Dear minions, I am happy to bring you an interview covering “SEVERED”. The story brings together the talented comic book veteran Scott Snyder with comic newcomer Scott Tuft and the amazing artist Attila Futaki to create something truly different in the genre. I look forward to this comic, and I hope you minions do to; in the meantime I will give you this interview. Read on for more…
Johnny_Trouble: “I would like to thank you three for taking the time to talk to Bloody-Disgusting.com about SEVERED. Additionally, Scott Snyder, on behalf of THEoDEAD and myself I would like to take a second to say thank you again for letting us interview you on the last day of C2E2, despite the fact that you had a flight to catch that morning. It was truly appreciated.”
Scott Snyder: “My pleasure. Was great talking to you and I really appreciate all your support. I also can’t tell you how much it means that you are taking the time to cover SEVERED. It’s a story really close to my heart and as you know getting the word out on an indie comic can be tricky… I’m really proud of SEVERED and I’d love to share it with as many people as possible. I hope it comes out with the splash that it deserves. Thanks so much for your interest.”
Johnny_Trouble: “Where did you guys get the idea of creating SEVERED?”
Snyder and Tuft: “We wanted to write a horror story that was deeply scary: something that elicited the kind of fear you have as a kid. A primal fear. For inspiration we looked to the things that scared us as kids – classical fairytales about being lost in the woods with something out there that will stop at nothing to devour you. While SEVERED has its share of gore, the scares will hopefully come from a deeper place… from the characters and the setting and the mood. The whole series is designed for the horror and tension to build throughout and we really hope that this approach pays off with a comic that will be deeply affecting.”
Johnny_Trouble: “In the press release for SEVERED it mentions the main character is a 12-year-old boy by the name of Jack Garron. Were there any challenges regarding how to write the character of this preteen who is searching for his father?”
Snyder and Tuft: “We think Jack is a pretty universal character and we were both 12-year-old boys at one time. Also, as SEVERED is set in 1916 it was fun to play with expectations… Back then 12 year olds were smoking cigarettes and working on factory lines and we wanted to show this world. In a lot of ways though Jack, our main character, is more like an average middle class modern American kid. He is nurtured, fearless and largely sheltered from the horrors of the world. Having him enter the world of the road in 1916 where kids live on the street and have to struggle and fight to survive provides for a fun journey.”
Johnny_Trouble: “Scott Snyder, can you tell us a little bit about the traveling tattooed salesman?”
Scott Snyder: “Well first off… he’s a blast to write. He’s a complex character that is funny and charming but also cold, calculating and scary as hell. As far as the way he looks, he’s the kind of guy that you wouldn’t notice in a crowd. The tattoos, like his real persona remains hidden and if you are seeing them… you’re in trouble. Most people will see him as a guy in a gray suit… a normal, charismatic salesman who is charming but completely unassuming… He’s the kind of guy you might ask to watch your kids. But I wouldn’t recommend it. Really… if this guy wants to watch your kids, call the cops… he’s rotten to the core.”
Johnny_Trouble: “Who has been your favorite SEVERED character to write for and why?”
Scott Snyder: “Definitely the Salesman. Cause of the reasons above but also because I find him primally frightening. He’s someone who knows what you want… deep down… and he uses this desire as a hook. And once he’s got you, he wont let go until your dreams turn into nightmares.”
Johnny_Trouble: “Scott Tuft, you have a history of work in film if I am not mistaken, what would you say the biggest difference is when it comes to approaching projects for cinema compared to comics?”
Scott Tuft: “At the end of the day… it’s all about telling stories that will entertain and connect with people. But the formats are so vastly different that the approach you take to accomplish these goals are almost night and day. So that’s a big question. And one that I think about every day.
While I’ve been working in movies and TV for a while, this is my first venture into comics and every day I learn something new about the form. It’s an understatement to say that I’ve been lucky to work with such great comics craftsmen as Scott and Attila as well as Steven Finch (who will be designing and lettering the book). These guys are all fantastic and I learn something from each of them daily.”
Johnny_Trouble: “Has there been any challenges in writing this comic as a period piece set in the early 20th century?”
