Friday, October 5, 2012

Artist Brad Walker at Midtown Comics September Book Club!

Last week, I attended the Midtown Comics Book Club. September's book was Guardians of the Galaxy: Realm of Kings written by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning and the art by Book Club guest Brad Walker!

As a bit of back story, Walker loved superheroes when he was little especially Spidey. His mom taught him how to draw and got him started.  However, he decided to become a comic artist in his teens.  He loved drawing Disney-style back then but wanted to draw something real-looking.  He also loves that the comics medium doesn't have limitations like film.  Anything that you can imagine is reality.

Before Walker joined Guardians, he spent time working at DC.  He was working on Batman issues for a while.  He next worked on a Jimmy Olsen mini that never came out. When he asked to draw on something that comes out, he got the chance to work on some issues of Action Comics.  Fans actually complained that he wasn't important enough to draw this classic book, but he responded by saying "Why should I turn down work?!"

Thor and Brad, just joking around!

Walker hadn't read Guardians until he started working on it.  He did three issues and they liked his art enough to keep him on.  However, some fans complained that the art changes were hard to process. Walker felt that people who were reading it were still buying.  He did say that by Vol. 4, he felt in sync with Dan and Andy. This was his favorite in the series.

Guardians flew under the radar but this story helped shape the cosmic universe. Walker prefers being on a low-key book. He recounted the time he drew three issues of Spider-Man and hate the approval process.   All in all, he prefers being left alone to work but even he admits, if you are left alone, then the book may be in danger.

This series was tough to draw because there are so many characters and so much going on.  Walker loves the characters involved though. He tries to keep the panels more perpendicular with calm scenes straight and action scenes bending and tilted.  War of Kings storyline was really hard to draw because there was over 30 main characters to manage. He kept running through inkers that kept crapping out so he was scrambling to find someone to meet deadlines. Andrew Hennessy ended making the gig work and they still work together. When asked about drawing characters, he specifically joked about all of the raccoon pictures on his computer.  He said that most artists draw Rocket as a cartoon. Walker tries to make him as realistic as possible.

During the Q&A, Walker was asked about the upcoming Guardians movie.  He said that he was happy that guardians is branching into the movies.  He feels great to be part of it.  Walker did joke that he hopes that he gets a free ticket to see it but not sure he will be thanked in the credits.

Brad Walker said a lot more and frankly, such a fun storyteller.  Keep tuned for more of his excellent work.  For October's book club, we are discussing Sandman Mystery Theater with Midtown's own Thor Parker! Thor had this to say: "Sandman is exactly like Batman but better and anyone who likes Batman is stupid. " Needless to say, I'm getting my heckling shoes on. Come join us for a fun time!

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