Monkeys Fighting Robots chatted with superstar artist Jock recently at MegaCon Orlando, and got to talk about cover art versus interior art, his and Scott Snyder’s creator-owned comic Wytches, and how he brings out such strong emotion in his artwork.
Watch the full interview here:
You’re known for your covers. Do you prefer doing cover art over interior work?
Jock: No, not really. They’re both very different. I feel different things about both of them. Interior work is very hard work. It’s a grind drawing story pages. But if I had time off from drawing interior pages, then I’d miss telling stories, basically, because covers are just making images. There’s something very unique about telling a story, having sequential images that create an overall effect. That’s a different thing. So no, I don’t really prefer one or the other, they’re just, they just feel different.
How has cover art evolved over the course of your career?
Jock: I think it’s amazing. I started doing covers for DC probably about 13 years ago or something like that and I was more interested in doing design-led covers, hopefully a bit more interesting kind of placement and negative space and things that I was lucky enough to try on The Losers at Vertigo that you maybe couldn’t do on a more mainstream superhero book. But I feel like since then covers have just got better and better and better because people have access to… computers have helped a lot. But also just in general, there seems to be much more creativity in covers I think these days than there was back then. Which I think is brilliant.
Can you give us an update on when fans can expect the next volume of Wytches?
Jock: Yeah, of course. Yeah. I’m sorry for the delay. It was mainly my fault. I got offered to work on Star Wars: The Last Jedi, so I went to work on that for nearly a year, which is what halted us going straight from Wytches [Volume] 1 to Wytches [Volume] 2, but we’re drawing it now. There’s a story called “Bad Egg”, which is appearing in IMAGE+, and we’re collecting that this Halloween. And then I’ve got 10 pages of that left to draw, and then we go straight on to season two of Wytches. So it’s happening. And I’m sorry for the delay.
When do you think season two will be out?
Jock: Uh, I can’t say yet, but I would guess, um, early next year, I would think? But don’t hold me to that. (Laughs.)
Why do you think the horror genre has seen a resurgence in comics recently?
Jock: I’m not sure. When we set out to do [Wytches], I was nervous because it’s hard to do a good horror comic, you know. If you’re in a movie theater, you’re kind of at the mercy of the film playing in front of you. But with a comic, you can put it down, you can skim the pages, you can do all sorts. So one of my main concerns was whether Wytches could be scary.
Jock: Well thank you, one of the nicest things is when people say it’s genuinely scary. So, uh, yeah, I dunno. I’ve always loved horror. If there’s more good horror now, that’s all good as far as I’m concerned. I don’t know why culturally that’s happening. Maybe the way the political landscape lends itself to more horror? Who knows?
How do you build emotional texture in your artwork?
Jock: I think if you’re honest about it and you approach it in an honest way, you know, then that’s where the emotion comes from. I think it depends what you’re trying to get across. With the Joker image [behind him], I wanted it to be as horrific as I could make it. So I don’t know, it’s hard to say. It’s like a natural sort of instinct, I suppose, is what I go for. I try and do something that I would think could be creepy and then hopefully someone else would feel that creepiness as well. With the Joker, I was definitely going for that something kind of dark and twisted.
Thanks again to Jock for taking the time to talk with us. Wytches volume one is available now, and you can read “Bad Egg” monthly in IMAGE+ magazine.