Pre-order Stringers, a new crime noir about videographers on the run from corrupt cops, at your comic store by tomorrow! JUN151440
Writer Marc Guggenheim (Arrow co-showrunner) speaks about its artistic style, characters, and collaboration
with the talented Justin Greenwood (Stumptown).
Has your experience in film and
television inspired the cinematic look of this series?
Marc Guggenheim: Justin Greenwood, along with our
colorist, Ryan Hill, are responsible for delivering the look. I will say that
my experience in TV and film definitely informed the pace of the series. I
wanted as kinetic and fast paced a feel as a lot of film and television shows.
The way energy is conveyed on the page is due to Justin’s incredibly lively
linework and the very energetic style he brings to all of the art in the book.
As much as I would love to take credit for it the cinematic look is Justin
Greenwood’s creation and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
How did Paul and Nick and their
relationship develop? Were these characters part of your concept from the
MG: They actually were. I was really
interested in writing a partnership between two guys who were like an old
married couple. A lot of fun banter, a little bit of teasing, a little bit of
biting, trading barbs, occasionally trading insults. The cornerstone of that
relationship was creating a dynamic where they are in this very uncertain
freelance profession and one is absolutely in love with it; loves the
adrenaline rush, the uncertainty and all the things that are part of being a
freelance video stringer. The other is the exact opposite; a family guy, who
aspires to “real journalism” and feels like this isn’t the end destination but
a stepping stone to something more “legitimate”. The difference between these
two guys draws out a lot of their conflict but also their humor throughout the
What made you decide to use
these unique sound effects?
MG: That’s a great question because
sound effects for me are really hard. I try to avoid the classic “SLAM” “BANG”
“WHAM” comic book sound effects. Writing the script I had this crazy notion the
sound effects could describe the action that was happening. So much of that is
dependent on the letterer. It’s one of those ideas that in concept might sound
interesting and unique but in practice is completely dependent on the letterer
pulling it off. Crank really did an amazing job of selling this idea that we’re
all intrigued by but were not sure how it would turn out until we saw the
lettered pages and thought, “Wow, that
really works.” It’s not the kind of idea that works for every single comic. It’s
very much a tonal choice and just happens to work with the dramatic comedic
tone that I’m writing and the kinetic hyper-realized energy that Justin’s art
is conveying. It’s always wonderful when you have a talented letter who can make
everything feel seamless; the lettering, the writing, and the art all work
together in concert.
How does it feel to be working
with Justin Greenwood again? Why was he the right man for the job?
MG: Justin’s amazing. Not only is he
an incredible guy but an incredible talent. We fit together really well as
writer and artist. In part it’s because we spent so many issues working together
on Resurrection and we have a shorthand. He just seems to really get my style.
I talked about how his energetic linework was right for the high-octane story
that we’re trying to tell but I think the other thing Justin brings to the
project is he was able to draw for a book that was designed from its initial conception
to be very dialogue heavy. I wrote more dialogue on each page than I typically
do for other comics because I wanted to have that hyper talking, fast paced,
bantery feel to it. That’s hard for an artist. Hopefully it seems invisible to
the reader but you need an artist who’s going to create room for all these word
balloons while at the same time conveying compelling images and creating
visually interesting pages, so you’re not just seeing word balloons on the
page. A lot of artists are not as adept with dealing with this many word
balloons as Justin.
Would you ever be interested in
working as a Stringer yourself?
MG: No, I’d probably have to take a pass on that. I have
literally no sense of direction. Even though I’ve now lived in Los Angeles for
15 years my reliance on my phone and GPS is shameful. My ability to get from
point A to point B as fast as that job would require, it would probably knock
me out of the running. I’d rather write about Stringers than be one.
Stringers is in stores August 26th! Pre-order now at comic shops with code JUN151440
(Vexa @ Noir): Noir, is it? I'm Vexa, nice to meet ya. Sweet shades, by the way. But in the middle of an intense fight, wouldn't they crack or fall off? You must have a stockpile of those sunglasses somewhere, I'd assume.
Hope and Grace by Daniel Winningham Via Flickr: This shot was taken in Yountville, CA in Napa Valley at the Hope & Grace Tasting Room. They have some incredible acrylic artworks hanging around. If you get a chance to visit them, take a look at the big piece on the back wall of the thistles. It’s stunning. Their Pinot Noir was the best we tasted on our trip and I bought a bottle or two.