Eisner Award-winning artist Mark Buckingham talks about his work on Dead Boy Detectives as well as what he's been able to achieve so far on Fables and looking back at what his favorite stories and characters.
Charlie Chang: Let’s jump right into Dead Boy Detectives. There was quite a bit of buzz when this book was announced last year and the art and characters are very interesting. Do you have a favorite issue or favorite panel?
Mark Buckingham: To be honest, my favorites are issues #5 and #6, The Halfway House. I think that’s partly because we brought a new artist into the fold, Russ Braun, who’s one of the guys I’ve worked with a lot on Fables. He helped me to really push us into the type of storytelling I wanted to do. It’s much richer in terms of the art style, of the fact that I’ve been able to explore different types of storytelling approaches and art styles within it. We have things like “The seven rules of being a ghost” which is done as sort of a Manga kids cartoon. We have a Victorian style newspaper comic strip called The Dark Mirror and all of these things we’re folding into the Dead Boys world which is fleshing things out and opening all these avenues for us in terms of storytelling approaches and possibilities. For me, that first story was important, it grounded us, it showed us who the boys are and where they came from. We took them back to St. Hilarions, we had that opportunity to meet Crystal Palace and she’s turned their world upside down so that’s been really positive. Also, that first story was sort of a love letter from me to Neil Gaiman and Matt Wagner because it was very much me homaging and showing my affection for the original Sandman 25 story where those boys appeared. Now, with the stories that are coming afterward we’re definitely reaching out beyond that and developing the world that the boys live in and bringing in other creators to work with Toby and I to explore that world.
CC: It’s a very cool and unique book with interesting characters. How would you describe the way that the art plays on the themes? There’s a murder mystery aspect and a bit of a thriller theme, what does the art do best as far as drawing out those themes?