Viking #1Earlier this month, we brought you the first word of Ivan Brandon and Nic Klein’s Viking, a new series launching in April from Image. Last week , we spoke with Brandon about creating and writing the series, and today, it’s Kelin’s turn to talk about all things Viking.
Newsarama: Nic, how did you get hooked in with Ivan on this, and what was the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back that made you realize you had to draw it?
Nic Klein: One day many moons ago Ivan wrote me an email, and basically told me he liked my work and asked if I have any experience doing sequentials because he has a story that he thought (for whatever reason) I was perfect for. The theme of the story he proposed seemed like a lot of fun, and you don't have to twist my arm to draw swords and people being stabbed by them.
However it took me a while to get the idea of doing the art for a whole series all by myself, and after a panic attack and me throwing the towel, I said to myself "Nic, you're an idiot. Ivan's a gifted author, the story is great, and if you don't do it now, then you never will!" And here I am doing this interview when I should be drawing pages.
NRAMA: We’ll keep it brief then…how much research did you have to do before getting started? That is, assuming you're not a 9th century Northern European expert in your spare time...
NK: I am an expert only in too much useless information, at least that's what friends tell me. I bought just about every book on Vikings that I could get my hands onto when we started out. And contrary to popular belief Vikings were anything but raiding mindless butchers... they shaped Europe culturally, traveled further than any other people at the time, and were great craftsmen. Our Vikings of course are violent slaughtering raiders, no worries, we won't bore you with the tale of the ninth century scholar goldsmith named Holger.....
NRAMA: We’ll revisit that later when the pages aren’t a’calling… What was the hardest thing for you to grasp about Vikings?
NK: That Vikings do not have Bionic limbs. Ever. Ivan was very clear about this for some reason.
NRAMA: Let's talk protagonist - obviously, the goal of the artist is to convey as much as they can through their art, so what characteristics have to show through in him?
NK: Well, our protagonists are going to grow along with the reader and of course for the creative team as well. Its a journey for all of us. But I tried to not make them come across as stereotypical, of course they’ll have beards (some of them) and long hair (some of them) but in the ideal case I want them to read as unique characters no matter what era you would place them in.
NRAMA: Before we let you go – what’s the oddest thing Ivan has asked you to draw to date?
NK: Besides the Horseheads, bears, eels, goats and falcons?
Vikings #1 is due in April from Image Comics