By Rodney Ford
As a follow up to my review of Star Wars – Legacy #8, I’m proud to share with all of you my interview with Adam DeKraker. Adam was kind enough to answer a few questions regarding his work on this issue and what projects he has worked on in the past. He is a very talented penciller and Inker, having done work for DC comics, Marvel comics, Topps, Upper deck Entertainment, and Nickelodeon Magazine to name just a few.
RF: How did you get the opportunity to pencil a Star Wars book?
DeKraker: I just kept bugging the editor, Randy Stradley, whom I’d met at a convention a couple years back. Just kept sending him the stuff I was working on and let him know I’d be eager to give it a go at Dark Horse. Luckily, the project that opened up was this cool Star Wars gig.
RF: I noticed that there was no inker listed on this book. Did you ink this issue or did colorist Ronda Pattison?
DeKraker: This book was “shot from pencils,” something that’s becoming more common these days as technology has advanced. I scanned in my finished pencils, which, unlike a traditional comic’s page destined for inks, included some gray tones and shading. I fiddled with the pages a bit using Photoshop on the computer, and then sent the files off to Dark Horse. After that, Ronda did all the coloring magic. There is no proper “inker” on a book shot from pencils, but I think it’s fair to say that ideally both the penciller and the colorist put in a little extra work to mind the gap, and “complete” the art, by keeping the penciled work more precise than it may have to be if an inker is working over it, or choosing which lines to darken to make them look black like ink.
More and more books are being shot from pencils these days, with pretty mixed results. The end result can look more painterly with a talented colorist on hand, which can be nice, or the whole thing can just look washed out and unfinished. Unfortunately, I think the latter tends to be more common. Skipping the inker saves on time and money for a publisher though, so it’s becoming something you see more often.
Luckily for me, Dark Horse did a nice job on this. It’s the first time I’ve worked on something where I knew there wouldn’t be an inker and I was pretty nervous about how it’d look in the end. But, I think Ronda did some nice work here.
I still prefer an inked book, generally, but I do look forward to playing around like this again.
RF: What did you enjoy most about working on this issue?
DeKraker: Well, it was my first chance to do work shot just from pencils, so it
was fun to see how that turned out in the end. Having been nervous
about it initially, it made seeing the end result more rewarding.
Beyond that, getting the chance to work on something John Ostrander had
written was quite an honor. And to have it be Star Wars to boot, an
honor, and a bit intimidating!
RF: When you got the script for this issue how did you go about laying out the issue? Or did John already have notes regarding how he wanted it to look?
DeKraker: Generally, the layouts were up to me. Certain sequences or panels had specific directions, but I’d say the majority of the “visual storytelling” decisions were left to me. John’s script was very detailed in terms of what he wanted to make sure was on the page, and he had the script broken down into panels, but after making sure those
elements were there and that it was hitting the same beats, the actual layouts were pretty much up to me.
RF: Are you going to be doing any more issues of Legacy?
DeKraker: If they’ll have me back, I’d love to! I hope so. We’ll see.
RF: So I read some where that you also do inking. Do you have any inking projects in the works?
DeKraker: No straight inking projects in the pipeline right now. I’ve been doing a fair amount of inking over my own work on various little projects lately, like some Upper Deck trading cards and some special promotional projects at DC, as well as some pin ups that’ll be popping up here and there, but it’s been awhile since I inked another artist. Inking someone else can be a nice break from working in your own style, allowing you to stretch a bit. It seems Nickelodeon Magazine often reprints some of the stuff I do for them, so you can always keep an eye out for some of that.
RF: What are you working on now and what do you have coming out in 2007?
DeKraker: I’ve been doing a lot of strange little side projects lately. Like over at DC, I worked on the adaptation for the new Court TV series Til Death Do Us Part, starring John Waters as the Groom Reaper (crazy, right??), and illustrating all the photos for a Daily Planet newspaper for a Con Edison promotion. Collections of my work on Birds of Prey and Super girl & the Legion of Super-Heroes are hitting the stands in the coming months, and there are various pinups and trading cards and things that’ll be popping up here and there. I’ve got another project I’m working on, but not prepared to announce.
RF: One final question Adam, What title would you most like to pencil for? (Favorite character or title)
DeKraker: I really am a big super hero fan, so all the usual suspects, I suppose. At some point, working on the JLA is my dream, but right now I really enjoy the more second tier characters at both companies. I think I’d do a great job on Robin at DC. There’s a ton of weird characters I’d just get a kick out of working on, like Ragman, the Creeper, Iron Fist, or Animal Man. I’d kill to work on a project with a film noir vibe.
There are certainly some writers I’d jump at the chance to work on. I’d love to do something with Brian Bendis or Peter David.
I hope you enjoyed this interview, please feel free to visit my comic space page for updates on upcoming interviews and reviews. Once again I’d like to thank Adam for taking the time to do this interview with me and I look forward to seeing what else he can bring to the comic world in the future.
Don’t forget to stop by Adam’s web site at adamdekraker.com