VODKA O’CLOCK 1520
J.K. WOODWARD ON “BEHEMOTH”

J.K. WOODWARD - PHOTO BY KIM SWANSON
J.K. WOODWARD – PHOTO BY KIM SWANSON

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J.K. WOODWARD comes back to Vodka O’Clock to talk about his first creator-owned series in comics, BEHEMOTH.

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JK has been an artist in comics for 15 years. After working on some of the most iconic properties of pop culture like STAR TREK and DOCTOR WHO and Peter David’s FALLEN ANGEL, he and writer Chris Kipniak are bringing their series to life. BEHEMOTH is available through Monkeybrain Comics in digital format.

behemoth cover

In BEHEMOTH, we meet a teenage girl, Theresa Fowler who is turning into a monster. She is taken from her home and put in a type of concentration camp with other people who have already undergone their changes.

The transformation that Theresa is going through turning into a monster, is out of her control. JK shared as much of the details as possible without spoiling the greater story arc. Issue one is an action-packed kick off. It ends with Theresa about to embark on a frightening new chapter of her life.

“Like any other story I can say about my life, it all started in a bar…” ~JKW on the creation of BEHEMOTH

You can hear all about his partnership with Chris Kipniak and the saga of taking a brainstorming session at a bar to three years later and getting the issues into development. I asked him about the difference in being an artist on work-for-hire compared to this fully collaborative endeavor.

“It’s almost like getting 360 view of something when you’re used to having almost tunnel vision.” ~JKW

We even talked about the in’s and out’s of being an artist on the go – packing and traveling with ink bottles, the need to keep meet quota of commissions because of taking a lower page rate on the project, and not sleeping. If you want to know what it’s really like to be a comic book artist, this episode should give you a good understanding about it. We got into panel orientation, page layout, and color choices.

One of the things JK looks for in a script is for characters to evolve into a sense of family. Theresa is going to change in each issue, inside and physically.

“Of course it’d be easier being a monster! But humanity is a great thing.” ~JKW

Before wrapping everything up, I asked JK about his dreams and whether they came true. He’s worked on some of his favorite projects already that were someone else’s property and now he’s working towards his own creative goal.

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LINKS

@JK_Woodward

Facebook.com/JamesKennethWoodward

Instagram https://instagram.com/jk_woodward

http://www.jkwoodwardart.blogspot.com/

PRESS RELEASE

Star Trek/Doctor Who artist and Marvel Adventures writer team-up for creator-owned series, Behemoth, with MonkeyBrain Comics.

Artist J.K. Woodward is best known for a painted, realistic style used on hit books like IDW’s Star Trek/Doctor Who: Assimilation2, and Star Trek: Harlan Ellison’s City on the Edge of Forever. But on April 15th, he will be debuting a new, more impressionistic style on Behemoth, Woodward’s first creator-owned comic, co-created with writer Chris Kipiniak and published by MonkeyBrain Comics.

“I’ve always felt privileged to work on projects like X-Men, Doctor Who and Star Trek, and I’ve enjoyed great success hand painting them in a photo realistic style, but I felt it was time to try something different. I’ve been wanting to work on an original property like this and I also wanted to combine an ink wash with digital colors, so here it is; a new kind of story and a new art style.  It’s a lot of firsts for me and I couldn’t be more excited.”

Behemoth follows Theresa, a girl who wakes up to find herself turning into a monster. After a fight with her mother turns violent, she is put into a camp with others who are going through the same transformation, and ultimately is forced into Project: Behemoth, where monsters from the camp are trained to undertake suicide-missions for the U.S. Government. As Theresa continues to become more of a monster physically, she also feels the same process happening mentally.

To writer Chris Kipiniak, that is what defines the comic. “J.K. and I talked about a few concepts when we discussed collaborating. The thing that excited us most about Behemoth was this idea that, while the main character’s body was changing, her mind would also be changing, and it would affect how she perceived the world. It gave us an opportunity to tell the story in a unique way, by letting the art evolve along with her changing mental state.”

“I first saw J.K.’s art on Peter David’s Fallen Angel,” says Chris. “His work always has a danger and a vibrancy that hums underneath the photo-realistic quality. With Behemoth, he’s letting that vibrancy come more to the surface and affect the look of the book.”

Chris is an actor and writer whose previous comics work has included stints at Marvel writing a Nightcrawler limited series, and issues of Marvel Adventures: Spider-Man. The two met in New York, introduced by a mutual friend who knew that both worked in comics and that both were looking for a collaborator.

“Working with Chris has been a blast. He’s a joy to collaborate with and I’ve been a fan of his 2001 Nightcrawler mini long before we even met. He’s at he top of his game with this script. The characters have really come alive for me and that helps make my work on the art all the more convincing.”

This is the first creator-owned property for both of them, and they are both very excited to be working with MonkeyBrain Comics.

“I love the way digital has changed the comics medium. From the moment I heard about MonkeyBrain and the creators involved with them, I knew this was where we wanted to be,” says Chris. “And the first page of J.K.’s art we showed them convinced them instantly.”

Behemoth is a four issue, monthly, digital series available through MonkeyBrain Comics. The first issue was will be released Wednesday, April 15th.