Scott Tuft: “There’s a whole lot of research that needs to be done but we both enjoy that part. And a lot of times inspiration can come from the research. I guess the real challenge is to mediate between the reality of the time period and the reality of the world that we all live in. Like with the dialogue… you want to be realistic to the time but not off-putting to readers. Another tricky spot is using certain technological things that were in fashion back then but are now obsolete… we want to use these things because we find them to be truly haunting but because they’re obsolete, there’s a bit of work in getting them to make sense to the reader. But I guess this is the same as doing sci-fi or anything outside of our day-to-day reality.
But doing the comic as a period piece is super easy compared to if it were a film. Making a period piece film, you’ve gotta go through lots of hoops to make sure that a bright red Hummer doesn’t show up in the background. With comics, that’s not gonna happen unless Attila starts drinking too much Hungarian schnapps.”
Johnny_Trouble: “You are a Hungarian artist yet Snyder has called this story “uniquely American”, this being said, have you encountered any major cultural barriers when doing the art for the series?”
Attila: “It has mostly been not a problem. You don’t have to live in America to know the culture. It is everywhere in movies/TV/comics. Like everyone knows what the Empire State Building looks like, no matter if they have been to New York. I grew up on American movies, mostly horror and the Scott’s have similar reference points. Also the Scotts have been really good to send me lots of references. So far the only thing that has been a bit tough is a scene where one of our characters is watching a baseball game. Scott has had to send me lots of references and even drew out some angles and perspectives. It’s a really complicated sport and we’ve gone through several drafts of that scene. I’ve had an easier time drawing the imaginary Olympian sports in the Percy Jackson books than this crazy American sport.”
Johnny_Trouble: “What has been your favorite aspect of doing the art for SEVERED?”
Attila: “I try to pay attention to all of the phases of working and love all aspects. My process is this: First I read the script as a fan – I want Snyder and Tuft to surprise me. Then I read it again a couple times and try to capture the scenes in my mind. When I can see the whole issue playing out in my mind, I do the layouts. I really enjoy this phase. The layouts are actually very detailed and include the settings of the different locations. In this book not only do the characters talk, but so does the atmosphere- the houses, the walls etc. And it’s important to keep them in mind.
And with the drawing, I am pretty methodical and meticulous. I am very detail oriented and if each page doesn’t reach my ambition, I will go back and do it again until it does. It is kind of crazy.
But back to your question:
I enjoy the inking process, and the coloring is interesting because I paint the black and white lines with watercolor and gouache. It takes a lot of time, but I am sure this look is what fits best with the age.
But if I have to pick one aspect as my favorite, through all the phases, the thing I love to work on the most is making the readers feel scared:)”
Johnny_Trouble: “Who is your favorite character to illustrate in SEVERED and why?”
Attila: “Our shady mysterious salesman of course!
His character has so many levels, which gives me a challenge in every issue. He can be creepy and charming at the same time. And he is funny in a deeply unsettling way. He reminds me a bit of myself, I am afraid.”
Johnny_Trouble: “Is there anything you used as a reference or a source of inspiration when working on the art in SEVERED?”
Attila: “Sure. Especially for backgrounds. Snyder and Tuft could find amazing pictures from that age. These are extremely important, to make the background not only a background but a place where people were actually living.
So, I used references for building, locations, everything including the wallpaper:)
For the characters, I try to use not so much reference, but when I do, I always pay attention to not copy the photo. That never works, I’m afraid. A photo can rarely be as dynamic as a drawing, so I try to go as far from the photo as I can.”
All three of you:Johnny_Trouble: “Where can readers expect to see you this convention season?”
Severed Team: “Both Scotts will be at San Diego and New York and we are hoping that Attila can make it to New York as well. Tuft is planning to make it to Baltimore and we are open to going anywhere else to support the book. It is hard to bring readers to an independent self-contained mini and we want to do all we can to get SEVERED out there. The conventions are great and the press is super important. We really appreciate you guys doing this interview with us and getting out the word on SEVERED.”
Johnny_Trouble: “Where can readers go online to keep up with news regarding SEVERED as well as each of you?”
Severed Team: “We are putting together a website for SEVERED but for now we have a SEVERED Facebook page which will have all the updates. You should be able to find it in a search on Facebook but if not
Also… Both Scotts have Twitter Accounts. Snyder is much more active
And Attila has a blog.
Thanks to the creative team of “SEVERED” for talking to us here at BD. Severed hits shelves today, and I can’t wait to see what the Scotts and Attila have in store for us.