Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Q&A with Scott Godlewski about upcoming series Copperhead on Image Comics

Boo Character Design
As promised yesterday, here is my Q&A with Scott Godlewski, artist of Image Comics' upcoming fall release Copperhead! A brand new series that Brian K. Vaughan is calling the best debut release of 2014! So I tried my best to probe for further information from Scott about the series. Of course he's not going to give me spoilers. So rarely do I get those. A girl can dream right? I did get a bit of insight into the influences that helped to cultivate this new and exciting world. 

TFQ: I've got to be honest, when I saw the Image press release for Copperhead and the headline reading Brian K Vaughan's new favorite series, I said to myself "no f*ing way. How exciting is that? I have to read this." How does that kind of compliment hit you?

Scott: It's exciting. As a big fan of Brian's, it's nice to hear him be complementary of something I've done. I know Jay has shared stuff with Brian as we've gone and getting such positive feedback is pretty rad.

TFQ: I saw a preview for Copperhead and I thought to myself that this was the book for me. Science fiction westerns happen to be one of my favorite genres. I'm wondering if you could explain a bit about what Copperhead has to offer over what we usually picture as a typical sci fi western?

Scott: I'm not overly familiar with any other scifi westerns, so I can't really say what it has to offer over others. But I dig scifi and I dig westerns and can say that it plays with familiar conventions of each with some cool twists, hopefully.

TFQ: Can you tell me how you came to work with Jay Faerber and a little bit about how you collaborated?

Scott: Jay approached me about doing a different book a while ago but that one fell through as these things tend to do. We still wanted to do something and I think he was the one that pitched the space western. I had most recently worked on a couple of series populated by dudes in suits, so doing aliens and spaceships was mighty appealing. We spitballed until we had a concept that we both dug and then Jay whipped up a script for issue one. After that he asked if I'd be interested in working Marvel-style on issue 2 (where the artist is provided the plot and the book is scripted after the art is completed). That worked out and that's how we'v worked on issues 2-4.

TFQ: The artwork is the first thing that grabbed me when I saw the preview for Copperhead. It has this classic pulp-pop feel to it which is so relevant in today's comics.  How did you develop the aliens over-all look? 

Scott: I think a couple of things played into the design of the aliens. One, I wanted them to be able to act, so playing with a humanoid form allowed me to use familiar body language and hopefully made them empathetic and relatable. Two, I won't lie and say that the idea of a COPPERHEAD TV show or movie never crossed my mind, and keeping that humanoid form would allow a human actor to play these characters instead of using expensive CG.

TFQ: What were your main inspirations for developing this visual atmosphere of this story?

Scott: One of my favorite movies is ALIENS and I always loved the look of LV-426. I looked at a lot of Syd Mead and Ron Cobb stuff for architecture and tech. I looked at Ralph McQuarrie and Brian Froud stuff for creatures. So that's where I started. I'm not sure what it ended up looking like.

TFQ: What kind of adventure are in store for Copperhead's readers?

Scott: I can't answer that one with any detail, you understand. Cool ones? If you like aliens and crime then I hope you'll find something to like here. We dig it and we're hoping readers will, too.

Clara Character Design
Remember to get your copy of Copperhead this September. Pre-order using Diamond Code JUL140436.