ImagineFX spoke to Spawn: Architects of Fear artist Aleksi Briclot, and Spawn originator Todd McFarlane about the new title, out now.
: What was your game plan when approaching this well-loved title?Aleksi Briclot
: Staying respectful to all that was done before but wanting to add something new. Spawn is now in the comic-book characters pantheon and it's a big challenge to work on it after the 200 hundred issues, the videogames, figurines, a movie, an animated series...IFX
: How did you make this Spawn different to the other ones you’ve worked on?AB
: Things have improved and evolved, like my own painting style, knowledge and abilities. I've tried to show off my current artistic skills on this one, trying to produce the most high standard pages and visuals I was able to. Without losing the storytelling.
I've tried to use my concept art skills to make [Spawn] look like a really creepy but believable character. I was mainly thinking in cinematographic terms, how it could look on screen. For exemple, I've slightly change the cloak appearance, making it look much more like some dark smoke. My goal was to stay close and respectful to the character whilst adding some more personal touches. And there is also a really special Spawn appearance at the end of the book - with glowing wounds looking like tattoos or esoterical pattern. Some kind of uber-berserk Spawn that was really fun to develop.IFX
: Why did Todd ask you to depict his comic creation again?AB
: I was lucky enough to get some awesome compliments from him about my work in my last artbook. That means a lot for me. Answering your question, it was certainly because he was already confident about the fact that I was able to handle his baby without hurtng him [Aleksi previously worked on Spawn: Simony]. IFX
: How does this work differ to your other work (games, cards, etc)?AB
: Working on comic books, illustration or concept art is really different. I mean each field is about images, but in these mediums there's different goals. In comic books it's telling a story through words and pictures. You have to deal with the graphic layout of pages, the rythm, pace, dialog, how much information you're putting in each panel, how you 'move the camera', the characters' emotions and behaviours... I really like this kind of challenge but I must say it's quite long and sometimes painful. But looking at the end result, it's completely worth it!
: What can our readers expect for this new Spawn title?Todd McFarlane:
You can expect some stunning and beautiful artwork from Aleksi Briclot. A few years back, he did another book for me called Spawn: Simony that was terrific. However, in just a few years, his skill level has grown tremendously. He is developing at light speed right now. For those that like tales of the supernatural, but are even bigger fans of beautiful, lush artwork that conveys mood, style, and various environments, then pick up this title.IFX
: What was your role on this title?TM:
I came in and did a little bit of rewriting and reworking over Arthur Clare's story, so it conformed a little bit to what was happening in the current American comic book storyline.IFX
: Would it be fair to say that you’ve moved away from the art side of comics in recent years? Do you plan to get more involved in the art side of things in the future?TM:
No, I’m still knee deep in a lot of the artwork, writing, editorial, inking, and doing covers. Over the last two or three years, I’ve re-devoted myself back into it. On Spawn: Architects of Fear I took a step back and let Aleksi put his interpretation of the character on the paper. Sometimes it’s fun to watch artists develop in front of your eyes. It’s almost like your own children. These are sort of the creative children that put a smile on my face when I see how good they’ve become.IFX
: Is there any news on the new Spawn movie?TM:
I literally have a conversation once a week with some producer or another that wants to get it up and running. We have lots of suitors right now, and it’s just a matter of me finishing up the script, which I hope to do by the end of this month. Hopefully, we’ll have good news for lots of fans globally by the end of the year.