The second issue of BOOM! Studios’ Grass Kings hits stores next week, and what better way to get ready than by reading a commentary from both creators, Matt Kindt and Tyler Jenkins, on the first issue? Well, alright, technically you could pick up the first issue at comiXology, but this serves as the perfect compliment to that. BOOM! was kind enough to send this over, so give it a read. Could you do any less?
MATT KINDT: This is the first flashback sequence that we see in the series. I feel like flashbacks are always a tricky thing visually. In comics, there are a lot of ways to do it and I try to leave it open to the artist to handle it in a way that is unique to their style. In Tyler’s case, he absolutely blew me away. He dropped all the panel borders and then used the natural pooled edges of the water color to define the space between panels…and then literally let them bleed into each other on the bottom three panels. This really gave the entire sequence a dreamlike quality that you can’t really script.
TYLER JENKINS: This first flashback scene basically sets up our main character, Robert, and why his life is where it’s at. As Matt mentioned, I dropped the blacks and really made no attempt to stop the watercolor from doing its best watercolor impression. I painted it very wet and just left it to bleed.
KINDT: Still in the flashback—now the color shifts to dusk/evening to show the passage of time and also the mood—from fairy-tale to reality. Tyler’s use of canted angles had a sort of “rolling hills” picaresque feel on the previous page—but using the same effect here it visualizes Robert’s mental state—off balance and disoriented.
KINDT: We cut back to the present-day. Now we look at Robert here, staring at the water that he suspects took his daughter—it gives us a completely different understanding of where he is mentally now. He may be a bit of a drunk…but now we know at least part of the cause. Again, we’re using color to tell the story here, trying to convey mindset and passage of time. If you take the color out of this scene, it doesn’t work.
JENKINS: This is one of my favorite pages. The sun’s going down, our “hero” settles in to sit through the dark of night. I like painting the sky with a ton of detail and motion, again, aided by the natural magic powers of watercolor.
KINDT: Point of view from the water. Everything to this point was stage setting and introduction. As soon as we enter the water we see our characters and the kingdom from a new point of view and this shot—this scene—is the spark that fires the rest of the series. Is this Robert’s daughter? Is he crazy? Is she even real? These are thoughts that Robert and the reader will share.
JENKINS: This is and the previous page are my favorite kinds of thing to draw: emotional acting. I love drawing acting and action that supports the acting, as opposed to just action. To try to get Robert’s sense of panic and shock… this is my favorite thing to attempt, successful or not.
JENKINS: It was an interesting challenge to get our mystery woman to look so out of it and hurt… and to have Robert display tenderness.
KINDT: What can I say about this? The script basically describes a mood and a feeling and a kind of mysterious mythic quality—but it’s just words on the page unless Tyler is able to do what he did here. There is a lot going on here. Moonlight and then the hint of light on the horizon—a sunrise or the town across the lake… or something else? The strange patterns and depth in the water—the lake here is an important character. And the cloaking of the woman’s face… all of that serves a purpose that will pay off later on.
Grass Kings #2 is in stores on Wednesday.
Grass Kings #2(W) Matt Kindt (CA) Matt Kindt (A/CA) Tyler Jenkins
Robert takes in the mysterious woman from the lake and opens up to her about his missing daughter… a daughter that would be about the same age as the woman in front of him.
In Shops: Apr 12, 2017
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