“It’s opened up a lot of unusual visual opportunities for us to explore” Mark Waid and Peter Krause talk Daredevil Road Warrior Infinite
2014 is set to be a fantastic year for digital comics, with more great titles from the comics world’s top publishers. But the title we’re currently looking forward to the most in 2014 is Mark Waid and Peter Krause’s trip to the west coast with the Man Without Fear in Daredevil Road Warrior a new weekly Infinite title from Marvel Comics coming this February. The team behind Thrillbent’s Insufferable are no strangers to the world of digital comics, and are now being give the highest profile Infinite Comic to date. A new series that is not only set to push the boundaries of the digital comics medium, but also slots neatly into the existing Daredevil continuity – a first for the Infinite titles. Keen to find out more we caught up with Mark and Peter to find out the inside scoop on this super-sensory series and were given an exclusive first look at some of Peter’s uncolored artwork!
You’ve gained plenty of experience of digital comics from your time creating Insufferable for Thrillbent, how does working on an established character like Daredevil differ from the world of Nocturnus and Galahad? Do you have plenty of freedom because of your experience or are there more rules that have to be adhered to?
MW: There was plenty of freedom – as with the Infinite Comics from day one, I’ve been encouraged to push the boundaries and work with my collaborators to re-invent traditional comics storytelling. And Daredevil was a perfect vehicle for that – because he’s blind but “sees” the world through his other hyper-senses, it opened up a lot of unusual visual opportunities for us to explore.
PK: As an artist, you’re dealing with with a lot of history with Daredevil. There’s going to be a comparison between your visuals and those who have gone before. That’s a bit intimidating, I suppose. With Nocturnus and Galahad, I’m the guy who has always drawn them. You might be a bit more adventurous with Insufferable as you are defining how the strip appears – how it’s always appeared.
That said, DD is my favorite Marvel character, and this is one of those “bucket list” assignments you dream about. I’m halfway done with the art, and I’m as satisfied as I get with my drawing!
How does the ‘Infinite‘ format differ from the way you work on Thrillbent titles? Do you have to write and pace the story differently knowing you have a more traditional format to work with rather than the weekly instalment based approach you use on Thrillbent?
MW: It’s a weekly, in fact – four weekly installments bridging the gap between v3 issue 36 and v4 issue one – so, as it happens, the pacing is very similar.
PK: I think Mark’s already answered that this is a weekly format. There will be more screens/pages per episode than a weekly instalment of Insufferable.
Have you been able to use any techniques on Daredevil Road Warrior that you weren’t able to use on Insufferable, if so what? Is Yves Bigerel still involved or were you able to take on the whole of the art process?
MW: Pete’s taken full chores on the process, and he’s knocking it out of the park. There are a few techniques that are unique to Daredevil–my favorite is in issue one, where we emulate the 360-degree nature of Daredevil’s radar sense!
PK: The panorama shot of DD’s radar–I’m anxious to see how that looks once colored. We have a few other little tricks with the radar sense– such as we can use it on the click or swipe to draw the reader’s attention to a small area in a large scene.
Do you think we’re starting to see certain generic conventions begin to develop for digital comics now we are seeing more and more Infinite style comics available? (The sequentially appearing text, focus pulls, subtle animation within panels) and do you feel you have helped create some of these conventions yourself – how important is it for you to keep pushing the boundaries of digital comics?
PK: Generic might be too strong a word, but there are certainly conventions that you cited that are being used more and more. The balance is using what works to move the story forward without being too cute or jarring. The story should always be the guiding force–anything that distracts from that should be avoided.
I’m wary of saying that we have created any of these conventions. I just hope we are putting together digital comics that entertain, and maybe inspire other creators to bring new things to the table.
How closely does the story adhere to the current Daredevil timeline and were there any challenges working within that? (I assume that with Mark writing both it is not too bad?) Would I be right in thinking this is the first Infinite title to plug directly into ongoing continuity? Was it always planned to do that? And what happens to those readers who don’t have an iPad to read this new series on? Will the story be self contained enough that it won’t matter too much or will it be released in print as well?
MW: It’s a very self-contained story; you’re not required to read it to understand the new series launch, but it adds flavor to it. I’ve no doubt it’ll end up in print sooner than later, maybe in a collected edition…? Not sure of Marvel’s plans.
PK: Mark’s the guiding light on Daredevil, so our story fits right in. I think it will be a nice complement to the monthly print comic. Marvel hasn’t announced that DAREDEVIL: ROAD WARRIOR will eventually be in print, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see it included in the trade editions.
Do you think Infinite titles are now at a stage where they can be considered as relevant as traditional page turner comics? (Certainly the success of Wolverine and Ironman Infinite titles would back that up?) Will we see more Infinite titles plugging directly into major Marvel continuity and not just being used as gimmicks or do you think Infinite comics work best when treated as something special and out of the norm?
MW: I know that’s something Marvel’s really pushing for. I think we’re almost there.
PK: Why wouldn’t they be? Tell good stories, no matter the medium. I think Marvel has the freedom to do both. If there’s a chance to tell an “in-between” story such as ours, plug it into the continuity. But someone comes up with a great approach that’s outside of the current storyline? Go ahead and put it in its own little digital world.
The story sees Matt Murdock set out on a road trip and travel west, what sort of challenges did that present for the artwork and story and how do you feel DD copes when not in his native New York – is there a shift in tone to match this storyline and how difficult is to retain that Daredevil feel outside New York?
PK: I think that is a challenge. Matt seems so much of New York when he’s Daredevil. But Mark’s script is wonderfully done. The action sequences are great and full of swashbuckling. I think you can take the ‘devil out of the big city!
Finally, how long will Road Warrior be lasting and what will happen to the continuity after that?
PK: You Daredevil fans get the regular gang back after this. I’m happy I got to play in the Marvel sandbox for a bit!
Daredevil Road Warrior Infinite will be available in February from ComiXology and the Marvel Comics app