marksable-paulazacetaWriter Mark Sable and artist Paul Azaceta joined the Comics Experience Creators Workshop recently, to discuss their comics careers, and the process of collaboration.

Azaceta’s and Sable’s collaborations include, most recently, Graveyard of Empires from Image.




graveyardofempiresIn that book, set in Afghanistan, Marines face a never-ending onslaught of Taliban. But even hell can get worse. The dead come back to life, and only together can both sides of today’s conflict survive tomorrow’s undead assault.

The Graveyard of Empires trade paperback is available for pre-order now and will be out in May from Image Comics. In the meantime, Comixology has made the 1st issue available for free right here!

In addition to Graveyard, Azaceta and Sable have also collaborated on What If? Spider-Man from Marvel and Grounded from Image.

Topics discussed included:

How their Collaboration Evolved Over the Years

Both Sable and Azaceta noted that their collaborative style changed tremendously over the years.

On Grounded, and their Marvel work, Azaceta said, “It was just, ‘here’s the script.'”

graveyardofempires03By contrast, when Azaceta started on Graveyard, the script was not yet written, so “it was a real collaboration. Even coming up with the story, we were really able to talk about it. For me, it was much more fun, doing Graveyard. It felt like a real coming together, because we knew each other so well at that point. It was a big difference.”

Azaceta’s Inking Style

One Workshop member asked Azaceta about his inking style. He said it was deliberately developed over the years, and is focused largely on “heavy shadows and simplicity…using heavy blacks, and focusing on storytelling.” He noted that this is inspired by artists such as Mike Mignola and John Paul Leon.

“The rule I give myself is, ‘simplify, simplify, simplify,'” Azaceta said. “Don’t use too much texture. Condense the blacks, so there’s a real dynamic shape of blacks going on across the page and across the book.”

graveyardofempires02Why Hollywood Loves Comic Books

Sable, who splits his career between comics and film, said the unique format of comic books makes it very appealing.

“People out in Hollywood read scripts all the time — I read scripts all the time — and it can be a soul-sucking thing,” Sable said, “because most of them are awful.”

But a comic book, Sable said, is both a much faster read, and also lays out the visuals, making it easier to imagine how a film adaptation would look.

Other topics discussed included:

* How Sable and Azaceta solve conflicts during the creative process
* The process of pitching their books picked up at Image
* The experience (for Azaceta) of working in the Marvel bullpen
* The research involved in writing a war book.

Sable is also the writer of Batman: Two-Face: Year One, Supergirl and Teen Titans Spotlight: Cyborg for DC, and the creator-owned Unthinkable for BOOM! Studios. He is a writer for both stage and screen (big and small).

Sable currently is running a Kickstarter campaign for his new project, Dracula: Son of the Dragon, which is described as part historical fiction, part horror fantasy, chronicling Vlad the Impaler’s transformation into the vampire Dracula. You can check out and support that project on Kickstarter right here.

Azaceta is an artist who has also worked on numerous other popular properties including the Amazing Spider-Man, B.P.R.D., Daredevil, and Potter’s Field with writer Mark Waid.

Creators Workshop sessions take place every month, giving members real-world knowledge that will help them succeed in their comics career.

There’s still plenty of time to sign up before the next session. We hope to see you there.

— Posted by Paul Allor