Talking “Rise of the Third Army” with the Artists
On September 5th, the release of GREEN LANTERN #0 will introduce a brand new Green Lantern to the DC Universe. Then starting in October, the monumental crossover event, “Rise of The Third Army,” will span the pages of GREEN LANTERN, GREEN LANTERN CORPS, GREEN LANTERN: NEW GUARDIANS, and RED LANTERNS. To help you prepare for these exciting adventures, we’ll be putting a spotlight on the Green Lantern universe and the upcoming events that will change it forever each day this week on THE SOURCE.
Today, some of the artists of the titles involved in “Rise of Third Army” tease their favorite aspects of illustrating this crossover, discuss their creative processes, and more.
What has been the most exciting part of drawing the “Rise of the Third Army” storyline so far?
CHRISTIAN ALAMY (GREEN LANTERN): The expectation. At this point I'm like any other reader, I want to know what happens next!
AARON KUDER (GREEN LANTERN: NEW GUARDIANS): Being that this is my first crossover event, I am loving the chance to work with a bunch of folks who have been a huge inspiration to me over the years of being a reader of comics. When I got the character design sheet for the Third Army that Ethan Van Sciver did – and seeing all of the notes about what makes these creatures who and what they are – I was in fan boy heaven.
FERNANDO PASARAN (GREEN LANTERN CORPS): So far I'm enjoying the transformations into the Third Army. It's SO creepy! And here I was thinking zombies were scary ...
MIGUEL SEPULVEDA (RED LANTERNS): The best part of drawing the Third Army has been the freedom of movement in the characters. Every one of them looks the same, but trying to make them all different in their poses has been a challenge when drawing them.
What has been the most challenging part?
CHRISTIAN ALAMY: Nothing particular comes to mind from my end. We've been working on GREEN LANTERN for a while now and it's always a mix of pleasure and pressure.
AARON KUDER: The most challenging part of doing comics in general, for me, is the "hurry up and wait" element. There's something amazing about being in a room with a bunch of folks that you're working with, and everyone being on the same page ... bouncing ideas off each other, and following the rabbit down the story telling vortex. In fact with email, phone calls, Skype, whatever, it's a hell of a lot easier to collaborate and share ideas. But there will always be times where you have to put an idea, or a design, or some edit out there, and it can take time to get back to you.
FERNANDO PASARAN: To make the scenes with the Third Army as terrifying as possible! It's the first time I drew a comic book that is so close to the horror genre, and the experience has been a lot of fun!
MIGUEL SEPULVEDA: Maybe the most difficult part has been to try and give them that touch of realism that I like to infuse into all the alien characters I draw. But Ethan Van Sciver's design and the freedom my editor has given me have helped me a lot.
How does working on a big crossover event like this impact your creative process?
CHRISTIAN ALAMY: Every time there's a big event like that I feel like I have to sit up straight and pay attention in case I miss something. After a little while, I get back to my normal, focused, yet relaxed working self.
AARON KUDER: Other then the fact that there are a few more "hurry up and wait" moments, I don't think it does. I try really hard to focus on the story and story telling – that isn't affected by the crossover element. Or rather it isn't affected any more or less then a regular story (at least not yet!).
FERNANDO PASARIN: We just have to be more aware of the work of the other creators involved. You’ve got to have an open mind to all the information you get to get a wider vision of the story that is being told in all the books. If you keep that as a priority, the crossover will be a success!
MIGUEL SEPULVEDA: The only impact I've noticed being a part of this crossover has been the pressure to try and keep up with the quality of the other artists and make the best possible work so the readers enjoy it.
Do you have a specific ritual when illustrating? Any specific music you listen to or food you eat to get you into the mindset?
CHRISTIAN ALAMY: Coffee? Check. NPR on the radio, low volume? Check. Nice crisp brush? Check. Sweatpants? On.
AARON KUDER: First thing in the morning, if time allows, I'll spend a good 30 minutes or so just doodling whatever comes to mind. Some people do push ups to help wake up their body. I doodle to wake up my hand. Or at least I try to. When I sit down to work, I generally don't listen to music or anything right away. I try to simply focus on what is in front of me. After an hour of so, I'll put on music, or listen to an audio book or a podcast. I try not to have movies or TV shows on in the background (although I do fail at this every once in a while) because I'll end up looking up from my work “for just a second” and twenty minutes later I'm wondering where all my time went.
FERNANDO PASARIN: My only daily ritual is my fight against my alarm clocks (yes, plural!) in the morning, do my back exercises, and draw nonstop until I go to bed!
MIGUEL SEPULVEDA: I don't have any ritual. My editor Pat McCallum has forbidden me to sacrifice any hens.
From a visual standpoint, why should fans be excited for the “Rise of the Third Army”?
CHRISTIAN ALAMY: With a title like “Rise of the Third Army,” I think of General Patton or even Alexander the Great and it conjures up all sorts of epic battle scenes. Knowing what Doug Mahnke is capable of, I think we're in for a treat.
AARON KUDER: Visually speaking, the “Rise of the Third Army” really hits on a number of my personal favorite types of classic sci-fi imagery. And when I say classic, I mean War of the Worlds type “classic” – from the days when science fiction really started making its own mark. Hoards of unstoppable/identical aliens marching forward across all of space to whip out our heroes? How is that not fun?
FERNANDO PASARIN: As I said above, wait until you guys see the terrifying transformation into the Third Army. Your jaws are going to drop!! I can assure you, it's not a good time to be drafted to the Green Lantern Corps!
MIGUEL SEPULVEDA: I believe the readers are going to love “Rise of the Third Army” because of the huge scope of the story and the battles they'll see. Also, it’s not every day that somebody tries to rip off your arm to get your ring!