Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Wayne Young Delivers "The Message"

I had the good fortune of meeting Wayne at Wonder Con in San Fransisco a few years back. I was impressed by his high contrast artwork and his style of storytelling.

Wayne's artwork transcends the "Comic Book" style by creating a world with his art.  Filled with deep blacks and stunning layouts you are pulled into the imagination of it's creator. You will also notice the expressions on the characters which I believe is a direct product of Wayne's acting background.

Sit back and enjoy this behind the scenes Q&A with a true master artist on the rise.

You can read Wayne's entire story in Samurai The Graphic Novel. Samurai #1 Pre-Order

Karl Altstaetter
Samurai The Graphic Novel

In two sentences what is your STGN about?

My story is inspired by a passage from the Hagakure (The Book of the Samurai) which states: Being a good retainer is nothing other than being a supporter of one's lord, entrusting matters of good and evil to him, and renouncing self interest. In other words, in my segment, the Samurai delivers a message but there is no indication as to whether he is doing the will of a good man or an evil man.

What was your experience like working on Samurai The Graphic Novel. Was it a challenge? 

I'm my own greatest critic, so trying to please myself is always a challenge. Samurai The Graphic novel will represent my first published work in comics, so I'm really exited about it. It's been an incredibly educational experience to see how it all comes together.

What was your process for creating your story for STGN? Describe it step by step.

I always start with character. Then, I try to imagine interesting scenarios to place those characters in.

In one word what best describes your style?


What's your biggest influence artistically/story wise?

Artistically, probably Leonardo da Vinci. Story wise, I'd have to say Kurosawa. I'm a big fan and advocate of truthful, patient storytelling.

Why do you think the idea and iconography of the Samurai resonate with the imagination? 

Visually, obviously the Samurai are super-cool! But on a deeper lever, I think the concept of utter discipline and dedication is something that everyone can aspire to regardless of what we pursue. It's the same reason Bruce Lee is still so popular decades after his passing. It's the pursuit of perfection, even if it can never truly be attained.

If you were a Samurai what part of Bushido (The Samurai code) best describes you. Pick two: loyalty, honor, obedience, duty, honoring your elders/ancestors, and self-sacrifice.

Honestly, if you asked everyone who knows me, I don't think a single person would list obedience as a characteristic I possess. For that reason, I don't think I would make a good Samurai (or soldier for that matter!) However, boxing and martial arts have played almost as big a role in my life as my art so I'm no stranger to honor and self-sacrifice. But I guess I'd make a better Ronin than Samurai!

The sword was the main weapon of the Samurai. What is your weapon of choice when it comes to art?

My Mont Blanc Classique Black .05 pencil; it was a gift from my mom.

When you create an idea what's your first action? Write it out? Do layouts? Character designs?

Character designs. Everything starts with character for me.

What do you hope readers will get out of your story in Samurai?


What are your latest projects or projects you are going to be working on in the future?

I'm currently in the process of creating a three-issue limited series. The tentative title right now is "Children of the Fall," but that may change. I'm finishing up issue #2 right now and the main character in my Samurai segment actually plays the role of the primary antagonist in this story. 

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