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Wednesday Fan Chat #17 - Jeff Lemire


#1

Our next guest in the fan chat series will be writer/artist Jeff Lemire. Jeff is well know for his creator owned work like the Essex County Trilogy and Sweet Tooth along with his work for DC, Valiant and Marvel most recently launching the new Hawkeye book. Please feel free to leave any questions you might have for Jeff in this thread ahead of time but only questions please. All other posts will be deleted. Thank you.


#3

I would like to know anything/everything mr. Lemire can tell me about ‘After Death’. :smile:


#4

I’ll get a question in early, as I don’t know whether I’ll be able to attend, and I’m a massive fan.

Hey, Jeff! I absolutely loved your Essex County trilogy - it’s one of the books I’ve been recommending left and right for years now - and Sweet Tooth. Congratulations on breaking out in such a big way over the last few years!

I’ll try and limit myself to, uh, let’s say three questions:

  1. You’ve been working with the big two now, as well as doing a series with Dark Horse and, with Descender, an Image one. What are the differences in working with/for these different publishers, and what are your mid-to-long-term plans where that is concerned?

  2. There’s a whistful quality to your writing that is still a relatively rare thing in comics, I would say. As a writer, what have been your major influences (comics as well as general prose)?

  3. As a writer/artist who also writes for other artists, is that a very different experience? I imagine it’s both difficult and liberating to be able to let go of the art side of things, but do you find it a less intimate process in some way?


#5

Hi Jeff, thanks for coming. How do you like working for Valiant? I read The Valiant tpb and loved it. Their universe seems very tight and well connected. I just started the Book of Death and it seems to pick up where The Valiant left off. another question i have for you is in such continuity heavy books like The Valiant, the Legion storyline in JLU, extraordinary X-men , and especially OLD MAN LOGAN(don’t wanna upset the chief here :wink:) , how much outside influence do you have on your writing? I love interconnected books but also understand that continuity is restricting on the imagination. thanks again for doing this.


#6

Hello Sir, you are working with the X-men and Old Man Logan titles right now, so I have three questions:
Will you X-men line up will include characters from all Marvel’s time line?
Did you speak to Mr. Millar about taking Old Man Logan?
Will you expand Old Man Logan’s Universe?

Have a nice day!


#7

Hi Jeff,
I, like many others, love your art. It’s original, evocative and you are a master storyteller. However, it’s also very divisive. Some people don’t care for it it because, in their own terms, it’s too rough, lacking in details and “technical skills”. You know what I mean. Thus, I wonder:

  1. Is your style entirely your choice of not becoming a more commercial/consensual artist or did you compose with your strengths and weaknesses?
  2. Do you have any particular stories to tell us about the very contrasted way people react to your act? How do you feel about that?

#8

Hi Jeff
Do you know when Black Hammer is going to come out?
Is Dean’s recovery going ok?


#9

All I can tell you so far is that the book has grown a bit in scope since Scott and I first conceived it. We’re pushing it’s release back to Spring of 2016 to make sure we give it our all. It will be a hardcover original graphic novel, not serialized.


#10

Do you know when Black Hammer is going to come out?
Is Dean’s recovery going ok?

Dean is recovering well. He sent 3 new pages last week. But he is still not quite back to a monthly pace so we won;t resolicit until he is. Our hope is middle of 2016


#11

Hello Sir, you are working with the X-men and Old Man Logan titles right now, so I have three questions:
Will you X-men line up will include characters from all Marvel’s time line?

The lineup for my X-Men team is: Old Man Logan, Teen Jean Grey, Storm, Magik, Colossus, Nightcrawler and Iceman

Did you speak to Mr. Millar about taking Old Man Logan?

No, I haven’t. But I hope he likes what I do with the character.

Will you expand Old Man Logan’s Universe?

Yes. We will see much more of the OML world. Particularly events that happened after Logan slaughtered the X-Men but before Mark’s original series.


#12

Thanks for answering! :slight_smile: These fan-chats excite me. I’d love to practise writing. Would you have any advice for people who want to write (comics)? Thanks a lot.


#13

You’ve been working with the big two now, as well as doing a series with Dark Horse and, with Descender, an Image one. What are the differences in working with/for these different publishers, and what are your mid-to-long-term plans where that is concerned?

Each publisher is different and has different appeals to me. Valiant means working with some of my best friends and building a small shared universe together. Marvel gives me a chance to work on a big stage with some incredible and iconic characters and Image provides absolute creative freedom and the ability to retain ownership of my work. So each provides me with something different right now.

There’s a whistful quality to your writing that is still a relatively rare thing in comics, I would say. As a writer, what have been your major influences (comics as well as general prose)?

Comics: Seth, Hernandez Brothers, Frank Miller, Dan Clowes, Alan Moore and so many others. But I’m also a huge David Lynch fan. He has probably influenced me more than any other artist. I also love a lot of songwriters like Nick Cave, Tom Waits…

As a writer/artist who also writes for other artists, is that a very different experience? I imagine it’s both difficult and liberating to be able to let go of the art side of things, but do you find it a less intimate process in some way?\

It can be less intimate yes. When you write and draw something yourself you invest more time, emotion an detail into the work, so naturally it’s a bigger part of your life. But it can also be very exhausting. So collaborating and letting go of that on other projects can be very freeing.


#14

My only advice is to find you down voice. Don’t try to write what you think will get you work or what is popular at the moment. The only way to find your own voice is to write A LOT and write a lot of bad stuff until you start finding your way.


#15

My art isn’t for everyone. But my artistic influences generally come from outside the mainstream comics world, so I understand that my style doesn’t conform to the kind of comic book art a lot of people enjoy or are familiar with. I try to draw things that evoke emotion and tell a story. I’m not concerned with technical perfection.


#16

Hi Jeff, I am a huge fan of your work, but Descender has to be my favorite book that comes out each month. What inspired you to come up with this story, and how many issues do you anticipate it running?

I recently read Lost Dogs in one sitting, and it was such a good story. The collected edition of Essex County will be delivered tomorrow, so I can’t wait for that! What would you say is your best work?

Also, do you think you’ll ever make it to any Florida conventions in the future?


#17

Absolutely love working fort Valiant. Some of my best friends are also writing for them (Matt Kindt, Josh Dysart, Rob Venditti) so it’s a blast to create a shared universe with them.

Dealing with continuity is never as big a deal, or as big a hassle as people presume. At least not for me. I’m usually pretty aware of what;s come before with a character and it’s never stopped me from telling whatever story I wanted to tell


#18

do you have a max amt of comics you’ll work on in a month - writing wise? what about drawing?


#19

Do you have your next creator owned series which you will write & draw planned?


#20

Descender will most likely be 24-30 issues long. It was inspired by a lot of things I was into at the time I started working on it…Kubrick films, Kirby’s 2001 comics, Urasawa’s manga Pluto and just a lot of stuff from my own imagination as well as the influences and ideas that Dustin brought to it.

Hard to judge my own work, I generally love everything while I’m working on it, but then hate it when I finish. But looking back objectively Essex County and Sweet Tooth seem to have struck a deep chord with a lot of people.

And as for my more mainstream writing work, I think Animal Man, Green Arrow, Hawkeye and Bloodshot have been the best so far.

No plans for a Florida visit any time soon. Really scaling back on conventions and travelling for the next couple of years


#21

I do!

I’m currently developing it. I won’t be able to start in earnest until I finish with A.D. (the OGN I’m doing with Scott Snyder), so it will probably be a 2017 launch.

Too soon to discuss any details.

I also have another OGN called ROUGHNECK coming from Simon and Shuster next Fall which I wrote and drew. 275 pages