Sep 20, 2017

marvel's bagley interview and line art

Mark Bagley Interview sat down with vetern VENOM artist Mark Bagley to discuss his upcoming issues:

Art legend Mark Bagley speaks on a return to the sinister symbiote!

Mark Bagley has drawn plenty of characters over the years, but many readers associate him with a certain Wall Crawler. The artist penciled many of Spider-Man’s adventures in the late 80s and early 90s before eventually moving on to team with Brian Michael Bendis on an epic ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN run.

It’s important to remember, though, that he also had a big part in bringing Venom into the spotlight during the character’s prime. Bagley drew the VENOM: LETHAL PROTECTOR limited series in 1993 and also helped introduce the Ultimate version later down the line.

Now the veteran artist finds himself working with writer Mike Costa to have Eddie Brock and his symbiote partner reclaim the “Lethal Protector” title in VENOM #155 on October 4 as he safeguards a group of dino-people and does his best to keep them safe against the likes of Kraven the Hunter! We talked with Bagley about returning to Eddie Brock’s world, working with Costa, and the inherent fun of drawing dino-folks! You’re no stranger to the world of Spider-Man, but what kind of challenges does focusing on Venom for this amount of time offer?

Mark Bagley: I really could say, “Same [expletive], different day,” but that is too simple. The process of drawing and storytelling is really the same no matter the subject. But it is always interesting addressing an abstract character like Venom. I’m having fun trying to approach this in new and different ways than I’ve done before. Does framing Venom as a hero change how you approach him at all?

Mark Bagley: Even way back in the original LETHAL PROTECTOR [limited] series Eddie/Venom saw himself as a hero. Let’s face it: he is a little nuts. I don’t want to portray Eddie visually as bent, though. I think it’s subtler than that. What I’m hoping comes across is that, 25 years or so later, my drawing and storytelling skills have improved. I think improving is the goal of most artists. A lot of people are excited to see your take on this new version of Venom, but how are you handling Eddie Brock? How has he changed given all of his recent experiences?

Mark Bagley: Really not much of a visual change to Brock. I resisted the temptation—easily—to add the mullet I had him sporting back in the original [LETHAL PROTECTOR]. That was a bad choice on my part! How fun was it designing dinosaur people and their environs under NYC?

Mark Bagley: What is not fun about drawing dinosaur guys?! Really, I just approach them as doodles. I start the drawing with an idea of the dino-guys’ general size and then just start noodling away. It’s a lot of fun. Often I have a particular species of dino in mind, but most often I just start whacking away. This story will find Venom facing off against Kraven the Hunter. How is it balancing the very human and primal Hunter against the symbiote?

Mark Bagley: Venom is violent, dangerous, and a bit unhinged. Kraven is just evil. He is quite a bit of fun to draw because there is no subtleness to him. I mean, check out his pants! In a lot of ways he is more monstrous than Venom. How has it been jumping onto this train with Mike Costa who’s been driving since this volume launched?

Mark Bagley: I love Mike’s approach to this arc. It’s really just a fun comic book story. It’s really reminiscent of older comics that were primarily about fantasy and adventure with a good dash of human drama to top it off.

 Mike Costa and Mark Bagley team-up to tackle VENOM #155, coming October 4!

VENOM 155 preview

Today's free Marvel Previews gives us our first look at VENOM 155:

[Thanks to @thejakeintoledo for the tip]

TALK ABOUT: venomverse 3


What did you think of the third issue? Sound off in the comments!!

Also because September is TVS's birth month (can you believe it has been 9 years already!), I will be giving away some comics simply for commenting during VENOMVERSE! Sorry, you can only win one time during the giveaways this month.

Congrats to Hawk900dc for winning last week's giveaway! Next week, I will randomly select one comment on this TALK ABOUT to receive 2 Variant Covers - 1 VENOM #6 Negative and 1 VENOM #6 Colored thanks to the generous folks over at Scorpion Comics! (Sorry I can't ship internationally)



What did you think of this symbiote-centric issue?  Sound off in the comments!

Sep 18, 2017

Nick Lowe Venom Inc. Interview

This Week In Marvel Nick Lowe Interview

Hello fellow Venomaniacs! John here, co-host of the "We are Venomaniacs" podcast, regular TVS commenter, and all around Flash Thompson fanboy! Most of you probably know me as Venom_Knight. TVS has given me the opportunity to help post some Venom content for all of you. I look forward to sharing more symbiote goodness with you. 

Episode 307 of "This Week In Marvel Podcast" featured an interview with Marvel executive editor Nick Lowe talking about December's Venom Inc. I highly recommend listening to it yourselves but I went ahead and put together a summary of the dialogue from the interview. In it, we get some great info on Peter, Eddie, and Flash's goals in Venom Inc. as well as some information on Lee Price and Mania. 

