Thursday, March 01, 2007
An Interview with Berni Wrightson part 2
continued from part 1
JP: Why haven’t you continued to do the covers for The Roots of the Swamp Thing Series?
BW: Initially, because they wouldn’t let me do paintings, and how many times can you deal with those same situations, and make them different and interesting. It’s leftovers, and I really would rather not deal with leftovers.
JP: Yet on your cover for TROTST #1, you went well beyond anything you had done before.
BW: Yeah, I had fun, because they were letting me do something different. I could play with it and experiment; jump in and do something that didn’t have a black line around it and lots of fancy feathering. I could just use a big brush and have fun and play with color. Everything is a learning process. If you don’t learn, you don’t grow.
JP: You start repeating yourself.
BW: Which I’ve been doing a lot of in the last few years, I’d be the first to admit.
JP: There’s a balance between art and commerce.
BW: Yeah, well, I take things on for the money, because I do this for a living.
JP: You’ve been known to get over-committed before.
BW: Oh yeah. I try to help people out sometimes. Like Creepshow was more of a favor to Stephen King.
JP: It must have been a nice shot in the arm for your career?
BW: Not really. It was certainly not my best work. I think it was several cuts below. I really can’t bear to look at it any more. There were a lot of restrictions; we didn’t have a lot of time.
JP: Have you seen Chaykin’s Shadow?
BW: Very briefly – I’ve only seen one issue. I thought it was pretty entertaining, but it wasn’t the Shadow. I’m not as into it as Kaluta, or the real hardcore fans. I’m sort of indifferent, but still, Chaykin’s thing wasn’t the Shadow. I don’t think the character can be updated.
JP: How about Miller’s Dark Knight?
BW: I saw the second issue, the one with the wrinkled Batman on the cover. I enjoyed that. That was a lot of fun. That was Batman. Batman with teeth. That’s a little bit more like what the character should be. I always thought that Batman fought all of these weird psychos, the Joker, the Penguin, and Batman himself is a psycho. Nobody’s ever really explored that in any depth, and Miller’s got a handle on that.
JP: What do you think of Moonshadow?
BW: Moonshadow I find pretty enjoyable. It tends to ramble a lot; it doesn’t hold my interest a whole lot. Maybe I prefer something with a little more punch. You either like fairy tales or you don’t, and I suppose I don’t. Can’t fault Jay’s art. Even in some of the stuff where he’s obviously rushed, he still pulls it off. He still has that assurance to bring it over.
JP: Kaluta and Lee’s Starstruck?
BW: I find it really fun to look at, as all of Michael’s stuff is; I find it difficult to read. Reading it is fun, and it is well written, but I don’t really think I understand it. I know a bit more than the guy on the street because I know Michael and Elaine, and we talk about it. I’ve seen the play. But even with that background, a lot of it is completely lost on me. I get the feeling, sometimes, that Michael doesn’t understand it. Anything that Michael works on is just wonderful.
to be continued in part 3
Images courtesy of the the Grand Comic Book Database.