Free Comic Book Day is this Saturday and all of us are oozing with anticipation for free morsels of pictured fiction. To further that anticipation we we’re lucky enough to interview the beloved artist/writer Adam Rex, who is also the featured cover artist for the Dark Horse comic The Guild based upon the web show of the same name.
CBT - Free Comic Book Day is a pretty huge deal amongst the comic book community, how does it make you feel to know that hundreds of thousands of readers will be laying their eyes on your work for The Guild comic book cover?
I used to illustrate Magic: The Gathering cards, and so I’d compare it to that, if only I hadn’t been constantly told by Magic tournament players who were perusing my collection of prints and paintings that “Oh, is that what that card looks like? It’s in my deck, but I never really noticed the art before.”
These sorts of people weren’t the typical Magic players by any means, but maybe one out of five players I’d meet at tournaments would get this look on their face when you talked to them–like they had to translate everything you were saying into binary and then back to English again before they could answer you.
So anyway, I’m looking forward to talking with comic fans on Saturday. It’ll be like a tiny Comic-Con. And it is weirdly thrilling to think we’ll all be looking at the same comics on the same day–a massive shared event like Hands Across America or Take Your Daughter to Work Day. But for comics.
CBT – You are obviously adept in various forms of media; oils, penciling, Photoshop, sculpting, writing etc. You seem to be the epitome of artistic creativity, why haven’t you birthed a comic series for us yet?
Adam Rex – Thanks, but it’s so much freaking work! Honestly, my agent’s been asking me the same thing for years, because he loves comics, too. And I’ve slipped comics into a couple of my novels–my first, The True Meaning of Smekday,had about fifteen pages of comics in it.
And picture books are really just comics for kids. Especially the ones I make. It’s just a slight difference in formatting when you think about it.
But yeah, I’d like to do a series or graphic novel at some point. I have a script half-finished for a GN on my laptop, but it’s a satirical super-hero adventure thing and those started to feel a little played out to me, so I abandoned it in favor of something else.
CBT – While we’re on the subject, what have you been reading yourself lately?
Adam Rex – Whenever Dan Clowes or Chris Ware put something out I grab it up right away. I dip into Hellboy and the X-titles from time to time. But in the last few years my wife and I got really into the Buffy and Angel television series, which we’d missed in their initial runs. And my wife, whose official position about comics until recently was “I’m glad they exist, but I don’t care to partake,” demanded that we start collecting Buffy: Season Eight and Angel: After the Fall. So now the current Buffyverse series are the only ones I actually have a subscription for at my local shop. I’m especially digging the new Angel and Faith series, with Rebekah Isaacs.
CBT – Is this your first outing with Dark Horse Comics?
Adam Rex – It is. I’m hoping it won’t be the last, because I’ve gotten to be friends with one of their editors, so I’m just hoping I can find the time to do something else. My novels and picture books keep me pretty busy.
CBT – Speaking of Dark Horse Comics, are you two good friends? Would he or she recognize you at a party?
Adam Rex – Well, Scott Allie would. He and I were faculty at this illustrator boot camp in Amherst last summer, and we keep in touch. He has a son, and they were familiar with some of my kids’ books; and of course I was a fan of his work on the Buffy titles.
CBT – Which guildy is your favorite and whom do you think you most often portray in the real world?
Adam Rex – I’m probably most like Codex, personality-wise. Maybe part Codex, part Zaboo? Though Vork might be my favorite. I think my wife likes Clara.
CBT – If you were given the writing privilege to add another guildy to the show which nerd stereotype would that character posses, and why?
Adam Rex – Hmm. There’s a one-upmanship among certain geeks that would be fun to write. The kind of guy who, sensing that someone nearby is about to quote a Simpsons line, will attempt to quote it faster and louder. Because then he “wins.” Once during Comic-Con in the nineties some friends and I took in a showing of Mystery Men, and watched another group of con attendees almost come to blows over whether Phoenix dies in X-men #137 or 138.
CBT – What’s next for Adam Rex? A teenager novella series based upon pagan mythical creatures? Magic the Gathering art gallery openings? Cereal eating contest participant sponsored by Fiber One?
Adam Rex – So you’re referring to my latest illustrated novel, Cold Cereal, and I thank you for the plug. It’s the start of a trilogy about a breakfast cereal company who sucks the magic out of leprechauns and pookas and pixies and puts it in their cereals so that they may eventually raise a child army of sugar zombies and conquer the world. So right now I’m illustrating the sequel,Unlucky Charms, and writing the as-yet untitled third book. The series is full of Arthurian legend and secret societies and a surly de-powered leprechaun in a tracksuit named Mick.
You can see a lot of art and read an excerpt here if you think you might be into this kind of thing:http://www.adamrex.
To shake hands with Adam Rex and have him sign your free issue of The Guild, drop by Heroes and Villains Comic Book Store this Saturday during the Free Comic Book Day celebration. We hope to see you there!
For more information on when and where Adam Rex can shake your hand visit:http://www.facebook.com/
For more info on the making of The Guild comic book cover please visit:
For more information on Adam Rex and other work he has partaken in visit: http://www.adamrex.com/