All 5 Irving Covers form this poster imageWith Archaia still ramping up for their February 25th opening for the Days Missing trade, we at Newsarama have spoken with creator Trevor Roth, Archaia's Stephen Christy, as well as the writer of the first and fifth issues of the series, Phil Hester. But what about putting the Steward to the page? We at Newsarama conquered time and space itself by shooting a quick e-mail off to artist Frazer Irving, who gave us a bit of his time to write back and recall his time on Days Missing.
Newsarama: Frazer, can you tell us a little bit about how you got involved working on Days Missing?Days Missing #1 Irving Cover Frazer Irving: Well, I knew [Days Missing editor] Rob Levin from hanging out at conventions over the past couple of years, plus I'd done some doodles for him when he was at Top Cow, so when he asked me if I wanted to do a small project that was like a jam session with other artists, I figured it’d be kinda cool.
Nrama: When we were talking with Phil Hester earlier, he was saying how Roddenberry was really focusing first on the Steward's motivations, rather than his looks. So I have to ask, how far along was the character's design when you came on board? What role did you play in terms of fully realizing him as a look?Days Missing #2 Irving Cover Irving: When I joined, they already had the designs for The Steward, so all that was left for me to do was to run him through the Irvingizer and make my own interpretation of the design. My main contribution to him was probably in the way he “acted,” as I was the first to do actual story pages with him doing stuff.
Nrama: For you, what's the appeal of a character like the Steward? Were there any particular challenges you had to overcome to make him really feel three-dimensional?
Irving: The mystery is the main appeal with a character like The Steward. He has a lot of implied history and that was what made him fun to work with. A lot of that stuff can be implied in the acting.Days Missing #3 Irving Cover Nrama: Sci-fi is a genre that's always best told as a metaphor. So I should ask you, as someone who helped bring this story to life, what do you feel the metaphor of Days Missing is? Something that's come up a lot in our chats with Stephen, Trevor, and Phil is that this almost feels like a love story.
Irving: o_o To be honest, I don't see the metaphor in the story. Plus, I don’t agree that sci-fi is always best told as metaphors. Surely all stories are metaphorical in some way? It depends on how one can stretch one’s own point of view. In this case, I see the story as a pretty straightforward narrative. I didn't stare into it in any great depth.
Nrama: Phil told us that no matter what he put down on the script, you always found a way to make it sing. So we wanted to ask you to walk us through your process a little bit, especially when it comes to taking dialogue-heavy pages, and making them still look active.Days Missing #4 Irving Cover Irving: This is a tricky subject to discuss in interviews, mainly because the process is so fluid and instinctive that after a few lines I feel like I’m just waffling nonsensically. When I get a script, all I do is read what it says, and then scribble rough layouts of what I see in my head and then bend them to fit the flow of the dialogue. Whatever thinking goes on under the hood pretty much moves with a life of its own and defies analysis. I can certainly look back at pages and say, “Oh, yes that's a clever trick, spinning the camera around like that and using those shadows to stand in for the characters whilst also subtly implying the darker tone of the dialoue! I am a genius!" But at the time, it’s all, “How much space do I have? Who speaks first? What can I leave out? How much time do I have?” etc. Storytelling is as much about what one leaves out as what one puts in. See what I mean about waffling? *Bites tongue*
Nrama: Are there any particular moments in this series that you just felt you were on fire during his book? What's been your favorite images to draw for Days Missing?
Irving: It was a while ago now, and the current job always eclipses the previous ones so recalling any moments where I was on fire...er...well I do recall the covers being engaging, mainly because they were done before I really had any scripts or ideas about the story, so they were the initial “auditions” for my Steward I guess. That and when I was drawing the Alien dude in issue 5 I think, because that was pretty far out in terms of illustrative styles, and I like the weird stuff.Days Missing #5 Irving Cover Nrama: What else is on your agenda, Frazer? Anything else coming up on your end that we should know about?
Irving: Dr. Strange for Marvel, some stuff for DC, the glorious resolution of Gutsville, and some other stuff I’m not allowed to talk, nay, even THINK about. :D
Nrama: For those who haven't read the book, but are still on the fence, what would you tell them to get them onboard Days Missing?
Irving: Read it or I shoot the puppy.*
*(Please note that Frazer irving has not, and will never actually threaten the life or tranquil existence of any living creature** for the benefit of any commercial product.)
**(Except maybe some humans he has known.)Read the entire first issue of Days Missing for FREE Right Here at Newsarama!