Try something different. That's what I feel Vertigo has always been about, even from my early days there as a runny-nosed assistant editor. I really treasure that sense of freedom, and it's why I love working on Vertigo books. Though I've known Brian Wood for a while, the stars never aligned for us to work together. So when I heard he was writing a series of connected one-shots for DMZ, I jumped at the chance. It was the perfect opportunity to experiment.
Like many artists, I tend to have a wandering eye when it comes to drawing. I'm influenced by so many disparate things, and would love to assimilate and pay tribute to all of them. I've very proud of my work with Josh Dysart on NEIL YOUNG'S GREENDALE, but after 150 pages of maintaining a certain style, I started getting a little antsy. Having focused on precise linework for the past few years, I really wanted to loosen up and bring some more energy and grittiness to my work. With DMZ, I was returning to a more familiar urban setting, and that level of comfort gave me enough confidence to experiment a little. Brian's wonderfully sparse and quiet story really put the focus on the visual storytelling, and it pushed me to deliver. The work reminds me a bit of some of my earlier books like Josie Mac from Detective Comics and one of my favorite art jobs, Vertigo's Beware the Creeper from 2003, but with the added bonus of some stronger drawing skills unexpectedly attained in the years since. It felt a lot like reconnecting with an old friend, and drawing these 22 pages has been more creatively rewarding than I ever would have thought. Knowing you have great people at your back makes it much easier to take chances, so thanks to Brian, and editors Will Dennis and Mark Doyle for keeping an open mind and supporting me all the way. Hope you enjoy the results.
DMZ #57 is on sale this Wednesday!