Ryan Thomason

WPR Gets Mathmatical, Interview With New Adventure Time Comic Artists [UPDATE]

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What happens when one of my favorite TV shows adopts a new medium to compliment the one you already enjoy? I try to interview the people behind it of course. For those of us who love the world of Ooo, Adventure Time is one of those shows that you just don’t forget. Which the new comic book being released by Kaboom! Stdios, I got to ask the duo doing the artwork for the Ryan North (Dinosaur Comics) written new adventure. Shelli Paroline (SP during the Interview) is the hand behind the artwork we see in the new series. Also, the OTHER person that everyone seems to forget about and is responsible for making things look purty, the colorist, Braden Lamb (BDL). I had a great time getting responses from them, and I look forward to hopefully talking to them more in the future! Now, let’s all sing a song and then start reading this kick ass interview.

WPR: How did this project come to you? Are you familiar with the show?

BDL: We’ve been working with the Boom! kids titles here and there. Shelli did the art for Muppet Snow White a while back, and I did the colors, which led to me coloring other projects, like DuckTales. So we both did the DuckTales sketch covers at San Diego Comic Con this summer, sketching requests like “Donald Duck as Iron Man”. I think Shannon Watters, our beloved editor, liked how we turned the sketches around quickly and on-model, so she started sending work our way. We just finished up art on an Ice Age comic, and now we have this! We’re super excited!

The first I saw of Adventure Time was the “Dungeon” episode. Finn is being cared for by a guardian angel, and suddenly she turns into a horrifying demon. Any show that can go from cute and quirky to sheer terror is okay in my book.

SP: You couldn’t walk out of San Diego this year and not know what Adventure Time is. There was a gigantic Jake hovering over the Cartoon Network booth, and a whole pizza place outside the convention was turned into the land of Ooo!

WPR: Were you allowed to do your own interpretations of the characters or do you have to stick with their current looks?

SP: We’re keeping it on-model, meaning it’ll look like the show.

SP: We haven’t gotten to talk to the creators directly, but we get art and script notes from Pendleton Ward. That’s great, knowing the creators are supporting this project.

WPR: Was there a character in particular you had a fun time drawing, or really found yourself thinking “I can’t wait to draw more of that one!”

BDL: I love giving Finn and Jake weird facial expressions for special occasions.

SP: Yeah, I’ve got a whole page of Finn and Jake expressions. It ran the gamut from pleased to dismayed to *utterly* dismayed.

WPR: Is drawing established Characters like in Adventure Time that much different than when you did Muppet Snow White? Is there less wiggle room creatively?

SP: I was shocked at how much room they gave me to interpret the Muppets, actually. I was just concentrating on making them feel alive. But Adventure Time is such an inviting style and world to play in. As much as we’re drawing on-model, it’s still not like we’re drawing a storyboard.

BDL: I love doing layouts. I want to make sure the comic page itself feels as lively and creative as the show.

WPR: I think if there was one project I’d love to do “research” on it would be Adventure Time, how much research went into drawing the comic?

BDL: I gotta give a shout-out to the folks running the Adventure Time wiki. They did so much of the footwork, not only capturing screenshots, but gathering model sheets and backgrounds from the blogs of the production companies and storyboard artists. Truly mathematical.

WPR: Is the waving snail going to be hidden in this comic series as well? Was it talked about at all?

BDL: Without giving too much away, he’s front and center. However, Pen told us about some other recurring secret things in the show that fans don’t seem to have picked up on yet. I won’t tell you what they are, but they’ll appear in the comic.

SP: Mysterious!

WPR: Are the comics going to follow any kind of continuity or will they all be stand alone like nearly all the episodes.

SP: It’s a miniseries. It’s one big, epic story told over four issues.

[update] To clarify more on this, the 4 issues will be for an arc of this ON GOING series, so it’ll be 4 issues, a trade, and then the next 4 issue arc will begin, rinse and repeat.

BDL: Very epic. Ryan North has gone all-out with this.

WPR: What transformation that Jake could do would be TOO ABSURD for you to draw?

BDL: Nothing is too absurd. Bring it on, Ryan. Salt shaker Jake. 30-piece drum set Jake. Jakealope. Jake as a manly mustache for Finn.

WPR: Thanks for taking the time to talk with us, we’re very excited to see you working with Boom! Studios again, do you have any other projects you’re working on?

SP: Well, Ice Age is coming out soon. We also just collaborated on The Potter’s Pet, which is a minicomic available on my site, shelliparoline.com.

BDL: I colored my friend Zack Giallongo’s graphic novel, Broxo. It’s coming out later this year from First Second, and it will be so awesome. It’s a fantasy adventure featuring a boy barbarian, his pet monster, a horde of zombies, and some young romance.

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