Interview With Shane McCarthy and Martin Redmond
(April 2009)

The creators of the digital comic "Astonishing Tales: Daredevil #1" talk about working on the original tale for Marvel's Digital Comics line.

Kuljit Mithra: Your story "Demons" is an all original Daredevil tale for Marvel's digital comics, so I just wanted to know how was this story pitched to Marvel? Was it always going to be a digital comic, or did it exist in some other proposal and it was reworked into this format?

Shane McCarthy: To my knowledge this was originally bound for Marvel Comics Presents. [Editor] Nick Lowe and I had been talking after he'd read my Detective Comics work and he suggested I turn my attention to a short DD story which I was more than happy to do.

Mithra: Can both of you give a brief bio and how the collaboration came about?

McCarthy: Well I've done some work for DC Comics with Legends of the Dark Knight and Detective Comics in addition to some other work. I'm also currently writing Transformers for IDW. As to the collaboration, there actually wasn't a whole lot of it from my side. The DD script was one I'd worked on some time ago.

Martin Redmond: I'm a storyboard artist. I mostly do work that's locked under non-disclosure agreements, or company secrets.

Mithra: How difficult is it to write a story in this format, especially with the limited number of pages?

McCarthy: I actually love writing for the shorter format. 8 page stories are a real blast and they push your storytelling to the limit. Less is more and so on. Originally I'd intended this story to be dialogue and caption free which made it all that much harder to write.

Mithra: How is the artwork produced for digital comics? Is it drawn on full art pages, or did you draw it digitally?

Redmond: The first page was all Photoshop. Then I got bored with it. The rest is brush and quill on Bristol. I did some 3D mock ups to save time on perspective.

Mithra: A problem I have with digital comics (on Marvel's site) is the flow of the comic... you have to zoom in on certain areas etc. Did either of you have to make any drastic changes to your way of writing or drawing to make it work online?

Redmond: That's why I made every page easily divided into halves.

McCarthy: I can't say that I did. I'm sure it'll make me sound relatively dim but I wasn't aware this would be a digital comic, haha.

Mithra: So after seeing the digital comic after, would you have changed anything in terms of the flow or readability, or even the approach you took in writing it?

McCarthy: I haven't seen it so I can't comment. However if I was writing something for any particular medium I'd take a different approach depending on the medium's strengths and weaknesses. Not to say there's any problems with this one, like I say, I haven't seen it; I'm just saying a writer will always change their approach depending on the medium.

Mithra: With DD more known for its "noir"-type stories, I was wondering why you chose to write an "occult" story?

McCarthy: Well since I was originally going for a dialogue free story I wanted to play with visual perception and illusion. The idea being that the only one who could see clearly was DD. Not to mention the thematic elements of demons due his choice in outfit.

Mithra: Will this story be published (on paper I mean)?

McCarthy: I'm not entirely sure to be honest. Sorry!

Redmond: Astonishing Tales 4.

Mithra: What's your opinion on webcomics and the future of comics in general? Is your digital comic a first step in what you think all comics will eventually become? Any reservations about that?

Redmond: Until computer screens are as detailed as print, the best is half a page per screen.

McCarthy: Whilst I don't think the printed comic will ever go away I definitely think we'll be seeing more digital comics. Although I don't think the digital comic revolution will happen until creators discover a unique way to illustrate the passage of time and space online rather than just transferring the printed medium onto the screen.

Mithra: And the final question... what are some of your next projects coming up (not necessarily for Marvel)?

Redmond: Nothing for the moment.

McCarthy: Currently my series Transformers: All Hail Megatron is coming out monthly and I'm also working on another series for the Transformers universe.

If you'd like to read the first 4 pages of Astonishing Tales: Daredevil #1 for free at Marvel.com, please go here.

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(c) Kuljit Mithra 2009
Daredevil:The Man Without Fear
http://www.manwithoutfear.com
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