Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Crystal Fractals Q&A: Pedro Maia on 'Redorik,' Indiegogo

Two versions of Maia's cover art for the 'Redorik' series.
Where comic books are concerned, it's a two-part medium; defined as equally by its script as it is its art, truly great comics meld the two together to create a fantastic experience for readers. We feel Redorik is one of those stories, where Howard Wong's knack for storytelling marries and bonds perfectly to the artistry of Brazilian artist Pedro Maia. This week we chatted with Pedro about his work on the first issue of the series, his inspirations and influences and his hope to finish what he, Derrek and Howard started.

Redorik artist Pedro Maia
Andrew Ardizzi: Every artist has their influences, works that inspired them or a specific artist they try and pattern themselves after. Growing up, and even now, who are some of your influences in the comic book industry?

Pedro Maia: To be really honest I draw inspiration from every good artist I've seen, and there are lots of them in the industry! Some of them I can't even name, but I do recognize their work easily. But if I had to pick one, that would be the amazing Adam Hughes.

AA: Where do you think those influences come out, or are clear in your work whether it's on The Oz/Wonderland Chronicles: Prelude to Evil #1, Hollows, Bloodwork or in your work with us on Redorik?  Are you even consciously pencilling, inking or colouring in those styles when you work, or is it more that you've been exposed to all these different styles throughout your life and you've organically evolved your own style as you've grown as an artist?

PM: That's a hard question, because I don't believe I have developed my own style yet. I'm still trying different things and sticking with the ones that work for me. But still, there's a long road to go.

AA: Speaking of Redorik,you had mentioned previously that your work with Crystal Fractal Comics was the first comic that you worked on. How did that gig come about and what interested you about working on the Redorik series?

PM: At first the characters interested me the most, but when I finally got my hands on the script I was very excited to bring it to life.

AA: The other half of the series' creative team was Howard Wong, whom most may know from his work on After the Cape. What was it like collaborating with Howard on the series and ultimately bringing his script and Derrek's story to life?

PM: It was great, Redorik is still one of my favorite works. Mainly because of how well the script and the story was constructed.

For the first time, the infamous immolation page!
AA: When I chatted with Howard he mentioned that one of his favourite panels in the first issue was the scene where Caregiver was bathing in burning sunlight as his flesh begins to peel off. What inspirations did you draw from to create that scene?

PM: When I first read the entire script that was the scene I was most excited about. At that time I was finishing college and I was doing a project about broken identities, and I believe that was happening right there, in that scene with the character. Somehow everything came together just right.

AA: There are a couple of other instances where I feel like you truly had the chance to shine: the scene at the end with Carnivale leaping through the wall during the meeting between Justin, Al and the gang, and the first two pages of the book featuring Justin as he dives into a pool. How did you construct those pages in your head and how did you execute them once you started putting your pencil to paper?

PM: These are all action pages. Since there was a lot of things going on in a short amount of time I tried to keep it as clear as possible. 

AA: We talked a little about the opening pages of the first issue where readers can see Justin diving. One of the things I most enjoyed was the lack of defined panels on the pages. Like water, they're very fluid and blend together from one scene to the next. Onto the second page, the panels begin to take shape and become more defined and rigid as Justin comes out of his dream. Was that something Howard asked you to do in his script, or did you come up with the idea for the first two pages yourself?
PM: I honestly don't remember. It might have been written on the first script, if not then I definitely made it instinctively. Whoever came up with the idea, now that I think of it, it was good one! (lol)

AA: On Redorik you handled all of the artwork, pencilling, inking and colouring the entire issue. Do you prefer to handle all of the duties? I've read some artists prefer to do their own inking and colouring, but what's your preference

'Redorik' page 1 by Pedro Maia
PM: Sometimes a bad colourist and/or a bad inker can destroy hours of work and effort you put into a page, and that sucks. When they come out right it's a great feeling, but still I do prefer to handle it all because when I'm doing the first stage (the pencils) I am already thinking about the last one (the colouring).

AA: In addition to the interior artwork of the book you also drew the cover. It's a fantastic cover really, and definitely one of the darker covers for our books so far. What were you going for or what inspired you to make the cover as you did, with Justin and the dark figure front and centre?

PM: It's a shame we couldn't see much of the "dark figure" yet. He is an awsome character, and I really wanted him to be in the cover. That's how it started... I may have spoiled a thing or two with that cover since he doesn´t even show himself in the first issue, but I still thought it was a nice idea.

AA: We talked a little before about how your working on the project came about, as far as what drew you to it. What is it about the story that really clicks with you or hits home for you? Can you identify with Justin's story at all, and if so, how does that influence your artwork in the series?

PM: I do identify with Justin a lot, in fact I used myself as a reference to create his design. When I was younger I used to have a lot of nightmares with water involved and the girl he likes looks just like the girl I first fell in love with. 

AA: While the series was originally conceived as a four-part arc, with independent comics being as difficult a business as it is, we had to put the rest of the story on hold much to our own disappointment. We've recently seen an increase in support for independent comics through crowdfunding initiatives like Kickstarter and Indiegogo though. Do you see a benefit to this sort of program where fans can donate and help fund projects they like or believe in?

PM: It's an amazing program, especially for independent comics and art in general. Just think about how many great ideas never get the chance to be brought to life because of the lack of funds. I think it's really amazing to give people the opportunity to believe in and help these projects.
Pedro's concept sketches and designs for Justin Henderson.
AA: We recently started our own crowdfunding effort to finish Redorik as a full 96-page graphic novel through Indiegogo. Having worked on the series, why do you think comic book readers should support this project? What's special about it in your eyes?

PM: I think it's impossible to read the first issue and not be curious about the second, really.  That's enough reason for me to support a comic book! Don't you think?

AA: Are you excited by the possibility of getting to finish the project?

PM: I am, I do want to know what's going to happen too! I never got to see the other scripts and I get the feeling things will take a dark direction for Justin.

AA: Is there anything you'd like to add, or to say to your fans or potential readers of the series?

PM: Well, let's get this done you guys! Please check out the Indiegogo page to help the Redorik project get fullfilled! :)
We just wanted to take the time to thank Pedro for taking the time to chat with us despite his busy schedule. If you'd like to see more of his work, you can check out his Deviant Art page.

If you'd like to contribute to our Indiegogo campaign, you can find our page by following this link to our campaign home page. Don't forget, we're also on Twitter and Facebook! Also, in case you missed the Q&As with CFC Publisher Derrek Lennox and Redorik series writer Howard Wong, you find Derrek's here and Howard's here.

Thanks for reading!


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