BOOM!'s Big Trouble In Little China series already boasts one of the most eclectic casts in comic books, but it's now added one more: artist Dan McDaid.
McDaid joined the book with this week's issue #17, working off a Fred Van Lente script that put Jack Burton right in the middle of a Comic Con style convention for sorcerer's.
The artist comes off a stint with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and calls Big Trouble In Little China arguably the "best comic book coming out right now." Find out why in our interview with the UK artist.
Newsarama: Dan, what made Big Trouble In Little China something you'd be interested in drawing?
Dan McDaid: A couple of things - mostly, it was that I wanted to work with Fred, who's one of the best writers in comics. And then beyond that... I just love Big Trouble in Little China. Who doesn't, right?
Nrama: What's your appraisal of what Fred and others have done so far with the comic book series?
McDaid: I think they've stayed true to the freewheeling, party atmosphere of the original film while adding extra layers and texture. I did kind of wonder how they were going to take a property that was so associated with one location - a Chinatown street in the late eighties - and expand it, make it relevant and rich. But it works!
Nrama: How many times would you say you've watched the original film, and can you talk about that?
McDaid: I think probably about... 20? 30 times? Probably not as many as you'd think. I didn't have any particular nostalgia for it, never saw it as a kid. My only contact with Big Trouble was a trailer at the beginning of, I think, the Garbage Pail Kids Movie. yeah, I saw that. It was terrible. But I loved the trailer, particularly the bit where Jack shoots the ceiling and knocks himself out. And then I don't think I saw it for the first time till about ten years ago. And I've watched it at least once a month since then, cos it's perfect. I think it'll turn out that it's actually John Carpenter's best film, better than the The Thing or They Live or even Halloween. It's just a great time.
Nrama: How long are you committed to for this series?
McDaid: I'm doing four issues. I'd love to do more, but we'll see.
Nrama: I've seen preview pages of your first issue, and you've drawn some crazy characters with Source Con. What does a series like this offer to you that you enjoy most?
McDaid: A really crisp script is the first thing, with a lot of appealing, oddball characters to draw. And then there's the crowd scenes. When I first read the script my heart sank, because, Jesus...the entire arc is one long crowd scene almost. Give me the tundra, give me the desert, give me a wide open field, and I'm happy. [Laughs]
But it turned out the crowd has to be monsters, wizards, creatures from the nether lands...and that's pretty awesome. And there's room for a few little Easter eggs that I've tossed in for the eagle eyed. There's a little narrative that plays out across the first three or four pages of issue #17 that comic fans should dig. More than that I can't say.
Nrama: What do you personally want to accomplish with this run?
McDaid: I want to have a lot of fun. If I'm having a good time, so will the readers. That's the plan. And I want to do right by Ol' Jack Burton.
Nrama: Big picture, why should fans be excited for this story-arc?
McDaid: It's probably the best comic book coming out right now. Is that too much? It's really got everything a comic fan could want from a book - treachery, monsters, magical bears...and probably the best villain in years. If that doesn't do it for you...call the president.