Rob The Wrecker: Well I guess my first question is…Orchid, big new book from Dark Horse. I love it, how did you become involved with it?
Scott Hepburn: Well, I was lucky enough to work for Dark Horse before on some Star Wars books
RTW: The Clone Wars books?
SH: Right, and before that, Knights of the Old Republic, the big vector crossover. So I knew some guys at Dark Horse, I’m good friends with Sierra, our editor for Orchid now. So, I got lucky enough to have my name thrown in the hat of candidates to do this job. I guess Tom had been looking for an artist for the project for a little bit. He brought the original idea to them a good year or so before he even met me and they asked me if I was available and offered me the idea of it, basically telling me what the story was and I threw as many drawings at them as I could, as quickly as possible to get on it and it just worked out. I talked to Tom almost right away; they put me on a phone call with him. We had the same ideas, kinda easy going and we got along, and that was good. It was really what cemented the deal.
RTW: In the Orchid book there is a lot of detail in the landscape and in the creatures specifically…
SH: You noticed!
RTW: Where does the influence for these creatures come from? Did the inspiration for that come from Star Wars or…?
SH: Where does anything come from? I think, I mean honestly, I can’t even source… I like video games, The Muppets; ya know… every movie I’ve ever seen. Tom throws a lot of ideas at it, he usually has some idea. He is like, “Imagine a lion with a centipedes body and a crazy beak.”, and I take those ideas and mash them together into a visual. Sometimes I make animals up as well, that’s the funniest shit ever. That’s the fun stuff to work on.
SH: Basically, I’m the only one who’s ever drawn these characters. Like I’m designing them from the ground up just making the look of everything. Like not just the literal costumes and character but the style of the book, the rendering and the tone and things, it’s all just how I do it. Star Wars, not only was it earlier in my career, so I hadn’t really worked on my own stuff yet but you have to work within the framework. The fans have expectations and the characters have to carry through for a long time and have a consistency about them so you don’t have a lot of play. It is fine because I still developed as a story teller and an artist in general but this has opened the lid on everything for me.
RTW: One of the other things I know you’ve done is some work on the Grossology cartoon, what’s the difference between the medias? What’s the difference between doing animation and comic books?
SH: Drawing in animation is a great job. I love that industry and I hope to do more animation design stuff in the future, but basically being an animator means you’re a 9-5… but drawing a comic book means you’re on your own time. So, I’m a bit of a teenager. Even though I’m 34, I’m kind of a teenager so I work better and live better getting up at noon and working till 2 instead of having to be somewhere at 9. Grossology in particular, I loved working on that. The thing is you’re just one part of a machine. The team can be great, The product can be great, but it’s not really any one person’s vision, but this, front to back, 300 pages, is all me, for better or worse, if you like it I can hang my hat on that.
RTW: Is there anything you want to tell the readers at comic booked about the future of Orchid? What’s coming up or anything at all?
SH: I can honestly say this, it just keeps getting better every single time. I get better, Tom gets better. It starts awesome and continues to compound in awesomeness every single issue. It does get violent. Well, I guess it’s violent in issue one, but that stays consistent for sure.
SH: Of course, she’s the title character, the through lines stay with our core team of people, it changes and grows and people come and go. There are some ups and downs in the core team of people. Orchid for sure, her arc becomes the most important arc of the book. She grows from the events of the first book are ultimate what the real source of the core of the story is about.
RTW: Is there anything else you want to talk about? Anything else you want to work on or be involved with?
SH: Man, I wish I did, I work 80 hours a week. I love every minute of it, but I don’t have any time to do anything else. I used to have a web comic called The Port on txcomics.com. I have woefully neglected it for like a year but there’s a lot of good stuff on there; Sin Titulo which won an Eisner last year, Charles Christopher which won an Eisner this year. I can’t list everyone because I know I’ll forget someone but there’s a lot of good stuff on there plus, hey free web comics.
RTW: Is there anything else that you would like our readers to know about Orchid or what’s going on?
SH: Oh, you put me on the spot. I couldn’t be more excited about the book honestly, it’s something I think about night and day but I don’t want to give anything away. Tom and I have been crafting this and I don’t want to undercut any points of the story that are coming but every issue is an out of the park grand slam. I love it.
RTW: Well, thank you for your time Scott… and you just got Comic booked!
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