Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Q&A with John Arcudi & James Harren on Rumble!


 Today marks the release of Rumble #1. This new series is brought to you by Image comics and contains the most interesting story of 2014. That's really saying something considering 2014 is almost over and I've read MOST of it. ;) Rumble is exceptional in the field of action-packed, supernatural comics! Combining comedy seamlessly into the fold. 

The cover is what called to me before even reading the press release. Consequently, many of my friends who don't even read comics said they were going to pick up the book based solely on this amazing cover. Many of my friends who are comic book junkies said the same thing. I assured them they wouldn't be disappointed.

I was so happy about the birth of Rumble that I decided to go bother the creators. Both of which are very pleasant people who didn't seem to mind me bothering them! Always nice to not get told that you're annoying and unimportant. (For the record only one person has ever done that in the history of my of trying to cover releases). 

So without further blabbering from me, here's the questions I posed to writer John Arcudi and illustrator James Harren. 

TFQ: This story is so mysterious. I really do feel like the main character of the story who's shocked at the events taking place. I'm just as clueless as he is! How did you come up with this story?

John: Thanks, Amy. This was an idea that’d been kicking around in my head for years, actually. It’s gone through different iterations, but it really only came together (in the way you see it in print) when I started talking to James. As to where it all started, though – long ago I saw this odd drawing that just got me thinking. And thinking. Kinda like the little snowball on a hill, it ended up being something much bigger down the line.


TFQ: How did you come to work with James Harren on this book? I keep thinking it must have been Hellboy: Weird Tales?

John: I stumbled across James’s work years back online and contacted him about working on BPRD related material. We did an “Abe Sapien” series together, and then worked on the BPRD book. After that, it became apparent that to me he was right for a story about a scarecrow warrior god.


TFQ: You've written so much B.P.R.D, how does this story compare to the process of writing that?

John: I’m just trying to tell good stories. I don’t think much about process, really. If I don’t have a good story to tell, I don’t, and if I do, I try to figure out the best way to tell it. I know that’s not what you’re looking for, but what can I tell you? It’s so hard to tell a good story that really, that’s all I can worry about.


TFQ: What inspires you to write these sort of horrific stories and how do you manage to make them so comedic in the process?

John: I don’t know why I do this, honestly. Maybe all the “Frankenstein” movies I saw as a kid – but as to why I sometimes take a comedic approach to them, I sorta feel like I’m continuing a tradition there. I mean, it goes back, and back, and back. “Evil Dead,” old DC “House of Mystery” stories, and John Kendrick Bangs. I love all that stuff and I hope I can somehow produce work that measures up in small way.

Variant Cover by Jamie McKelvie
TFQ: Is the mysterious, sword-wielding creature on the cover really a Scarecrow?

John: Yes… and no. Don’t worry, if you keep reading the book, you’ll have your answer in two months.

TFQ: How far do you see this story going? How many story arcs do you have written so far?

John: I don't have a set number in mind, really. We have one large overarching story to tell, but I haven't sat down and worked out the number of smaller arcs that will translate to. We think it's better to leave that open to a kind of organic process. But we do hope to be around for a good while.

TFQ: James, what mediums did you use to create this book? What sort of process did you use to create the characters? What inspirations and sources did you draw from?

James: For media I used ink and paper. I'm partial to quill, sable brush and microns. As for the process in creating the characters; John had a pretty good idea what he wanted for these guy's personalities. I remember thinking about people in my life that came close or I felt represented them. Bobby's sort of that classic stalled out beta male that we've all come across so much. You'll see more of Del in the next issues and he was probably the easiest to design. Perhaps you'll see why. The scarecrow Rath went through a lot of incarnations. It was tough to strike a balance with him. I'm learning a lot about how to draw these characters as I produce the book. It's really organic. I don't always practice that animation technique where you have complete color character designs that are essentially dragged and dropped into the book. I like the process of growing and changing with them, letting the story change me and ultimately how I draw them.