We are now 11 days from Free Comic Book Day. Today we’ll be looking at two, count ’em– two, FCBD interviews: the editor/writer and the artist of Viz‘s Voltron Force series! Voltron, it’s just awesome to be able to type that name as part of something in 2012. Before we get to the interviews I think I’ll just type it again: Voltron! Yeah, that feels good.
After a mysterious disappearance, the mighty Voltron is back! Now the original Voltron pilots – Pidge, Hunk, Lance, Allura and Commander Keith – are training three new cadets: Daniel, Larmina and Vince. Viz is sponsoring Voltron Force Shelter From the Storm for Free Comic Book Day 2012 which will follow the brave cadets on their quest to save Voltron from the evil King Lotor and Maahox!
Here Editor Brian Smith (Marvel & D.C. Comics) talks about his relationship with Voltron and gives his own advice to aspiring young comic book creators in Freecomicbookday.com’s exclusive interview, plus more.
FCBD: Tell us about your relationship with Voltron.
Brian Smith (BS): I’m a lifelong fan. It was the cartoon I’d wake up early to watch before school!
FCBD: What does it mean to you to be part of such a classic franchise?
BS: The opportunity to contribute to Voltron’s legacy is nothing short of a dream come true.
FCBD: Set up the series for those who might be new to Voltron Force. What can we expect to see in terms of story?
BS: The new Voltron Force cartoon is the story of the next generation team of Space Lion pilots. Destiny has chosen the cadets—Daniel, Vince and Larmina—to train with the original Voltron pilots—Keith, Lance, Pidge, Hunk and Princess Allura. With the newly upgraded Voltron Lions, they will face the evil King Lotor and his Drule war machine, shouldering the fate of the universe.
BS: Each volume of the graphic novel series tells an all-new, original story set in the universe of the cartoon. In a lot of ways, each book feels like a bonus episode of the show. We introduce some new villains and some new Robeasts for Voltron to fight. The first volume—Shelter from the Storm—shows a Robeast experiment gone horribly wrong, and what happens when the cadets get stuck in its path. There’s some cool action, and great insight into who the cadets are.
FCBD: What was your favorite part of working on this book? Favorite character?
BS: I loved every minute of writing this series. My favorite character is probably Larmina.
FCBD: Tell our readers why they should pick Voltron Force vol. 1: Shelter From the Storm first on FCBD.
BS: If you’re a fan of the hit TV show, you won’t want to miss this all new original story featuring incredible artwork form Jacob Chabot!
Check out the rest of this interview right here! Meanwhile, speaking of artist Jacob Chabot:
Now comic book artist Jacob Chabot (X-Babies and Young Avengers) talks about his relationship with Voltron, art for the book, his advice for young comic book creators, and much more in Freecomicbookday.com’s exclusive interview.
FCBD: Tell us about your relationship with Voltron. What does it mean to be part of such a classic franchise?
Jacob Chabot (JC): “Voltron” was the hurry-home-after-school-to-watch-it-show for me when I was in second or third grade, and during that time, it was my jam. I put a lot of miles on my old die-cast Voltron and even had a set of Voltron sheets. Once, the local station that aired “Voltron” had an art contest and they would show the winners after the credits. I spent a long time laboring over a drawing of Pidge that I sent in. Unfortunately, I don’t think it ever made it on the air. So, getting the opportunity to draw Pidge for real after all these years is a childhood dream come true.
FCBD: What kind of research did you do for this project? What can we expect to see in terms of the art?
JC: I definitely watched a lot of the new Voltron Force show. I even had access to video files that I could scrub through frame my frame and take screenshots for reference. I also couldn’t help using this as an excuse to watch some classic Voltron, just to see how the style evolved and what details carried over. That and some pretty extensive Google image searching. The artwork in the comic book is pretty much the look of the show as filtered through my style.
FCBD: What has been your favorite part of working on this book? Favorite character?
JC: My favorite part has to be drawing Voltron and the Lions themselves (although the new designs are a lot more complicated than the old ones!). That, and the robeasts. I’m a big fan of drawing big monsters. My favorite character has always been Pidge, but he doesn’t actually appear much in Vol. 1. I got to like drawing Daniel a lot though. He’s a feisty kid.
FCBD: Tell our readers why they should pick this book first on FCBD?
JC: Do I really need to tell people to get a free comic book? Still, if you’re a fan of Voltron—new or old—you’ll dig this book. I tried to throw in a lot of details that older readers will pick up on, while drawing the best Voltron Force book I could for the new audience.
FCBD: What’s your favorite part about working in comics?
JC: I like a lot of things about working in comics. You get to read comics and watch cartoons for “research.” I can sleep in (when I’m not on deadline anyway). And seeing your work in print is always thrilling. But the best part is probably seeing people entertained by your work. That’s pretty fulfilling.
FCBD: Many newcomers will be picking up comics for the first time on FCBD—what was the first comic you remember reading?
JC: The first comics I remember reading were always newspaper strips, stuff like “Garfield” and “Peanuts.”
JC: They were kind of ever-present. The first comic books I remember reading were “Madballs” from Marvel’s old Star line. Those were the ones that actually got me into buying comics on a regular basis oddly enough. There’s just something compelling about the tales of a bunch of ugly floating monster heads.
For the rest of this interview go here!
And now, for a sneak peek at Voltron Force: Shelter From The Storm!
(A/CA) Jacob Chabot
After a mysterious disappearance, the mighty Voltron is back! Now the original Voltron pilots – Pidge, Hunk, Lance, Allura and Commander Keith – are training three new cadets: Daniel, Larmina and Vince. Each cadet brings something special to the team, and as they train, the depths of their gifts are revealed. And with King Lotor and his villainous minion Maahox out to destroy Voltron once and for all, the day that these new cadets must step up may be sooner than expected!