Nathan Stockman Gets Savage
Hey, guys, I had the pleasure to do a quick interview with comic book artist Nathan Stockman and talk a little bit about his art style and his current work on Valiant Entertainment’s new Savage series. Hope everyone enjoys, and thank you to Nathan Stockman for taking the time to do the interview.
Brent: Hi, Nathan. Thank you for taking the time to do this interview; it is very much appreciated. I guess my first question is, after reading Savage #2, with such a wild issue inside Project Bizarre’s “lair”, what is it like as an artist to get something like that in a script? I imagine a bit of excitement to draw all those wild things and a bit of nervousness that “you have to draw all those wild things”.
STOCKMAN: Haha, exactly. The reader in me is like “Oh cool, a crazy lab” and the artist is like “Damn you, Max!”
Brent: I guess playing off that question as well, how do you decide on story flow? Picking angles or shots for certain scenes?
STOCKMAN: A lot of it is instinct, to be honest. I’ll read the script a few times and jot down very rough scribbles as I reread. Working out angles and shots and story flow. My main goal is to make sure the storytelling is clear. I’ll always happily sacrifice a cool shot that reads muddy, to a less flashy angle that shows what it needs to. That’s not to say it’s not fun working out a solution where we can make it cool AND readable. That’s the ideal really!
Brent: One of the things I have been impressed most with your work is the fantastic character acting and emotion you get from your characters. Wonderful facial expressions and visual storytelling; how do you decide what body language or how a character should be reacting to visually depict scenes?
STOCKMAN: Thanks so much! I do try and take care with that. It’s easy to fall into the trap of having all the characters act in a similar way so I have to remind myself that each will hold themselves differently and react to things in their own manner. With Kevin, his personality was well defined in the first series so he’s a great starting point. Awkward and a bit unsure around people but ultra-confident and relaxed when in his element of fighting dinos! With other characters it’s a learning process. Max wrote some very well defined new characters so that helped me find their personality on the page!
Brent: A book titled Savage is going to have some bloodier/gory moments. But you seem to be toeing the line of not going too over the top with the gore or more intense images. Is this something to try and keep in tone with the series? For me I like the happy medium of not being too over the top, but is it something you have to mentally hold back on when doing the art?
STOCKMAN: Yeah, I definitely have to rein myself in a little bit. I’d end up going full Invincible otherwise! Having worked on some Marvel series before, I have a good feel of what the line is. We have maybe a little more leeway on Savage in regards to gore but I do have to keep in mind not to go too crazy!
Brent: What has been your favorite thing about working on Savage so far?
STOCKMAN: Ah man, everything really! Such a cop-out answer but from day one, doing character designs, right up to getting colours and letters back on finished issues, it’s all been absolutely fantastic. Everyone at Valiant has been terrific and my collaborators on the book are all so great. They really elevate me and push me to try harder at the same time!
Brent: Are there any other Valiant characters you would like to take a crack at drawing?
STOCKMAN: I’ve always liked Quantum and Woody. I definitely skew towards a bit of a comedic approach so I think I’d have fun with those guys!
Brent: I guess my last question would be, what do we have to look forward to from Nathan Stockman in the future and anything you can tease us about coming up in Savage? Thank you again!
STOCKMAN: I’ll be continuing to draw crazy, fun stuff while cooped up. I’m looking forward to conventions again. And really just being able to go somewhere. Anywhere! In regards to Savage—I think we try to top ourselves with craziness in each issue. So plenty more gore (but not too much) filled pages of fun, frolicking and flying geckos!
Thanks once again to Nathan Stockman for taking the time to do this interview. You can check out his latest work in Valliant’s Savage, which is currently ongoing with issue #3 coming out soon.
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