Interview with the writer and artist of the Talon, Chris Heath and Sean M Bybee. Interview conducted by RJD (Comixkid2099).
A new story from writer Chris Heath and artist Sean Bybee … here comes TALON! A new man in a new life. But, how does he live with what he has to live with? What burdens must he carry with his gifts? How can a man built during world war 2 fit into the times of now? The first of a series of nine issues starts here, and it’s a promise it’s big!
RJD: Sean, as an artist, do you prefer to allow your partner, the writer, to do most of the work when crafting the story, or do you want to help the writer create this world you are creating, and then he scripts and you draw?
Sean M Bybee: This is my first collaboration with anyone.To be honest,in the past,my drawings were mostly what one would might consider splash pages.So,this is really a whole new direction of drawing that I have always wanted to attempt and see how consistent I could be with the characters along with more complexity and to further my practice of detailed backgrounds.I’m,for obvious reasons, am a visual person and have never been one for story telling respectively except through my art.I first came across Chris’ Flea webcomic and thought that his style of story telling has some real potential to it through his originality and passion of the character itself.The guy is a story telling machine! So when he approached me for this project and sent me the first few pages of the script and idea behind the plot of the character I jumped right in started geting some of his thoughts on how he wanted the character to look and we e-mailed back ‘n’ forth over it a few times.I’ll put my two cents in when I feel that maybe a particular panel or part of the story would be better put this way or that, but the story in whole is Chris’ baby.
RJD: Chris, do you like to have a very detailed idea of what you want to do planned out in advance when working on a comic, or do you prefer to let the artist help you create the whole thing before you each do your separate things?
Chris Heath: Well, I’d say it was a mixture of both to be honest. I tend to have the set story, from beginning to end in my head and how things will be revealed and whatnot, and I work on it from there. I wouldn’t say it was in anyway a set idea. Just a quick brief. I miss out some smaller things that might come to me at the time of script writing. However, that is why I am really enjoying this run with sean. I give him the script and then we talk back and forth via email until we come to a decision and the look or something. We kind of do it together, which is why I think this comic could very well be a success.
RJD: Do you find that you can relate to any of the characters in this story, or are you perplexed by the actions these strange people perform?
Sean M Bybee: At this point,do I in no way feel as though I can relate to these characters. But I’m having fun drawing it all and waiting to see how it ends.Kinda like waiting to see how that tv show LOST might end …but it doesn’t.It just keeps geting more and more complex. But to what end? That’s what Chris’ writing does for me. Keeps me wanting for more to see where it all will end.
RJD: Chris, do you like to draw inspiration from real life when writing stories, or do you prefer to look toward the weird and bizare for ideas?
Chris Heath: I tend to do both. I will look at the real life for the normal character development but then again and completely weird stuff always come down to when I have fights. Sometimes, and I have NO idea how exactly I do it, but I wrap the two into one and it comes quite complciated. That’s when I have to go back and change it, because sometimes I go way overboard and it just doesn’t sound right.
RJD: Could you give a brief summation of what this series has to offer, and what fans can look forward to when they read it?
Sean M Bybee: Only time will tell with the creativeness that Chris and I have been working on,albeit,he’s further ahead than where I should be on it at this point.Sorry,Chris.I only hope that the few that are following will get nothing but enjoyment out of the whole thing.I mean this whole proccess is all new and exciting to me and I just love it.Thanks for your patience!
RJD: Do you think that any of the characters in this story reflect you, or are they refelctions of people you know?
Chris Heath: No, not really. The characters are entirely based from something that came to the top of my head. It’s been on the backburner for ages, and I supose all of the ideas of the characters emotions just came from what I thought they would act like in different situations. There’s one guy who arrives in Issue 2 called Garry, and he’s based off someone I saw in a hotel for my holiday, but apart from that no I don’t.
RJD: Who are some of your influences, both artistically, and in life?
Sean M Bybee: Oh gosh,Art wise:Art Adams for his detailed backgrounds of which I envy,Jim Lee for …well he’s Jim Lee damnit! Michael Turner (R.I.P.,Michael)and his Awesome,awesome,awesome fantasy series,Soulfire and just great drawing style period.Mike Mignola for great shadow and shading techniques.There are quite a few other artists I admire I’ll only mention by name:e-bas, Marc Silvestri, Jan Duursema, Luis Royo, Jack Kirby, JR JR, Micah Gunnell and many more! Other influences:Bruce Lee,Isaac Asimov,Steve McQueen as well as most auto and motorcycle racers.
RJD: We’d love to know a quick preview of what to expect from this series. In a couple of sentences, could you explain this series to fans?
Chris Heath: I’d say, a new person to our kind of world trying to figure out how he will survive, and what measures and what he actually has to do to survive as well. Emotions will get the better of him during many things and he realises he might have to keep them all in check. Also quite a lot of violence. This series isn’t all soppy emotional stuff, hell no. I’m not like that. I’m all for the gore and fighting and whatever. The art by Sean is absolutely fantastic and I am pushing him (sorry) without even realising I’m doing it with some scenes and events my scripts. The colours are also awesome and I am really looking forward to whenever this baby comes out, because I am waitingto see what people think of it. Right now, I’d also like to thank Sean for the hard work he has put into this comic, he really is the best suited for the story and with his backgrounds (that I could never master) he is an inspring guy and when I say a page it always makes me want to draw again, despite the artists block or whatever it is I have.
RJD: Do you hope to work with Chris in the future, or do you want to expand your list of alliances and work with some other scribes?
Sean M Bybee: I’ve found this collaboration to be working out great so far and only hope that Chris and I can continue to do so in bigger and better fashion as we both learn and grow from these experinces.It would be nice to do some other things down the road.You have to keep trying new things for many reasons before this joyride of a roller coaster we call “life” will come to an abrupt end.At least that’s how I view it.I mean look at what Benjamin Franklin acomplished in his life and did for the betterment of his fellow man.Did you know that he would not patent any of his ideas for that reason alone except for his printing technique of using leaves as a unique proccess of printing paper money so it could not be illegaly reprinted? To this day it is not known exactley how he accomplished that particular technique.To be admired,respected and revered by ones peers I think is something we all wish to achieve.I’m no different.
RJD: Do you have any plans on keeping Sean’s artistic tallent all for youself, or do you want to search for other artists to ensnare into your works in the future?
Chris Heath: I’d like to think of me and Sean as a team for comics, even though we never do comics together for some of them, but if the time comes, I’d love to have him provide art for another one of my comics again. Of course I am alright with any other artist providing art for one of my stories, but me and Sean are good friends and I’d like to think of me and Sean as the Millar and Hitch, but obviously my writin g is not even on par with millars but we will always do a story together someday if Sean wants and if he is interested in my story. Like I said, he is a great artist and an inspiring one, and if I had the opportunity to have him draw a comic I wrote the script for, then I would obviously accept it. He’s been a great help so far with the pages he has drawn for Talon and I really love his artwork. I don’t know why, it’s just that we both kind of make a good little team.