|Cover to "Beowulf" TPB|
Toronto based comic book company Speakeasy has been generating some buzz with its "Beowulf" series, based on the heroic character of poetry legend, and a big part of that has been the art of Attila Adorjany, another "T-Dot" native. While he's just been doing cover work thus far, Attila will be joining writer Joshua Ortega (who spoke with CBR News earlier this week) with the new "Beowulf" story arc. CBR News spoke with Adorjany briefly and learned how he became attached to the series.
"I was originally approached to do covers for a few of the Speakeasy books, 'Beowulf' being one of them. and things just grew from there," explains the artist. "One of the truly unique elements [in the series] is time. 200 years ago can be as relevant as last week in the character development of an immortal. It allows for some very interesting storytelling."
Depicting a character such as "Wulf" is something that Adorjany takes series and explained his perspective on the character, as well as how that affects Wulf's depiction. "I see him as a man of another era with different ideals. From a time when people went to war because of an belief rather than some financial motive. As well, after a few thousand years he would also be a terrible creature of habit. So I think these things would reflect heavily in his behavior and appearance and I want to try and reflect these things in the
way I draw him."
|Cover to "Beowulf #4"|
While Adorjany is influenced by other comic book artists, he says that his main inspiration comes from different mediums, which ties into his work history. "Well, Bill Sienkiewicz and Dave McKean immediately come to mind. Their unique visions made me realize the potential of sequential art. I also get much of my influence from other sources like design companies, film makers and magazines folks like WDDG, Juxt interactive, David Fincher and stuff like Raygun magazine or presstube.com.
"Most of my prior work has been outside of comics. A lot of editorial work and concept design especially in Film and Gamming. My first comic gig was for a magazine back in 2000. After that I was mostly working in advertising. It wasn't till 2003 that I re-set my goals on sequential media. Since then I have done a few creator owned projects, back-up stories and covers. This is my first foray into monthlies."
The previous "Beowulf" artist, Dub, got a positive response from fans and while the fans loved Dub, Adorjany says he doesn't feel that there is added pressure. "Dub does amazing work! That doesn't change the pressure to do good work - which should always be there. But I'm lucky the fans who visit the Speakeasy forums got an introduction to my work with the covers I started to do for the series, so it was an easier transition with their blessings. Visually I'll be trying to stay close to heart on the character designs with maybe minor tweaks."
Following a popular artist can difficult, as it can be hard to impart one own aesthetic sense onto a book when the look was so strongly defined by a previous artist, but Adorjany isn't worried. "Our styles and influences are fairly divergent so I think beyond striving to stay true to the character design, my aesthetic and approach will take the book in a new direction. One main difference will be that I'm providing finished art, rather than a collaborative effort (with a penciller/inker/colourist combination). My approach is more multi-media - in the same vein as folks like McKean or Sienkiewicz - and that's certainly going to be reflected in the look and feel of the final product."
Fans who want to know about Adorjany's tenure on the series, you'll be disappointed- no one knows! "At the very least until issue 12. In Issue 7 I'll be working with
some awesome guest artist like Jim Mahfoud, and Andy Lee. If I take a break
it will be to work on another speakeasy book called 'Night' that I'm working
on with Writer Joe O'Brien. But I'd be staying on Beowulf to do covers at
least. Mostly depends on scheduling."
|Cover To "Beowulf #7"|
But you can take solace in the fact that Adorjany has some more work scheduled, namely, "Yeah, apart from the above mentioned Night project that's scheduled for
next year. I just finished a back up story for 'Revolution on the Planet of the Apes' for Mr.Comics, which comes out this fall. I also plan on doing a few covers and mini stories for other projects while time permits."
If you haven't checked out "Beowulf," Adorjany feels that it is the time to do so, especially with a trade paperback collection on the way. "Fans of action, and the supernatural are really going to get a thrill out of 'Beowulf'. With Brian Augustyn, Joshua Ortega and Mike Carey each taking turns at the helm, coupled with the art, this will be a wild ride well worth the price of admission."