Interviewer: What is Venom Inc.? 
Lowe: For a long time Dan Slott has wanted to do a Venom story in Amazing Spider-Man and he has said that he’s been beaten back from it a few times over the years because something is always happening with Venom or it’s been turned into a book of its own. Since the symbiote has come back to Eddie, the time just seemed right. As we started cooking up the story, it was bigger than just Amazing Spider-Man. So Dan and Costa came into the office and they met for a couple days and talked about what the story could be and we cooked up this insane, insane story. I’m excited for this to come. It kicks off in Venom Inc. 1 and then bounces back between Amazing Spider-Man and Venom then ends in another one-shot comic. The story starts with Mania and things don’t go very well for her. In the very first pages of the story, she gets ambushed by, who we discover to be, Lee Price. He steals the symbiote and becomes Maniac. 
Interviewer: What happens to poor Mania? 
Lowe: You’re going to have to read to find out. It leads into an incredible story. You might think “Nick you just told me the story of the whole first issue” Oh no. There’s surprises up our sleeves. In the cover of Amazing Spider-Man 792 there’s a figure that’s all blacked out and not in a way that Venom is all blacked out. Who is that person? I’m not going to tell you. 
Interviewer: I love that at the heart of this story is the relationship between Peter Parker and Eddie Brock.  
Lowe: Eddie Brock and Mr. Flash Thompson! 
Interviewer: I didn’t know if we could mention him or not because I didn’t know if he was the guy you were being all mysterious about. 
Lowe: Nope, Flash is in it.

Interviewer: So Flash is in the story, let’s cut to that then. We’ll get back to Peter and Eddie in a second. We haven’t seen Flash in a little while. He’s been kind of off the radar. We saw in Venom 150 what happened to him to take him off the table but where do we pick up with Flash? What’s been going on with him?  
Lowe: Well he lost the Venom symbiote. It got taken from him. It got shot off of him by some rouge FBI agents and so he has been looking for it ever since but also since he’s back from being in space for a long time he’s been reconnecting with Andi down in Philadelphia and he’s been reconnecting with his world up in New York. Now we haven’t seen much of that yet, we’re going to see it coming up in Amazing Spider-Man 789, Flash shows up, and you’ll see him in Spectacular Spider-Man 5, he’s in that, popping up here and there. But he doesn’t feel whole. If you know something about Flash Thompson, even when he was a bully, he wanted to be a hero so bad. He wanted to be Spider-Man, he LOVED Spider-Man and he got to be that hero when he was Venom. He got to be a space knight. It was dark at first and there were some troubles at first but he became a hero and that was everything he had wanted but now it’s gone. It was robbed from him and so he is trying to figure out what his role in life is and he’s also searching for his friend Venom, the symbiote. So that’s where his story picks up and where that story goes, I’m not going to tell you. It’s amazing.

Interviewer: I look forward to finding out. I love Flash Thompson, he’s one of my favorite characters. He’s great. I loved him as Venom and can’t wait to see what you guys have planned for him next. So Peter and Eddie. Never the best of friends.  
Lowe: Oil and water. Pepsi and Coke. Hatfield’s and McCoy’s. 
Interviewer: So the heart of the story has to be the relationship between Peter and Eddie right? Because they are the two central figures. What does the story do for them and their dynamic?  
Lowe: Well it’s one of those fun things that Spider-Man and Peter Parker are always the nice guy but one of the only people he’s not nice to, is Eddie. He HATES Eddie because Eddie did horrible things to him and the people he loved. The Venom symbiote as well, he hates the Venom symbiote. That’s one of the core things about Peter and Spider-Man and Venom Inc. puts them in the same room more than once and it is not pretty. Eddie, on the other hand, he is an interesting guy. He is not a white knight he is, at best, a begrudging hero or a hero with a heart of coal. Neither of them are pleased to see the other and one of the things I love most about this story is that, once it gets going, there are some very understandable goals that people have but they are not the same goals. Peter and Flash in issue one have very different goals. Flash wants to find the Venom symbiote and save it from whoever’s got it. Peter wants to find the Venom symbiote and get rid of it. Eddie and the symbiote are in one of the most interesting relationships in comics. Its love is twisted and odd. You can’t really compare it to anything. It’s not like having a brother, it’s not like having a girlfriend or a boyfriend. He has an alien symbiote that is linked to him and they share thoughts and a brain. It’s so weird. Eddie wants to keep it safe as well. So Eddie and Flash honestly have more in common than Peter and Flash. Then you look at Maniac, Lee Price who has a very different agenda from all of them. It’s pretty scary. I will tell you what makes him different, because we didn’t want him to just be another Venom. What we came up with Dan and Mike is that Lee just doesn’t wear the symbiote, he weaponizes it. He’ll spit a bit of it onto someone and then they get this black Venom face and Lee can control their minds.

Interviewer: Nasty stuff.  
Lowe: So we show the cover of Amazing Spider-Man 783 which is part 4 of the story and it shows that Spider-Man has that on his face. It is not pretty. We go to some pretty crazy places with that. I am so excited for people to finally know about this.
So what do you guys think? This seems like a win for every kind of Venom fan! I for one am excited to see Flash Thompson back in action and look forward to seeing what they have in store for him. Who is the mysterious figure on the cover of Amazing Spider-Man 792? What will happen to Mania? What kind of reaction will Flash and Peter have to Eddie being Venom again? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section Venomaniacs!
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