Those of you who read Dark Horse Presents #9 were treated to an 8 page introduction to Dark Horse‘s upcoming new ongoing; Alabaster. Alabaster follows 16 year old Dancy Flammarion as she journeys through the American south fighting monsters and demons. A number of things stood out to me about the introduction to the world of Alabaster, the first thing being that very simply, it’s creepy. The atmosphere, the dialogue, the characters….. it all sent chills down my spine. Another thing that caught my interest, mostly because of how peculiar it is, is
the main character. A 16 year old albino female monster hunter? That concept alone peaks my interest in the book.
With as unique and interesting this book is, when our friends over at Dark Horse offered a chance to interview the creative team I jumped at it. This article features the interview I conducted with illustrator Steve Lieber. The interview I conducted with author Caitlin Kiernan can be found here.
Steve Lieber: I always drew as a kid, but think it was when I read Stan Lee’s Origins of Marvel Comics that I started thinking of comic book artist as being a job someone actually has. It didn’t hurt learning that Stan’s real name was “Lieber.” It just made the idea of working in comics seem more attainable somehow.
R.T.W.: Did you know at the time you wanted to create comics or did you decide that later?
S.L.:My drawing was almost always comics-focused.
R.T.W.: Can you tell us a little about some of your influences, both comic book and otherwise?
S.L.: Sure! In comics: Joe Kubert, Alberto Breccia, Stan Drake, Milton Caniff, Eddie Campbell, Jaime Hernandez and all my studio-mates at Periscope.
R.T.W.: You’ve had runs on some pretty iconic books such as Detective Comics. Is there a difference in the atmosphere of drawing a book like that and working for a smaller publisher like Dark Horse?
S.L.:Definitely. It’s a lot easier to feel like my contribution matters on a tightly run project like Alabaster. On a book like Detective, your efforts are wound up with those of 20 other artists and writers, many of whom will have vastly different goals and sensibilities, and it’s tough to get any kind of unity or coherence out of that. On Alabaster, my goals are simple- tell Cait’s story. Make it creepy where it’s creepy, funny where it’s funny, and bring the world to life on the page as best I can.
R.T.W.: How did you come to be involved with Alabaster?
S.L.: I was brought aboard by the editor, Rachel Edidin. I haven’t done much dark fantasy, and I’m very glad she saw the possibilities in my work.
R.T.W.: I imagine there is a significant difference in illustrating super hero comics and horror comics. Do you have one you prefer to work on?
S.L.:I love drawing almost anything. My preferences are less about genre and more about what’s in the writing. I like a world that makes sense on it’s own terms, settings that have a distinct feel, and characters that have some emotional range, and motivations that I can wrap my head around.
R.T.W.:Are you working on any other projects you would like to tell the readers about?
S.l.:An OGN I illustrated for Vertigo, SHOOTERS written by Eric Trautmann and Brandon Jerwa, is coming out next month.
I would personally like to thank Mr. Lieber for taking the time out of his busy schedule to talk to me about this thrilling new comic. As always Alabaster and all Dark Horse comics are available at your local comic shop on on our digital store here.