By Dan Horn
Mar 30, 2010 - 13:41
Dan Horn (CBB): Nathan and Brett, your new horror series The Light from Image Comics begins April 14th. How would you describe the series?
Nathan Edmondson (NHE): Two words: Awesome. (It is two words if you say it right.) But seriously… I think I’d It’s a series that is as much about mood as it is about story. Brett’s art is so subtle but fantastically evocative and it reflects the characters and their internal struggles. It’s a story about the violence inside of the characters—and a very strange kind of violence in the world outside.
CBB: I recently had the privilege of reading the first two issues of the series. Where did the idea for this deadly, electric light-triggered disease come from?
NHE: I’m not sure, really. I think it began with this simple idea, that something so unavoidable could be a the antagonist in a story. All though, in THE LIGHT, the villain is a little bit more complicated.
CBB: You guys have really succeeded in turning light into this sort of antithetical nightmare version of itself. How did the two of you achieve that portrayal of this thing which most people see as the embodiment of security?
NHE: You gotta turn to Brett for this one. In my mind, I have to consider each panel, and what the characters would see. If you approach, say, a house at night, where are the lights? Are there streetlights? What about reflections? Things like that. But in a broader sense, I think you used a key word: security. The characters are suddenly forced to be fully conscious of something that is taken completely for granted. That for me is a dynamic worth telling a story about.
CBB: What kind of message are you hoping to send with this series?
NHE: I tend not to think in terms of sending a message specifically. I mean, the story, like any other, certainly has a message. But it’s not meant to be transmitted (like the virus through light waves), but rather, experienced. If I’ve told the story successfully, then the reader will experience those things which change the characters and then the reader will thus experience a change, however remote and minuscule, in themselves. What that change is: as always, you must read to find out.
CBB: This story definitely has a Stephen King vibe going on. What are some stories that inspired the basis for The Light?
NHE: I’m not sure I can really pinpoint any specific inspirations. Mentioning Stephen King—as several others have done—is a good starting point. I can certainly look to books like It and Dreamcatcher, stories like The Mist and The Man in the Black Suit and see where I was influenced by his ability to make mood itself a primary mode of communication. But I’d be sure to mention others like Dracula, Turn of the Screw or even Hound of the Baskervilles where the same effect is achieved as well.
CBB: Can you give readers an idea of what to expect in the upcoming issues of The Light?
NHE: More action. More characters. Some more really vicious moments; and hopefully a few surprises. It’s a simple story, and it unravels at a steady pace, but toward the end the threads will cinch, and pressure will build. Also, you’ll see, shall we say, some areas that are better lit.
CBB: If the main character Coyle and his daughter make it outside of the city limits, what kind of danger will they run into in the dark woodlands beyond?
CBB: What other characters will we see thrown into the mix?
NHE: I prefer not to say with any specificity, but each survivor will have a very different agenda, a very different mode of survival, and—and this is what’s most important—a very different goal in terms of what is dear to them.
CBB: Coyle’s interactions with his daughter are very organic and genuine. Were there any real-life events that inspired the dysfunctional father-daughter dynamic?
NHE: More than anything, my everyday observation of broken families around me.
CBB: Brett, your artwork in The Light is reminiscent of Ben Templesmith’s work on 30 Days of Night, but still retains a distinguished uniqueness. Was Ben a major influence on your work? What other artists have had a strong influence on your art?
Brett Weldele (BW): No, not really.
I've been working in this style
since around '98 if my memory is right. I met Ben a couple years later
online (pre-30 Days) and we hit it off because we both had similar aspirations.
We're both heavily influenced by Ashley Wood's digital techniques, but
going back farther I've been into Bill Sienkiewicz since I was in elementary
school. In middle school maybe, I discovered the Epic
line which had tons of significant painters and influences.
there's so few people doing painted expressive work in comics anymore,
that the few that remain all get lumped together.
CBB: You’ve both garnered quite a fan following. Brett’s extensive work spans several titles from numerous publishers and includes The Surrogates, now a major motion picture from Touchstone Pictures. Nathan, your work on the Image title Olympus was very highly acclaimed by critics, readers, and your peers. What brought you two industry heavyweights together for this series?
NHE: Our simultaneous endurance of troublesome cats.
CBB: What has the joint effort been like for the two of you, and can we hope to see future collaborations from you?
NHE: We can hope for it. But…one thing at a time.
CBB: Nathan, you have another new series coming soon. Can you tell us anything about that?NHE: I have three lined up for this year and next. The next project (assuming no last minute scheduling changes, and as we all know, those are not unheard of!) will be a post Cold War espionage story with a sci-fi twist. And if we’ve measured these chemicals just right, it’s going to be one hell of a bang when it all comes together.