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Comic Book Nerds to Invade Macon. An Interview with Brad Walker

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Brad Walker is a Big Deal when it comes to Comics. This SCAD graduate has worked on Batman, Superman, The Guardians of the Galaxy and tons of other titles in the DC and Marvel Universe. But really, those three we just mentioned are three of the biggest titles in the industry.  And he’s coming to Macon as part of this weekend’s MGA CON, a comic Book convention with panels, swag, and all the crazy costumes you can stand.   Our comic book experts Amber Whitley and Black Patterson caught up with Brad this past week.   Check out their talk here.


Get your tickets to MGA Con, happening Friday, Saturday and Sunday Here.

By Amber Whitley and Blake Patterson

 First off. We’re excited to have you here in Macon at MGA Con!
-Thank you! I’m looking forward to the show!

When did you realize that you wanted to be involved in making Comic Books?

-I was pretty young when I first started loving and drawing superheroes. Mostly Spider-Man, but a little Hulk too. And probably some Batman and Captain America, because those were my older brother’s favorites. Then I started avidly reading and trying to draw comic books when I was maybe 11 years old. During all the Batman hype, leading up to the 1989 movie.

What drew you to MGA Con which is a relatively new, smaller convention and what do you enjoy the most about the convention scene?

-A friend/former professor of mine from the Savannah College of Art and Design reached out to me about it. He said he was helping them with guest bookings, and asked if I could do it. I lived in Macon for a few years when I was really young, and my girlfriend now lives in Savannah, so I’m there frequently anyway. So, it seemed like it would be an easy show to accommodate.

Having worked for both DC and Marvel, what series would you consider your dream job or have you already found it with Sinestro, considering you get to delve into the complexity of his character?

-I’ve managed to find something to attach to on most of the series I’ve worked on. When you live with something for the amount of time it takes to draw a comic book, it becomes very personal. So, it’s easy to have fun. I just finished my time on Sinestro, so I’m probably ready for a break from outer space (2+ years on Green Lantern books and 2 years shortly before that on Guardians of the Galaxy). Growing up, I wanted to draw all the big, classic superheroes, but these days, I like thinking about maybe creating something from scratch.

When I look at the New 52 Sinestro series, I see almost an ode to early 1990’s X-Men comics, mainly Jim Lee. Was he a big influence on your artistic style?

-Jim was an influence, definitely. I was really into the X-Men books around the time he was on them. Mostly 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s Marvel stuff was what I grew up on, so he was one of many that I stared at for endless hours.

Other than Sinestro, who have been your favorite characters to illustrate?

-I felt really personally attached to Guardians of the Galaxy, back when we were doing it. It was really the sort of book I felt like I would’ve loved growing up, so it was fun to be a part of it, and frustrating at the same time, that we couldn’t get it to catch on with more readers. Then, a couple years later, it was vindicating to have the team become such a big deal.

When you were penciling Gaurdians of the Galaxy in 2008, did you ever think it would become of the biggest movies of all time and what did you think of the movie?

-It was a really weird experience to watch the growth of it. I was back working for DC as the hype mounted, but it was still cool seeing all the work and love we put into it getting its due. It was also interesting realizing that it was the first non-Stan Lee/Jack Kirby/Steve Ditko, 60’s era property to get a big, successful adaptation, at the time. Granted some of the characters technically date back decades, but the specific takes on the characters used, and the specific chemistry between them originated in our series from just a few years ago. So, yeah, that was fun to see!

What do you think of the current Marvel and DC cinematic universes?

-I enjoy them a lot! But my true love is always comic book storytelling. 🙂

Are there any new movies or tv shows based on comic books that you are excited about?

-I really loved the second Captain America movie, so I’m excited about the third one. I’m excited for Doctor Strange, hoping they manage to bring some of that Steve Ditko, visual weirdness to life, on screen. I’m curious to see how DC rolls out their Justice League characters, and puts them together. And I really love the Flash TV show. It’s been a lot of fun.

Currently, who is your favorite artist and what are you reading?

-I don’t read many modern comics, because I spend so much time drawing them, when I sit down and relax and open one up, it feels like I’m still working. So, if I’m gonna read comics, I read older ones, and I can feel like I’m escaping a bit. While I was on the Lantern books, I was looking at a lot of Al Williamson Star Wars daily strips, and Alex Raymond Flash Gordon books. Both of which have more of a traditional, fantasy illustration look. I feel like you can add something to a story if you approach from a slightly different influence than what’s directly expected. And I try not to look too much at current art from my contemporaries, because it can cause you to pull from them, and seem derivative.

Do you feel that cosplay has helped or hindered the comic book convention scene?

It’s a lot of fun to watch! I like seeing the craft of it, and people at shows clearly love it. I do think, at some point, convention organizers are going to need to take into account how big of a draw it is, and rethink how they structure the shows, to accommodate it. It’s one of their main attractions, and they may need to look at it differently, to make the conventions safe to move around, and manageable for the other guests and exhibitors. Having one of the main draws of a show be a roaming event can cause problems. I suspect in the future, having a cosplay area might be something they need to consider, similar to the way there’s a retail section, a photo op area, and artist alley.

Do you have any new and exciting projects that you can tell us about?

I do! But I can’t. Ha! Like I said, I’ve finished Sinestro, and I’ll be starting a new series soon, with DC. I imagine it will be announced in the next several weeks.
Thanks, Amber!
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