Image Grand Design is a fan made comic that I had the pleasure of working on with some very creative minds. In the first of a series, I interview Canadian artist and tattoo maestro Craig CK, the man who introduced me to this gang of genius maniacs and brought me aboard the project with a life changing question: "Did you know that Jack Kirby did an Image book and that it had Bruce Lee in it?" Craig loves Kirby and Archie Comics equally and if that doesn't give you an indication of how interesting the guy is...
We can't tell you a lot about the inner workings of Image Grand Design just yet, but I can say that without Rick Lopez, it would be a very different book. He built the beginning and the end, the foundation and four corners the narrative is built around. Here, we talk about his motivations and the things that power his vision and imagination.
With the words "Just tell me what you need" and the fast chops to back them up, Chris Anderson became a very integral part of the Image Grand Design family. You may have seen his work in Heavy Metal, Creepshow, or elsewhere. Here, we talk about the challenges of making a living in comics, bad jobs, and the gritty, lost magic of 80s PG-13 movies. Oh yeah, and also the pervasive influence of Image Comics.
Image Grand Design is filled to the brim with a very disparate group of artists, but none is more unique than Sam J. Royale. Sam uses a ton of different tools (sometimes even common household items) to create colorfully engaging images that look like no one else's work. Here, we talk about some of his process, influences, his own book (DISHOOM), handling Spawn's origin, and the joys of being a member of TEAM MAXX, the collective within a collective who gave Image's most far out creation a coda you won't forget.
Better known elsewhere as Burgess Meredith, the good natured "genuine character" Dave Grom is the TEAM MAXX man who created some of the most madcap and fun work in Image Grand Design. Here, we talked about looking forward to the book being out, the synergy of the team, and the many twists and turns his life has taken since work began on the project. In his heart, he wants to be loud! For real for real!
Another member of TEAM MAXX, Ben Granoff brought a unique style of cartooning to the Image Grand Design project, pitting Sam Keith's creation against the infinite void and taking the story into uncharted waters with a touch of wry humor. In this conversation, we explore what brought Ben to comics and the many influences on his worldview.
Simply put, there would be no Image Grand Design without Jerome Cabanatan (Pronounced Cab-Ann-A-Tan). From the earliest organizational efforts through contributions that include plotting, layouts, coloring, and finished art, Jerome was the first to take the Cartoonist Kayfabe episode about the Design pitch seriously and all roads of the project lead back to him. Here, we talked about the process from its beginning to the end of production to the eve of its release.
Straight from the start, David Brouwers was the big man on campus on Image Grand Design. There was never a question of who was going to do the cover, it was a foregone conclusion. He took the Image style and kicked it to another level. Brouwers is into all kinds of comics, though. Here, we covered the gamut, including our mutual appreciation of the Big Red Cheese.
Every party needs a host, and any group project needs a central person that makes sure the idea can become a thing. Eli Schwab is that someone- not just on this project, but also Wizerd, the Ween Zine, and with Cartoonist Kayfabe Ringside Seats, he presides over what has to be the most vibrant online social scene in all of comics. He's the gardener who tended to the flowerbed all of this grew from. Here's what he has to say about it.
The true link between the Cartoonist Kayfabe episode detailing the proposed Image Grand Design pitch and the book becoming a thing was Michael Kemp's mock-up ad made for Wizerd #1. It made a hundred pencils start moving, and before long, the "fake ad" became very real. We talked all about that, the joys of an airtight page of panels, and the bone he has to pick with me.
With his Shadowhawk vs Trencher story, Anton William Blake brought one of the most intriguing angles to Image Grand Design. It's a story that works fantastically on its own but also ties the overall tapestry together with a pitch-perfect tone between story and art. Here, we talk about how Anton got into comics, why he digs Image, and what might be next.
We interview Eli Schwab, Jerome Cabanatan, Rick Lopez, Anton Blake, Chris Anderson, and Allen Greenwood about the Image Grand Design Comic they all worked on, creators rights, and more.
Nirvana - Lithium
Alan Parsons Project - Sirius
Ween - buckingham green
Sons of Kemet - your queen is a reptile
The avalanches - frontier psychologist
Gillian Welch - look at miss Ohio