Last Friday I talked about featuring artists and creators on the site rather than just pooling their art on to one post. That way you can see cool art, but also get to know the person that's creating the pieces you're enjoying. Well it's Monday and here we are already with our first feature. Mike Morrison is the writer/artist with his own Wolverine web-comic entitled "Wendigo Cries." He sent me the link via Twitter to read the first six pages of the story and I was impressed by it. It made me laugh and gave me that innocent joy of reading Wolverine that I've longed for. Instead of feeling that Wolverine was unstoppable and thus uninteresting, I felt that he was a badass. I asked Mike some questions about the series and his aspirations in the comic industry so that's what we have for you today. Feel free to stop by his blog Planet Web-Head or his deviant art page CB) With "Wendigo Cries" it seems that you're take on Wolverine is of the 80's and 90's. Were there any stories that influenced your comic? Or perhaps the 90's cartoon show?
MM) I am a big fan of Chris Claremont and Frank Miller Wolverine/Patch stories. I feel like Chris Claremont really defined and fleshed out the world that the mutants exist in, and I love how gritty Frank Miller's work from the 80's is. I also liked the 90's cartoon a lot. It was cool because it was so character driven. Those are some of the elements that made Marvel stories classic. What I took from those is that physically Wolverine is nearly invincible, so to really present him with a challenge you have put him in a mind-fuck scenario to throw him off balance. Couple that with a big mean monster for him to fight and you should get a pretty sweet Wolvie story.
CB) My favorite page was the fifth page with the blood effect. I loved how the blood was so powerful that it almost disregarded the narration and basically everything became secondary to the blood. What was the desired effect you were going for with this page and what did you use for the blood?
MM) I love how in several Kubrick films he shows blood splats on white. It's such an intense image that conveys a tremendous sense of violence to me. I think solo Wolverine comics should be kind of like a grindhouse movie or really brutal action movie. When he's with the X-Men, that's a whole different thing. But solo Wolverine should be totally savage. I just used regular red ink for the blood. It took me like 4 tries before I got a page I was happy with.
CB) How long will "Wendigo Cries" run for?
MM) It started off as something just to kind of get some exercise in drawing/writing. Then the idea evolved into a possible series pitch to Marvel called "Wolverine - Colorblind". The premise is similar to something like Batman - Black and White. Short stories by several writers and artists, drawn in a mono-chromatic color scheme. I'm gonna do 3 more 5-6 page/monthly releases that will wrap this story up.
CB) What are your art and writing influences?
MM) As far as comic artists go, Jim Lee inked by Scott Williams is pretty much the apex for me. I like old Todd McFarlane stuff, the Kuberts, Richard Corben, Neal Adams, Jim Steranko, and I'm pretty sure that Jack Kirby is to comic art, what the Beatles are to rock music. As far as comic writers: Alan Moore is probably my favorite. Old Frank Miller. I like Steve Niles pretty well and there are a bunch of fairly new writers out now that are really good.
CB) What's next for you creatively after your Wolverine tale?
MM) I'm currently finishing a 24 page D.I.Y. one-shot comic called "Secrets In The Ashes". It's a noir story that takes place 60 years after World War III. It's really dark. Both visually and in content. It's kind of like a sci-fi detective story with a little bit of David Lynch style weirdness. Some of the splash pages are up on my Deviant Art page. Other than that, I'm putting together a series called "Soldato". It is a fictional, monthly series that centers around the Philadelphia Mafia in the late 70's throughout the 80's.
CB) Where would you like to see your comic career go? Do you see yourself working in the corporate structure or self-publishing your original work?
MM) I'd love to do some stuff for the big companies. It could be fun to try to repair the damage done to the Marvel universe. I'd also love to have the opportunity to try to get people to like Superman again. And of course I'd love to write Batman for a while. Simultaneously I'd like to continue to put out my own stuff out without having to clear it with anybody. Ultimately, working for the big companies is really just a way to expose yourself as a creator to a wider audience while fine-tuning your craft. The characters are familiar and established. So you just have to come up with stories, and then concentrate on the technical end of scripting. How to make the panels work for you, leading the eye, etc. If you're lucky enough to get to work on a franchise series for a while, you'll eventually build the resources to do whatever you want to do as an independent creator.
CB) Okay be honest, are you enjoying Jason Aaron's run on Wolverine? Personally, I haven't enjoyed Wolverine since Sean Chen left the series and think that people just buy it due to the name alone.
MM) I've only read a few of the early issues that he did. I liked some of it, but not enough to keep buying the series. With characters like Wolverine, I don't think it's a good idea to get real abstract with concepts like going to hell to fight past foes again and all that stuff. That's more like Silver Surfer and Dr. Strange material. Cool Wolverine stories are generally pretty basic adventure tales. However, I am a fan of Jason Aaron. Scalped is badass and I love what he's doing with The Incredible Hulk right now. -- We'd like to thank Mike and encourage you to support his projects as well!