Alan Smithee

Interview – Aaron Kuder

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I can’t believe that I’ve now had the chance to interview not one, but two of the creators for The Amory Wars: In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 comic series from BOOM! Studios and Evil Ink Comics.

You might recall in the interview wherein I had a chance to chat with Claudio Sanchez about the decision from Chris Burnham to move off of the series and how he brought Aaron Kuder in to cover the work for the remaining issues. Fans of the series were almost thrown into a panic due to the unknown of how well Mr. Kuder would do in his stead.

Thankfully he proved to us each month that he could draw on the same level, if not better than his predecessor, when giving the readers a visual depiction of what we enjoyed in Coheed & Cambria’s music each month. We got a chance to sit down with Aaron after the release of TAW:IKSSE3’s penultimate issue #11 to talk with him about what’s next for the artist.

WatchPlayRead: Aaron, I’ve really been loving your work on The Amory Wars, especially the amazing quality that the last few issues with #11 being my favorite so. So seeing how your work on that series is nearly complete we’d like to ask you a few questions.

You came into the The Amory Wars IKSSE3 right in the middle of the series, issue #8 as I’m looking at the stack of comics in my office, what was it like to be asked to take over for Chris Burnham?

Aaron Kuder: Chris has some huge metaphorical feet.. and subsequently large shoes to fill. He truly is one of the great “up-and-coming” artist out there today. But honestly my first thought about the whole thing was “man I hate it when a book changes artist in mid-store”. As a reader it’s so hard to adjust. So I guess I’d say my biggest worry coming on to Amory Wars was trying to make sure that the change over as easy for the reader as I could make it.

WPR: I know it’s not nice to make comparisons, but we’re fans at WPR so we have no qualms about saying so, but we’re all in agreement in thinking that your artwork has been the best in the entire run of the comics so far. Some of the pages in issue #11 had my jaw on the floor with how great they looked. If Claudio and the rest of the Evil Ink crew asked you to come back and work on the Good Apollo or Year of the Black Rainbow story arcs would you be on board?

AK: Well, thanks. I try not to compare my art to anyone elses. But beyond that, I’ve had such a great experience working with the folks at Evil Ink and Boom!. I’d be more then happy to come back for Good Apollo and/or Year of the Black Rainbow. And as for issue 11, just wait for 12… I’m so freaking happy with my line work in that book, I really gave it my all.

WPR: What was it like working with Claudio Sanchez and Peter David?

AK: Awesome. I love the energy that Claudio bring to the conversations about his story.. it’s truly contagious. His zeal for the story and characters brings life back into it day after day… it’s really great. And as for Peter, I haven’t had a lot of interaction with him, but I geek out every time I see his name and mine on the same credits page. I’ve been a big fan boy of his for years.

WPR: The series ends after the next issue and many of us were wondering where you’d be going to next?

AK: Well, I just signed on to do the next Evil Ink/Boom! Studios project, but I’m not really sure what I can and can’t let out of the bag about this yet. I will say I am doing the pee-pee dance of excitement.

WPR: Who has been your favorite character to draw in the Amory Wars universe?

AK: Whoa.. I’ve never really thought about that before. There are so many fun characters to draw. It might be a toss up between Sizer and Al the Killer. Sizer because he’s like the perfect combination of tonka truck and the energizer bunny.. smash ’em, bash ’em, thrash ’em, and he’s still coming back.. He’s like a good guy version of Jason Voorhees. Killer Al because he’s got so much character personality, I get to draw a ton of different facial expressions … and well it’s really fun to try to think up new t-shirts every time.

WPR: Who was your inspiration for becoming a graphic artist or was it a skill you always had?

AK: I only get to choose one?!? That’s a huge list. Well, you’re not getting the whole list, but three books that I look back at from my childhood and say “those hooked me in”; Green Lantern #200-ish.. I’m not entirely sure which issue this one is, b/c I got it when I was seven and the cover didn’t survive past my twelfth birthday…, Micheal Golden’s Bucky O’Hare, and John Buscema’s art from Silver Surfer #4 (I had a reprinted TPB of classic marvel team-ups when I was growing up and that was one of the stories in there).

WPR: I noticed from your portfolio on your site and from many other images that you’re a fan of Marvel comics characters. Who is your favorite comic character overall?

AK: Yeah I really grew up on Marvel. Although my favorite characters aren’t the mainstream super-hero types. Lila Cheney is kind of a lesser known x-family character. I’d kill to do a mini-series with her and the StarJammers or something like that. I love the characters that stir the stew, push your buttons and walk a morally ambiguous line.

WPR: Much in the same sense, what got you into comics when you were young?

AK: I’m not sure there was ever a point were I became more into them then before. Comics were just always around.. and I always loved ’em.

WPR: Can you give the fans a hint as to what we might see in the finale next month?

AK: Hmmm, what can I say? Many of the pages in issue 12 have some of the most detailed art I’ve ever produced in comics. And then there’s the part were Ryan and Inferno kiss and make up.. which just turns out to be an evil plot on Ryan’s part to give Inferno a bad cold sore ;) Well one of these statements is true.

WPR: Thank you for your time and for all of your hard work on this much beloved series Mr. Kuder.

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