Dec 19, 2012

bunn and shalvey talk venom

Bunn and Shalvey Interview
Venom writer and artist (Cullen Bunn and Declan Shalvey) sat down with Marvel today to talk about Venom moving to Philly and what is in store for him come February.  Below are some of my favorite parts - which is most of the interview (as well as some preview art):

Marvel.com: Declan, how do you approach Venom visually? What do you keep foremost in your mind when drawing him in action, using his powers, etc.?Declan Shalvey: One of the most challenging things about drawing Flash is drawing him in his wheelchair. Wheelchairs are very technical and hard to draw, but I think it's important to have him in it. One of the most compelling things about Flash to me is how he needs the symbiote in a very real way. Without it, he can't walk and that creates a very interesting dynamic between host and symbiote, on top of all of Flash's previous dependency issues. However, it is a unique challenge to draw Flash in the wheelchair; I spent a lot of time designing his apartment to be wheelchair friendly, for example. I've noticed how some disabled people can adjust and move like their wheelchair is an extension of their own body, and that's a unique thing I hope to be able to draw in the book.

Marvel.com: Conversely, what kind of people will he be meeting in Philly and what sort of immediate impact will they have on him? And what will his new job there be like?Cullen Bunn: I’m really excited about expanding the cast of supporting characters. Several new faces will be showing up in Flash’s life: new neighbors, new co-workers, and new contacts and resources on the job. A few are more important than others. One of the first people Flash will meet is Andi, a teenage girl who lives in his new apartment building. She’ll become an important person in Flash’s life, something of a day-to-day reminder of the people he’s trying to protect. Venom will also be meeting a number of strange characters who run in same circles as tabloid reporter Katy Kiernan. Venom has discovered that he’s something of a weirdness factor. Strange science, urban legends, supernatural threats—these things are outside his realm of understanding. So he has to turn to some experts in those fields. First up is conspiracy theorist Jimmy-Z. Flash starts his new job in VENOM #32. While I’m not saying much about Flash’s new job just yet, it will introduce him to a supporting cast that will mean a lot to him and put his role as a hero into sharp focus. There’s another character that will have a more important voice in the book in the days to come. They’re already in the book, but their role will be expanded. Yeah, I’m being secretive, but hopefully this character will surprise some folks.

Marvel.com: Declan, who of this new cast has been fun to design for you, and why? Declan Shalvey: We do have one prominent supporting character coming that I've already designed and it's been an interesting challenge to build the character from scratch. With Flash's new job, there'll be more characters to create which is a challenge I look forward to. I get to do more research on fashion and clothing and I haven't had much opportunity to do that before. There is another character coming into the book who's been previously established, but we're taking a slightly different approach to how he's drawn that I hope the fans will be on board with.

Marvel.com: What's the danger level like in Philly? What's our first menace and how will Venom react to it? Cullen Bunn: In VENOM #28, Venom heads to Philadelphia to investigate a series of strange disappearances. This quickly leads to an encounter with the U-Foes, a group of villains who are way out of Flash’s league. Forget about beating them, Flash is going to have to try some new tactics simply to survive. We’ll see Venom expanding the plays in his game book, and we’ll see him changing his way of thinking in terms of his responsibilities as a hero. In issue #30, you’ll see a side of Venom that will be quite different from what you’ve seen before, and he’ll start showing off some new skills in order to make it out of his encounter with the U-Foes alive. This adventure will bring Venom to Philly, but it will also plant the seed for a long-term storyline that will haunt Flash for a long while. There will be lasting ramifications—including the introduction of some new villains—that stem from the three-issue U-Foes arc.

Marvel.com: Declan, what sort of mood or tone will you try to strike in the book’s art? And what sort of research have you been doing for the Philadelphia setting? Declan Shalvey: Well, I've wanted to do a darker street-level book at Marvel for quite a while and I feel that this is the opportunity to explore that. There are certain horror and sci-fi concepts thrown into the series too, so there'll always be interesting visuals. Anyone who is familiar with my work can probably tell I like to play with composition, use of black, etc., and I feel I have more room to develop those approaches with VENOM than I preciously did on THUNDERBOLTS. From the research I've done—I've read up a lot on the city's history and took a virtual tour around it via the magic of Google Street View and Google Earth—Philly reminds me somewhat of Brooklyn. It's very lived-in, with a variety of wonderful architecture; it hasn't been completely revamped with modernist design, so I will find it personally more interesting to draw. I'm going to try and give Philly—and the book—a very grounded, textured feel.  
Marvel.com: What sort of role will former-Venom Eddie Brock be playing going forward in the series? Cullen Bunn: Eddie has a big role to play—huge. When we last saw Eddie, he was the host of the Toxin symbiote. His appearance was that of a hulking, slobbering monstrosity. It was obvious that the symbiote was in control and Eddie was just along for the ride. Since that time, Eddie and the symbiote have reached a new understanding. Their relationship has changed quite a bit. In fact, about the only thing that’s the same with Eddie and Toxin is that they hate Venom.
So, we know that Toxin and Venom are on a collision course, and it’s gonna be messy once they finally collide. After they meet again—and by “meet” I mean “try to rip each other to shreds”—the dynamic between these two will change a little. I think readers will be very interested in seeing the roles Toxin and Venom will play in each other’s lives. When they aren’t trying to slaughter each other.  
Marvel.com: Cullen, how much input do you have with Venom's role in THUNDERBOLTS? Cullen Bunn: Early on, I talked to Jordan White, who edits THUNDERBOLTS, about some of the things I have planned for Flash and Venom, and writer Dan Way and I have talked quite a bit about Flash and the symbiote. For the most part, though, I don’t have a lot of input in terms of what will be happening on Venom’s new team. THUNDERBOLTS is Dan’s book and I like being surprised by it as much as any other reader. As far as elements I want to make sure are maintained about Venom, I talked to Jordan and Dan about a “new attitude” that Flash is going to start exhibiting, and I think that will really make his role in that team in particular very interesting. I’ve also got a few things planned for how Flash and the symbiote interact with once another that I want to make sure are introduced primarily in VENOM but represented in his other appearances. In the end, Dan and I want the two books to make sense and work well together. I think the “shared world” aspect of these books is important to both of us.  
Marvel.com: Okay, so how much will THUNDERBOLTS be reflected in the new direction of VENOM? Cullen Bunn: Being a part of a team—especially one so different from his previous team, the Secret Avengers—will be an important part of Venom’s life, so you’ll certainly see the impact of his involvement in his book. For the most part, Thunderbolts business will be kept to a minimum in VENOM. The book will focus on Flash’s solo adventures. I’m not going to lie, though. I like the possibilities for crossovers and guest appearances that this new team presents!





Are you guys ready for Venom's new life next year?



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