Frank Cho Teams WOLVERINE and Shanna in SAVAGE New Series
Newsarama talked with Cho about Savage Wolverine, his approach to each of the main characters, his artistic style on the interior and covers and bringing an element of supernatural horror to Wolverine's wide world. Courtesy of Cho, we're also presenting several black-and-white interior pages from Savage Wolverine #1 and #2.
Frank Cho: Wolverine and Shanna are both headstrong characters. In some ways it's almost like a classic comedy team, kinda like Gracie Allen and George Burns. Most of the story, Wolverine plays the unwilling straight man while Shanna plays the funny man. It's basically, a study of conflicting personalities.
Also, I'm a big Indiana Jones fan so when you read this you'll get an Indiana Jones/Marion Ravenwood vibe.
Cho: I've always wrote all my life one way or another. I started writing and drawing University2 (University Squared) in University of Maryland which turned to Liberty Meadows for national newspaper syndication when I graduated. I did the Liberty Meadows daily comic strip for over five years before I joined Image and Marvel Comics.
Nrama: Of course, you're also illustrating the series. What's your artistic approach for Savage Wolverine?
Nrama: A few different Savage Wolverine covers have been released so far, and they appear to depart a bit from what people might expect from you, stylistically. What can you tell us about that (obviously very important) part of the book?
Cho: Funny story about those Wolverine covers. Originally, I was planning on oil painting all the covers but the drying time killed that idea after I finished the first cover. (Marvel eventually used that oil painting as the variant cover to issue #1.)
Nrama: You mentioned in a Marvel.com interview that your characterization of Shanna is similar to the one from your miniseries years back, but Wolverine is a versatile character that's been the subject of many different interpretations over the decades. What's your approach to Wolverine? Is it specifically influenced by any other portrayals?
Nrama: Also in that same interview, you dropped the tantalizing line that it's a "Cthulhu type story." Is there anything more you can say at this point about the story's Lovecraftian undertones (or overtones)?
Cho: I've always been interested in stories with a supernatural horror bent to them. I'm a big Burroughs and Howard fan and to some degree, a Lovecraft fan. This story was something I've been sitting on and playing with for years but never had a chance to fully tell it as I envisioned. Then along came Marvel with this opportunity and I put Wolverine and Shanna into the story and, strangely, everything fit like a glove.
Cho: It refocuses Wolverine as the jungle predator and warrior by putting him in the primal setting. This allows him to be purer in action and motivation.
Nrama: It's been revealed recently that Amadeus Cho is the third main character in Savage Wolverine, a surprising place to see the character. What motivated including him? And, as an Asian-American comic creator, how important is it to you to keep a character like Amadeus in rotation at Marvel?
Nrama: One more question: You made it clear that Ka-Zar isn't in the book, which I think was surprising for some given the nature of the series. Is there a specific reason you're avoiding the character, or did he just not figure into your plans?
Cho: No conspiracy or anything like that. Ka-Zar simply didn't fit into the story.More from Newsarama:
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