Cory Walker is a lot of things to different people. As the penciller on "Invincible," he helped launch one of the most successful new superheroes in years. When the schedule became too much for him, he earned even further respect by stepping aside before hurting the series. With the preview art for his issue of "Marvel Team Up" earning praise, Walker is becoming one of the hottest artists on the market and his star continues to rise. But to writer Rick Remender and artist Tony Moore, Walker is their invaluable creative comrade in the sci-fi epic "Fear Agent." In Part Three of CBR's week long spotlight on Image Comics' "Fear Agent," CBR News caught up with Walker and learned about his involvement with the series.
"I was attracted to the project from the very start, like a moth to the flame," explained Walker. "When Rick and Tony first announced the book last year, I saw something fantastic and exciting that I wanted to have as my own. It had humor, two-fisted action and unapologetic science fiction that sees no reason to explain itself. It's fun and thrilling. That's what sci-fi should be, and that's what 'Fear Agent' is."
Walker entered the "Fear Agent" inner circle after both Remender and Moore had begun work on the series, but he says he didn't feel intimidated joining a tight knit group of creators. "It helped a lot that Rick and Tony are both good pals of mine, so I wasn't so much intimidated by joining an existing group as much as I was intimidated by the fact that I'd be sharing art chores with an artist of Tony's caliber."
Speaking of Moore, while both he and Walker are rising stars thanks to their work at Image Comics, they've employed different art styles to achieve success. Working on the same series-- alternating art chores every five issues-- might seem like it would require a bridging of their styles and some kind of compromise on their parts. "Not at all," responds Walker. "I don't want this to come across the wrong way, but if Rick and Tony wanted to find someone to ape Tony's style, I think I would've been the last person they'd ask. I like to think they asked me because they like whatever it is that I do. That being said, of course I'm going to make whatever changes I have to artistically to fit the book.
Tony and I are really trying to draw from the old EC science fiction vibe. So at least in that, there will be some sort of artistic middle ground."
Though details of Walker's story arc are being kept close to the vest, it has been revealed that his story will take place years before the earlier story by Moore. "There's a ten year time difference between our stories, and the tone of the two arcs is quite different. That really works in my favor in that sense, and it allows for enough of a difference in our styles without the two arcs feeling like two different books entirely."
On "Invincible," Walker built a name for himself with clean lines and bright, vibrant images… but "Fear Agent" is no happy, shiny book. The world is much dirtier and Walker will be adjusting his style to show that. "'When in Rome...,' eh? It is a dirtier world, and I'm throwing down some dirtier lines. I had been wanting to incorporate more line work and spotted blacks into my arsenal for a while now, and working on 'Fear Agent' has proven to be the perfect time to do so. I'm still working it out, and getting a good sense of everything, but I'm pleased enough with the results so far."
An American editor once said that while Europe has a wealth of artists that can tackle sci-fi in comics, the number of American born artists who can effectively convey those sort of worlds is rather few and like fellow artist Tony Moore, Walker disagrees. "Wally Wood. There have been more high caliber Sci-Fi books done in recent years by notable Europeans, but I'm all about the 1950's American Sci-Fi."
While he has a five month lead on his story arc, Walker hasn't quite done all his "Fear Agent" work and it isn't because he's slow-- he's just been busy being successful. "Actually, I'm still on issue 6, which is the first issue of my arc. Between doing other work outside comics, and currently working on 'Marvel Team-Up #14,' which is a crossover between Spider-man and Invincible, I haven't had that much time to commit to 'Fear Agent' aside from the occasional sketch or breakdown since late June when I did the pages for our preview book. I'm dying to get to work on 'Fear Agent,' though, and I'll hit the ground running as soon as I finish up what's currently on my plate. So we will be working quite a bit ahead of schedule, with my first issue debuting in March, there's quite a bit of lead time there."
Having made his mark on creator owned projects-- "Invincible" and now "Fear Agent"-- it would seem logical for Walker to move onto DC & Marvel comics, as most artists tend to, but he says he's an equal opportunity kind of guy. "Both sides of the fence have their perks. I've had the opportunity to work for Marvel on a few occasions, and it's a wonderful thing for me to be able to draw Spider-Man and the other characters whose adventures I enjoyed as a child. Not everyone feels that way, but yeah, not that it's my only goal in life, but I'm one of the guys that won't die happy unless he's drawn Batman professionally, y'know?
"On the other hand, doing creator owned stuff is fantastic, because it's your baby, and you can do whatever you want with it. You can dangle it out a window and there's no one to tell you that you can't. Complete control is a nice thing to have. Even if you have to share it with two other guys."
Make sure to check back in with CBR News tomorrow, when we talk to artist more of the creative team on "Fear Agent." If you'd like to learn more about "Fear Agent," check out their Myspace Group.
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CBR Executive Producer Jonah Weiland Contributed To This Story.