Kyle Rayner Co-Creator Darryl Banks Returns To Comics

imageJohn Babos writes for Bleeding Cool and Comics Nexus.

On Tuesday, a graphic novel called Horizon’s End was launched on Kickstarter by a new writing duo sporting a line-up of marquee comic book professionals: penciller Darryl Banks, cover artist Stephane Roux, colorist Moose Baumann, and letterers Troy Peteri and Dave Lanphear. On top of that, writers Daron Kappauff and Chris Delloiacono (DnC) also bagged Ron Marz for the forward.

Several well-known artists are also contributing commissions and other art to support the various Kickstarter donation levels including: Mike Grell, Ryan Benjamin, Mikael Janin, Barry Kitson, Todd Nauck, Sergio Cariello, Jim Calafiore, Mikel Janin and more.

It is described on Kickstarter as follows:

Horizon’s End is a science fiction epic in the vein of the classic space opera and science fiction adventure series. It’s focused on the intergalactic story of a teenage girl (Andara) caught between the need to avenge her murdered loved ones and the sense of duty instilled in her by those who rescued her from a life of slavery. Exploring themes of self-discovery, independence, and trust, Horizon’s End is a 120 page, full color, original graphic novel.

It also marks the return to comics for artist Darryl Banks, best known for co-creating Green Lantern Kyle Rayner and chronicling the fall of Hal Jordon, rise of Parallax in the 1990’s Emerald Twilight.

In addition, to interviewing other members of the Horizon’s End creative team earlier this week and getting some inside details of the project, I was also able to speak with Darryl Banks for Bleeding Cool about his return to comics and why Horizon’s End was the book that made it happen.

imageJohn Babos: Congratulations on your new project from Kickstarter, Darryl. What made this the right project to mark your return to comics?

Darryl Banks: There were quite a few factors. Daron was very enthusiastic about the overall concept and how he felt that I would be a good choice to handle the pencil art. I can’t back out of my current artistic commitments, but this project will allow me the time frame to work this in. I love designing characters and there are plenty of opportunities here to do that.

You are fondly remembered for co-creating Green Lantern Kyle Rayner with Ron Marz in the 1990s. You were new to the industry then. What lessons did you learn from that time in your career that you can impart on the two newbie co-writers/co-creators of Horizon’s End?

Actually I was not new to the industry, just new to DC Comics. I had been working in the independent comics field for over five years before I got my chance to work at DC.

This project is more like my indy days. Daron and Chris don’t have a big corporation with a big budget backing them. They have to build this from the ground up with trial and error.

I’ve learned over time to keep things fundamental and foundational. Appreciate your supporters and don’t worry about critics. And there will always be critics. The best creators in the business have their critics, that’s just how it is. Don’t sweat it and second guess yourself.

I understand you have been active doing commission art and working in the commercial art field since your time away from comics. Has your style or process evolved over this time?

My time management is better now because I have to do so much multi-tasking. I didn’t ink or use any digital techniques back in the 1990’s but I do now. I use to worry that each page was perfect or not. I can never be 100 percent perfect but I can be consistently excellent and professional.

imageHow involved were you in the design and “visual look” of the Horizon’s End characters and backdrop?

Following the written character outlines I designed the Horizon’s End characters in black and white. A version of the main character Andara was designed ahead of time but I was asked to do a revision.

As someone who has been away from the industry for a few years, how do you think the business has changed?

I’ve noticed that creative teams don’t stay together as long as they used to. Page rates are actually a bit lower even at the big companies. The industry has a darker tone in both products and creative relations in comparison to years ago.

On the positive side, the independent scene is seeing a creative surge. Kickstarter has a bit to do with that I think.

What do you think of how Kickstarter has enabled so many projects to be crowd-funded? It is not just for new creators, but veterans like Marc Silvestri, Rob Liefeld and others have also joined the crowd-sourcing initiative?

Kickstarter gives creators a great starting point for getting ideas off the ground. Going from idea to actual plan to published product has been aided by the streamlined funding process.

What’s next for Darryl Banks in the comics medium? Any parting comments on Horizon’s End?

Right now I’m not looking past Horizon’s End regarding the comic book aspect of my art career. Quite literally things have only just begun.

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I’d like to thank Darryl Banks for taking the time to connect with me on this new project.

The Kickstarter campaign for Horizon’s End launched Tuesday. The page has a pretty cool introductory video among other things that explains the concept for the graphic novel. It also allows you to support the project with several donation options with pretty cool original art and other “prizes” from the marquee creators I opened this piece with. Also feel free to like their Horizon’s End Facebook page so that you can keep up-to-date on this project. Plus, as noted earlier, DnC reveal more details on their all-star project here.

Thanks for reading. All feedback welcome.

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John Babos, has been blogging about comics and pop culture for over a decade. In addition to column “Comics Realism” at Bleeding Cool, he continues to write “Demythify” a column for Comics Nexus. The title Comics Realism is inspired by the theory of Fictional Realism that asserts that all fictional characters exist out there, somewhere, for real.