Pearson on Body Bags
(Re)-meet Mack and Panda. A father-daughter team of assassins – also known as 'body-baggers'. All hunters have their territory, and for this duo it's the city of Terminus, Georgia – consider it an alternate version of Atlanta.Body Bags is the baby of cartoonist Jason Pearson, who hit the scene in the 90s with a string of work on work all across the industry. Body Bags was his first creator-owned work, and has been a staple of his career while still doing high-profile cover work and guest stints on various single issues. This new one shot, titled aptly enough as Body Bags: One Shot, finally hits stores this November. With superstar colorist Dave Stewart on board with him, Pearson finds Mack and Panda stuck between a rock and a hard place as they're stuck on top of a high-rise hotel surrounded by a veritable army between them and safety. And oh yeah, Mack and Panda only have one bullet between them. That's where the title, "One Shot", comes in. For more, we spoke with Jason Pearson. Newsarama: Thanks for talking to us, Jason. What's the story about in Body Bags: One Shot? Jason Pearson: Mack and Panda are on a simple mission, but things go horribly wrong (thanks to Panda) and it all goes to hell. They are trapped on the rooftop of hotel in the middle of downtown, surrounded by people trying to kill them and they are down to their last bullet. NRAMA: In the original Body Bags miniseries it shows how Panda came to work with her father, Mack. Now in this and the previous follow-ups, they're a proven team. But how do they work together, father and daughter? JP: Mack leads the team, but at the same time he is the muscle on the front-line. Panda covers for him in a secured spot with her rifle because she is such an amazing shot. Then you throw in the father/teenage daughter dynamic for lots of fun! NRAMA: Is this set in the alt-Atlanta town of Terminus as in previous books? JP: Yes, we are still in Terminus, GA. NRAMA: Body Bags: One Shot was originally announced back in 2006. Was it announced too early, or was there a wrench in the works that delayed the release? JP: A little bit of both. I announced it too early, but I do this as a creator-owned book and still have to put food on my table. Certain jobs took more time than expected and so on and so forth. But, the lesson was learned, and this book was 100% finished before we solicited it a second time. NRAMA: Have you thought about collecting all of the Body Bags work at some point in a huge The Complete Body Bags or something similar? JP: Yes, trades will be announced soon and I have plans for a complete, re-mastered, Body Bags hardcover down the road. It will be the ultimate Body Bags collection. NRAMA: Writing and drawing it, do you have it all planned out before you start drawing pages or is it more spur of the moment? JP: It is all planned out before I start drawing, but that often causes me the most trouble. I want the story to be perfect and not a page is drawn before I write the last sentence of dialogue. NRAMA: In addition to work on Body Bags, you're an in demand cover artist for Marvel and DC, as well as doing the occasional guest issues. How do you decide on the projects you want to work on? JP: Time and money (chuckle). Mostly it has to be something that interests me. Working with Jason Aaron on The Joker's Asylum: The Penguin was cool and now with Robert Kirkman on the Wolverine story that I’m currently drawing…both were great stories for me to dig into. NRAMA: Fans are really enamored by your work, and no matter how fast you put it out people are asking when more is coming. How would you describe a typical workday for you? JP: No day is typical. That is my problem. NRAMA: And what's on the schedule for you for upcoming work now? JP: I just mentioned the Wolverine story, which I believe is an issue of X-Force, and I’m doing covers for Marvel's Deadpool. NRAMA: When Body Bags came out it broke you out of the mold as a company man into a cartoonist with his own stories and characters. Are there other characters and concepts lurking out there that'd you want to do as comics? JP: Yes. Always.
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