Posted - 08/22/2013 : 07:03:22 AM
Creator/Writer/Artist for Skyward
Published by: Action Lab Comics
Interviewed by: Richard Vasseur/Jazma VP
Rich: What is the basic story of "Skyward"?
Jeremy: Skyward is an action-fantasy about a boy and his dog, set out by extraordinary circumstances into a world he never knew existed to help unite it against the invasion of the armies of the Brother Kings. It's an all-ages book in the same vein as, say-- Bone, Tellos, the Studio Ghibli films, Little Nemo, The Neverending Story... I've long been a fan of this type of fantastic, epic style of fantasy and really wanted to add to the classic "hero's quest" trope with my own voice.
Rich: How did the creation of "Skyward" come about?
Jeremy: Ever since I started doing work in comics, I've done a lot of work on licensed properties, from GI Joe to Marvel Comics' video games and even the Superbowl issue for the NFL this year. Licensed work can be great for paying bills and the like, but I'd been yearning to do my own book again for some time. I knew I wanted to try something other than superheroes at the moment, and Skyward grew out of my love of epic fantasy in general. I'm having the time of my life!
Rich: How would you describe Quinn's personality?
Jeremy: Quinn is still a kid-- he's very much naive and wide-eyed at this point in the story. Given the events that unfold early on, he hits a critical point in his life and needs to choose what kind of person HE wants to be. You can only run so far before you run out of ground...
Rich: Quinn has a dog, why is this important to the story?
Jeremy: It's important because, well... it's based on my real-life dog, Kirby. The dog was part of SKYWARD from the very first sketch I did for it. Besides... very few artists can draw a dog, let alone one with such innate character... and mine is QUITE the character, as you'll see.
Rich: Who are a few of the other characters we will see?
Jeremy: Oh, Skyward has quite a large cast, especially in the first arc. Right off the bat, you're going to meet Quinn's parents, Corin and Taryn. Then we're introduced to who I refer to as The Travelers-- Abigail, Jon, and Tanner. They set out early on to help get Quinn on the right track. Add in several characters about to be revealed (that I'm drawing right now while answering these questions) from the town of Three Rivers, the sinister Slog-Riders, General Herod, and creatures of all shapes and sizes... and hey! What's a Rabite? There's a lot to do in the first several issues, especially-- and I hope the readers are having as much fun meeting them as I am.
Rich: Why do you prefer having "Skyward" as a creator owned comic?
Jeremy: Are you kidding? Creator-owned is the ONLY way to do this book. I was offered several deals that stripped me of various levels of ownership and control-- that's not for me. If I'm going to do Skyward (and I am), it HAS to be creator-owned. Luckily, the fine gents at Action Lab agree. I have free rein to take this book in whatever directions I want.
Rich: Who will be doing the upcoming guest covers and what do you think of these artists?
Jeremy: Guys, you don't even-- the artists we have on this book? Literally the best in comics. I've been incredibly humbled watching their amazing work land in my inbox. Leading off, we have Stephane Roux, Mike Norton, Khary Randolph, Laura Martin, and Chris Giarrusso. The next wave we'll see Gene Ha, Phil Noto, Randy Green, Thom Zahler, Brandon Peterson, Andy Price... and I can't even talk about the group we just green-lit!
You guys... pay attention. These covers are amazing. I can't even-- I'm speechless.
Rich: What was your contribution to the "Monsters and Dames ECCC 2013 Artbook"?
Jeremy: Like any contributor to the Emerald City artbook, I contributed a fun little piece with a cute girl interacting with a twisted monster. I love taking part in the convention artbooks, as it gives artists a chance to stretch their wings artistically and think outside of the box. I also just completed a piece for Baltimore Comic Con's Usagi Yojimbo anniversary artbook-- the talent on this book is incredible. Worth checking out!
Rich: Do you enjoy doing sketches of super-heroes and do you have any favorites?
Jeremy: Of course I do-- I was practically raised in a comic shop. Superheroes are in my blood! I particularly enjoy the classic characters, from Spider-Man and Captain America to Batgirl and Ms. Marvel. It's a lot of fun amidst all the long hours working in comics. Getting to draw these legends? All the better.
Rich: What do you have planned to work on next in your career?
Jeremy: Whatever keeps me smiling. I'm planning on committing to Skyward for the long run, so stay tuned! I have a lot of fun stuff planned.
Rich: Why do you like Donald Duck?
Jeremy: He's probably the only character (especially at Disney) that's allowed to lose his mind every now and then. He's not all smiles-- he loses his temper often and expresses a wide range of emotions. That's something I wish more characters did in general.
Rich: How do you relax when your not working?
Jeremy: A few years ago, I would have responded "read... in general more comics"-- and while I still read tons of comics (and just about anything I can get my hands on), I recently took up more video gaming to get my mind off work more. It keeps me sane, it keeps me inspired. As long as I'm still doing the work, I'll take it!
Rich: How can someone contact you?
Jeremy: I'm available through Facebook at artofjeremydale, my website at www.jeremy-dale.com, as well as my Tumblr jeremydale.tumblr.com and my deviantArt thejeremydale.deviantart.com . We're also launching a Skyward website soon enough, so keep watching skywardcomic.com for more news!
Rich: Any words for all the fans of "Skyward"?
Jeremy: Absolutely-- thanks for all the enthusiasm and the tremendous response with Skyward! Without you guys and gals I couldn't do this. Send me your fanmail to firstname.lastname@example.org ! I'll print it. For reals.
OH! Be sure to check out the Halloween Comicfest comic for SKYWARD. Not only is it an all-new story, it gives a sneak peek at some pretty big revelations for the story!