surprised us. Then, all of a sudden, our work was being featured on many comic book sites just like yours. We could not believe it, that just really blew our minds.
BC: Looking at the Moonhead Press website, you and Preciado have done quite a few projects. Some other fan fiction and some creator owned. Are you actively shopping any of the projects to publishers?
DB: Well, actually, Gerardo and I submitted two of our stories to a publisher before we put them on our Moonhead Press site, but we had no luck on those. At this moment, we have a lot of ideas in different stages of development. Our main goal is to keep working on our short stories and complete a graphic novel we have been working on for quite some time.
BC: You are doing the art for Translucid, which is written by Coheed and Cambria frontman Claudio Sanchez and his writer partner/wife Chondra Echert. How did you get involved with this new Boom! Studios title?
DB: Right after we put out The Deal, I was contacted by BOOM! Studios editor Ian Brill and Assistant Editor Jasmine Amiri and they asked me to try some test pages for TRANSLUCID. I was in complete shock!. Having known Claudio and Chondra's awesome music and comic book work made it a no-brainer for me. I made the test pages and got the gig, and still can't believe it.
BC: What can you tell us about Translucid? From what I've seen there's a guy with a horse head (or Knights head from chess) another guy who might be a hero… and a kid. What are readers going to get when they buy this book?
DB: I think the theme of this book is choice. It explores what drives a person to make the right choice, to become the hero, or the selfish one and become a villain. Claudio and Chondra did one hell of a book here; I was hooked on the story right after I finished reading the script for issue #1. It's really engaging.
BC: Tell us about your process for doing a page. Do you work from thumbnails or do you go straight to roughs? In your other projects you seem to do all the art from pencils to colors, is that the case here as well?
DB: For TRANSLUCID, I would start with some rough traces for layouts. Once they are approved, I go straight to digital inks. Fortunately, color for this book is done by the awesome Adam Metcalfe. He makes every page more exciting with his wild color palette. I really love what he's doing here. When working on Moonhead projects, since we are a two-man operation, Gerardo scripts the whole story and dialogues, and I do the whole thing from inks to color to lettering. It takes a whole lot of time but we really dig that approach to comics.
BC: You've done your take on Batman, Superman and Daredevil on your website… are you a big superhero comic fan? Is that the type of books you would like to draw? And if so, which character would be your favorite to get to work on?
DB: Well, yeah I like superhero stuff, and I would definitely love to take another stab at Batman and Superman in an Elseworlds type of book, or maybe X-Men or Daredevil on a Strange Tales. I don't know, hopefully one day we'll have the chance to do that.
Translucid #1 is on sale now from Boom! Studios: