In May 2012 Valiant Comics launched the first of their “Summer of Valiant” titles since their reboot: X-O Manowar. Since the launch of X-O Manowar Valiant has launched three addition titles and have proven that they’re an unstoppable force with many of their titles going into second and even fourth printings. With this incredible lead-in you can imagine that the internet and the comic shops are full of excitement with this pending comic and to build on that excitement Valiant have launched their pullbox variant scheme which is available only to those comic fans that reserve their copy for Shadowman #1 from the creative team of Justin Jordon and Patrick Zircher. Geeks Unleashed have caught up with Patrick to find out more about the title:
Geeks Unleashed: You’re illustrating and co-writing Shadowman with Justin Jordan which is due out in November – what’s it been like sharing the writing duties
Patrick Zircher: Justin and I are both very enthusiastic about it. Each back-and-forth note we have sent has only strengthened the story. When we began work, and to some extent still, there was a period of getting to understand each other but we have similar approaches to storytelling so it’s been pretty smooth.
Geeks Unleashed: How familiar are you with the previous run of the Shadowman and how much of that has been brought across?
Patrick: Between the two of us, we’ve read (I think) the whole run. I’ve focused more on the initial series which has been an inspiration to our book but is, in some ways, a thing of its time. We’re updating aspects of the story, writing for new readers in addition to the previous fan base.
Patrick: Thank you. I did have a good time, though design, by the time you’ve made your fifth or sixth pass at it, is challenging. Justin was definitely shown the designs as I turned in various versions but he was mostly hands-off, knowing I was also working it out with editorial at Valiant.
Geeks Unleashed: Jack Boniface is the Shadowman in this relaunch of the Shadowman but there have been others to have had that mantle. What was the reasoning behind bringing Jack back?
Patrick: First impressions really stick. Jack came first and belonged more to the Valiant universe as a whole. We wanted to reflect the old Valiant universe when it was at its peak. There was magic there so we rubbed that lamp.
Geeks Unleashed: It’s probably too early to say but how much back story can you give us about Jack?
Patrick: I’m reluctant to do that before the debut, much of the fun is in getting to know Jack. I will say Jack has a heritage that connects him to Shadowman and the supernatural, connects him to the sinister side as well.
Geeks Unleashed: And what can you tease with about the storyline?
Patrick: There have been Shadowmen in Jack’s family for years. Jack was shielded from his legacy by his parents. But his parents were lost to him. He’s at a disadvantage. Forces of good and evil are now gunning for him. He’s looking for answers, wondering who to trust.
Geeks Unleashed: One of the great things about Valiant is that it’s a shared Universe and as this is day one effectively with this universe these heroes all need to get to meet for the first time, are there any crossovers you are looking forward to?
Patrick: Justin and I have appearances by other Valiant universe characters planned but they’re built around the story. This has been a strong point in several of Valiant’s titles. We’ve been given a lot of freedom to choose the right characters and make it something that enhances the book moving forward—and we are flat-out, insanely excited about it.
Geeks Unleashed: Talking of crossovers, comic companies used to do a lot of crossovers years ago with other comic companies which hasn’t been seen for a long time. If Shadowman could team up with any non-Valiant Character who would it be?
Patrick: There’s so much we could do in the Valiant universe that this hasn’t really crossed my mind. That said, Hellboy, Ghost Rider, Spawn, and Constantine would make cool crossovers.
Geeks Unleashed: You’ve been a big part of Marvel over the years, what’s it been like to spread your wings?
Patrick: It’s wonderful. This may be the happiest point in my career.
Geeks Unleashed: You stated on the Bendis Boards over a year ago you’d like a line wide relaunch of the Marvel universe and it looks like Marvel is pretty much heading that way. Was this something you were aware of at the time and what’s been your reaction to Marvel NOW? Are there any titles you’re particularly looking forward to?
Patrick: Oh, that was a while back, before they had any plans but it didn’t take a Nostradamus to imagine Marvel was going to do something similar. I would like titles to have long runs and that includes Marvel NOW and DC’s New 52. Stories are stronger for it as writers and artists find their voice. At Valiant the emphasis is on making the books matter, creating story elements that will be a part of the title for quite some time, not just a year or a year and a half. Justin and I are looking to a, -hrmm-, cast a long shadow!
Geeks Unleashed: Do you have any other projects are you working on right now?
Patrick: Shadowman takes the majority of my time. I’m really giving it a lot of TLC—but I’m designing a few characters for the other titles and working on exciting things for Valiant outside of the comics too (that’s all I can say about that!).
Geeks Unleashed: Lastly – a lot of illustration is done digitally now. What’s your preference – traditional or digital illustration?
Patrick: As a reader, whatever looks good for the book. I’m not a purist. How that artist works best is best. As an artist, I prefer digital. Making changes to art digitally offers a lot of solutions and is a lot less headache than erasing or brushing white paint on the page. However, I drew traditionally for a long time and that’s been a big help with digital work.
Geeks Unleashed: Thanks for your time Patrick.
Patrick: You’re welcome!
SHADOWMAN #1 – ON SALE NOVEMBER 7th!