Creator Interview: Jason Copland - Part 3

And here's the third and final part of my interview with artist Jason Copland.

To read part one of the interview, click here.
To read part two of the interview, click here.

Bernie Gonzalez: Moving onto your most recent project to hit the shelves…how did your story with Matt in Postcards come about?

Jason Copland: My involvement in Postcards was an act of kindness by the book's editor and head honcho, Jason Rodriguez. We had worked together previously (Jason was my editor for the Stuart Moore penned Western Tales of Terror story I illustrated) and he felt that my work would fit nicely in Postcards. Jason had a few stories that still needed an artist and he felt that my style would work best in service of Matt's story. So, via email, Jason introduced me to Matt, although I was aware of his work though the DC Conspiracy.

BG: Let's talk about the production. How did you and Matt put the story together?
JC: The production of our story was fairly uneventful, really. Matt sent me the "Marvel style" script, a plot with dialogue broken down over the four-page length it was originally meant to be. It was the first time I had worked from just a plot, so it was kind of exciting and scary, at the same time. I began by listing all the beats of each page that needed to be illustrated and, to my surprise/horror, I quickly realized that some pages were going to need 13-16 panels to accurately depict all the information Matt had described. Many of those panels were going to be repeating panels with slight variations, which meant that many of them needed to be the same shape and scale. That fact led me to organizing the pages in a 4x4 grid layout. After that, it became a matter of deciding which panels, on pages with less than sixteen panels, got an extra frame to help control the story’s pacing and tension.

As I was working on the layouts, I realized that 4 pages just wasn't going to be enough space. I felt that the last shot needed to be large enough to help alleviate the claustrophobic tone that the restrictive grid system of the previous pages imposed. So, instead of cramming the final shot in, I made a case for having a splash page as a fifth page to give the ending a more visually fulfilling ending. Thankfully, Jason agreed.

I emailed out the layouts to Jason and Matt when I finished them and got their "OKs”. From there, I printed out the pages and inked them and then sent them out for corrections. No corrections were asked for but there was a change to one of the panels on the first page to accommodate the lettering.

BG: Now that Postcards is on the shelves and you can see "Send Louis His Underwear" in the context of the other stories, what do you think of your contribution? The overall book?

JC: I am very happy with the work I contributed to Postcards. I think Matt and I put together a great little tale. And being part of this amazing book that is filled with so many talented creators is the icing on the cake.

BG: After Postcards, you're working on Kill All Monsters! Being a huge Godzilla fan, I'm already sold on the title alone. So realizing that you want to keep a few aces up your sleeves for the paying customers down the road, what's the skinny behind Kill All Monsters!?

JC: Well, KAM! started as an idea I had to have a book that I could use as a showcase for my work. I was going to contact writers and ask them to write a story for a "robot vs. monster" anthology that I would then illustrate and self publish. After talking with Alex Ness, we came up with a basic premise of what was to become Kill All Monsters!, which is, how do you combat giant monsters that are bent on ridding the Earth of all human life? That's right! Build giant robots!

Enter writer, Michael May. Mike took that very basic 50's giant movie monster idea and mixed in some 60's Nick Fury-ish espionage and intrigue with some 22nd Century eco-concerns, and what came together is something I've very excited about. KAM! is a book I'd love to draw for as long as I possibly can.

BG: Any other upcoming projects you can talk about?

JC: There's a book of poems by Alex Ness, called A Life of Ravens, that's about to hit the printers. The book features illustrations by some very talented comic creators such as Mike Grell, Peter Bergting, Alex Sheikman, Josh Howard, Paul Harmon and Rich Koslowski. I illustrated a short poem called Valkyrie Fly; it has three full page illustrations, which was a bit of a departure for me as I usually only draw sequential stuff.

Also, I'm just finishing up the inks for a short story that's going to be part of an anthology book editor/writer James Powell is putting together entitled Dear Santa, Let Me Explain. The really cool thing for me about this story is that I wrote it, too. It will be the first story I wrote that will make it to print. It's called "Whatever It Takes" and it's an autobiographical recounting of an unusual Christmas time moment.

BG: Any upcoming appearances, conventions, events, etc?

JC: I will be attending this year's Fallcon in Minnesota and next year's Emerald City Con in Seattle. I don't think I'll make it to next year's San Diego Con unless Kill All Monsters! finds a good home.

BG: Anything else you want to add that can’t be held against you in the court of law, but possibly in the court of public opinion?

JC: Just that I'd like to thank Indie Pulp for giving me the chance to chat about myself. It's the one subject that I know a lot about!

If you’d like to contact Jason, see more of his artwork, and keep tabs on his upcoming projects, visit his website and his blog. You can also see more of Jason over at his Myspace page and Comicspace page.

Also, to find out more about Postcards: Stories That Never Happened, make sure to visit the Eximious Press website or purchase the book over at Amazon.


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