Peter Krause on 'Irredeemable'
Newsarama: Peter, it’s been a while since fans have seen your work in a comic. What have you been up to?
Peter Krause: Since the end of Power of Shazam!, I’ve been working with ad agencies and marketing groups. Storyboards, demo concepts—you name it. Anything that needs a quick visual for presentations. You can see examples of the work at my website, www.peterkrauseillustration.com.
I have been busy drawing—just not specifically for comics.
NRAMA: So how did you come to work on Irredeemable?
PK: I’m sure my editor, Matt Gagnon, is gonna love this!
I was looking for an ongoing comic job that I could work on between storyboard assignments. I was checking out one of the forum boards that BOOM! has up, and saw a submission page.
Now, I had just finished a short story for an upcoming Image PopGun anthology, so I posted one of the pages. I got an email from Matt Gagnon the same day, and after some discussions (and drawing a page from the story), I landed the assignment. So there you go, boys and girls. Open submissions can pay off.
Be ready for a new onslaught of art submissions, Matt!
NRAMA: (laughs) What excited you about working on this book?
PK: Frankly, the possibility of working with Mark Waid was the real appeal. Few comic book writers have the track record that Mark has, and I certainly had enjoyed what I’d read of his—particularly his take on Flash.
NRAMA: So what’s it like working with him?
PK: It’s a joy to work with Mark. He has opened the book up to be very collaborative.
Along with Matt Gagnon, we’ve had numerous back-and-forth discussions about the characters’ appearances and personalities.
And Mark is an enthusiastic guy. That cheerleading can help an artist through the long, lonely hours at the drawing board.
NRAMA: How is Irredeemable different from your previous comics work?
PK: Conceptually, Irredeemable is different not just in tone, but also in terms of history when compared to something like Power of Shazam!
Shazam!/Captain Marvel has this long history behind it, and writer Jerry Ordway and I were trying to be very respectful to the core concept of the characters—while attempting to bring a fresh take with our perspective. Irredeemable obviously has no backstory. That freedom is a bit heady by comparison.
As far as drawing style, there will be a bit of a difference in that a significant amount of time has passed since I last drew a monthly book. I also use a different work process (enlarging smaller sketches and then using a lightbox) than I have in the past. Plus, I’m inking the work as well.
But there will be some similarities to past work. I think there are some tendencies in your style that are as hard to change as fingerprints.
NRAMA: Because the story moves throughout the Plutonian’s career, have you had to imitate an Golden or Silver Age styles for the book?
We definitely stayed away from a lot of leather and chains. From my perspective, the main characters visually exist in that realm between mainstream comic books and a show like Heroes or the upcoming movie Push. Our heroes may have powers, but aside from a little color or flash, there’s little logic in going all capes and masks here.
NRAMA: What was it like designing the Plutonian?
PK: Actually, I did very little design work on the Plutonian. Paul Azaceta had done the line drawing for the “good” Plutonian, and the first I saw of the “bad” Plutonian was Barry Kitson’s cover. I had some input on color for the bad Plutonian, and facial features, but that’s about it.
Which of the book’s characters are your favorite to illustrate?
PK: Qubit—who’s the “genius” in the group-- is the most fun to draw. He’s lanky, has that long face and crazy hair. But I love all of the characters, of course.
NRAMA: What else are you working on?
PK: I’m still doing some storyboard work, but I need to keep at about a page a day pace for Irredeemable, so I’m not adding any other comic book work right now. I do have some other work I finished last year that should see print—a crime story by Derek McCulloch that will be in an upcoming Image PopGun anthology, and a six-page story for Negative Burn written by Jeff Limke.
NRAMA: Anything else you’d like to discuss that we haven’t talked about yet?
PK: Just tell people to give Irredeemable a try!
Irredeemable brings the story of the Plutonian’s downfall to stores this April.