I took to the floor of NYCC with a simple goal: find comic book writers, artists, and publishers and get honest opinions on the digital comic movement, and while that article will debut at some point in the coming days I wanted to share with you my full interview with Josh Adams.
The son of comic book legend and artists rights pioneer Neal Adams, Josh has his own impressive resume with work for DC and IDW’s DOCTOR WHO comic book. Refreshingly outspoken on all matters concerning the industry, I spoke with him about the task of drawing Matt Smith, who his favorite Doctor is, the future of DOCTOR WHO, and what he thinks about the digital revolution.
Where are the Doctor Who comics going next?
JA: Well, we just announced that Joshua Fialkov is taking over. And he’s got, I believe a four issue story arc, at least, so thats setup. I don’t really know what to expect. He’s quite a good writer, and him taking on that sort of sci-fi/fantasy genre is sort of a new thing; I think he’s been working on horror stuff for a while. So you’re guess is as good as mine on that.
How involved is Steven Moffat with the storylines that appear in the comic?
JA: I believe, and this is a little more speculation than actual fact here, they do see the comics, I know that much. They’ve commented on them before. But it’s more that our writers write the stories and try not to step on the toes of the show. We have certain parameters we have to follow, we can’t do this or that because we know it may come in the next season, it’s going to change. But we get away with a lot. It really just has to be okay with the BBC. They have to say it’s alright.
You do a great job matching the look of actors like Matt Smith and Karen Gillan with their comic book counterparts. What’s the creative process going into that?
JA: Really we get a lot of freedom with the artwork, all we have to be careful of is making sure it’s safe for digital, because it’s now actually becoming a growing part of the industry as we move forward.
The BBC checked the likenesses on my last issue. They made me go back and change the length of the hair in certain panels. In certain areas it looked a too short. It looked too much like the Christmas special in the later series while they’re tapering off on the sort of series 5 related stories.
So it’s freedom, it’s a lot of freedom to kind of explore, but we still have to stay true to the actors and their looks. Because they really do define the characters. I make it my personal business to make sure that when you look at the Doctor in the comics it’s that same kind of quirky posture. That if he was going to run across a room he’s going to have that weird sort of crazy little lunge that he does and all his little quirks.
Do you prefer drawing someone that is a living person or something original?
JA: I love both. I really do enjoy drawing DOCTOR WHO, I love the idea of having characters. I think you can draw things that are based on characters out there, but specifically DOCTOR WHO, they do such a good job of making the characters so alive. So, it becomes a pleasure for me.
You can watch a cop drama, but you don’t want to draw that, they just kind of stand there with their hands in their pockets, just kind of hanging out. It’s a cartoon and it’s real people at the same time. So it sort of touches with both the aspects of it. Creating my own things, in that I can make it cartoony as I want. These guys aren’t cartoons. So I get a lot of fun out of that.
The digital aspect is obviously growing, is that thrilling or frightening for someone in your profession? Comic book retailers may not be excited about it, but what does it do for you?
JA: I think it’s great. I have nothing but love for the digital movement. Again, I know the retailers are a little worried about it. It’s not closing it off from the retailers. The idea of the retail business has been very cut off from the get-go, so you’re not going to cut them off any more than they are. If anything it’ll give them more access, because the publishers are pretty good about creating retailer-incentive digital features, where you can buy the book as a hard copy and digitally.
The idea that people can walk around and literally get a comic in their hands simply by downloading it, that’s amazing. That is something that we’ve strived to achieve. For years publishing has tried to get people in the store. Now we’re putting the store in their pockets or in their bags. And that’s a new open market. Everyone becomes part of the demographic
Everyone’s got a favorite Doctor. Who’s yours?
JA: I am just a little diplomatic. I love Matt Smith, he’s great. I love Christopher Eccleston. And when I was little I watched Tom Baker. But Matt is actually my favorite, because every previous Doctor raised the bar. Each consecutive, the next Doctor got better.
I respect that. Even though I’m for Tennant… I respect that.
JA: Matt Smith could not have been nearly as good as he is now, in my opinion, if Tennant didn’t do such a brilliant job.
I agree, definitely. I’ve come to like Matt Smith’s portrayal more this series than the last one.
JA: For me before Smith’s Doctor Tennant’s was my favorite, before Tennant was the Doctor Eccleston was my favorite.
It seems like that’s always the way it is.
JA: Well, that’s my theory. Everyone’s raising the bar. The next guy? He could be phenomenal, because the previous guy laid such a good groundwork.