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Steve Morris - "Buffy : Season 9" Comic Book - Slayalive.com Interview

lundi 24 octobre 2011, par Webmaster

Hey Steve. Thanks for agreeing to do this interview. We all know that you’re the current main cover artist for Angel & Faith and Buffy Season 9, and had previously done covers for Dollhouse and Serenity.

But let’s start from the very beginning, a very good place to start : When did you decide that art was going to be your life ?

Steve : There wasn’t a time where I didn’t plan on being an artist. I always drew and by later in grammar school was using watercolors, then on to acrylics and oils from junior high and high school.

How did you start in the business ? What is your artistic background like ? Did you go to school for sequential or fine art ?

Steve : In junior high I discovered kids would part with their money for fantasy drawings or paintings of their favorite metal band on the back of their denim jackets. By high school I started to get very focused on portraiture and that interest has continued to this day. But along the way I’ve bounced to photography, semi abstracted figurative art and everything in-between. I was a fine art major in college…which was like paying for four years of study hall, but being around a lot of other creative people caused me to experiment more with mediums and styles, so it definitely had its value. Toward the middle of college, I wanted to create art that would be mass producible, because I felt galleries weren’t really a way to reach people. And thus began my slow descent into computer art and the comic book world.

What was your first major project ?

Steve : Right after college I was hired to illustrate a children’s Christmas book called Silver Berries and Christmas Magic. They needed 20 paintings completed in 3 months…I was totally out of my element both in subject and time frame. It was a grind. I was living in NYC at the time and when I went home for the Christmas holiday, I brought some of the paintings with me, so I could continue to paint… I made the deadline.

You were the winner of Dark Horse’s 2004 New Recruits contest, which led to the publication of your creator-owned original graphic novel, Blessed Thistle. How long did you work on that project ?

Steve : It approached a year of time I think. I did everything on the book, including lettering.

How would you describe what the story of Blessed Thistle is about in a quick sentence or two ?

Steve : It’s a suspense/horror graphic novel, containing four interlocked stories, which deal with themes of God’s relationship with man, free will, consumption and the parent-child relationship.

As mentioned above, you had also previously done covers for other Whedonverse projects (Serenity : The Shepherd’s Tale and Dollhouse : Epitaphs). Did those projects naturally transition into landing the Buffyverse gigs ?

Steve : I’d imagine so, I think they were happy with my ability to render likenesses as well as the manner in which I interpret story content beyond the surface.

Since we’re on the topic of the Buffyverse, I wanted to first commend you on the beautiful covers for both books so far. Your cover for Buffy #5 and Angel & Faith #6 are my personal favorites so far. Could you explain the design concepts for both the covers ?

Steve : Thanks ! I can’t explain the juicier parts of A&F #6 (the Giles and spiky hand imagery) without risking a pummeling from Dark Horse. I can say that I’ve always been fascinated by nesting dolls or objects splitting in half or housing other objects… it carries into metaphors about secrets, inner worlds and/or past-present relationships. I repeat this motif from time to time ; I used it to similar effect on A&F #3 with Angelus split in half around Angel.

With the Buffy #5, I had pitched a few different ideas, although the dress one was my favorite. I wanted to put Buffy in a dress that she might ogle at in a magazine, with a pronounced sigh, but never have any practical occasion to wear…considering her on-the-slay life style. Also, The dress’ Pucci-esque pattern would lend itself to morphing into disturbing and hellish imagery, which was a plus.


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