Comics Creators

Wednesday Fan Chat #17 - Jeff Lemire


how’s your dog - boston terrrier or french bulldog right? and does he/she influence your writing for Bandit? :slight_smile:


She is pug. She’s great. I got her well after starting on Descender.

But more and more dogs seem to be popping up in my work.


I cab only draw one project at a time. It is just too labor intensive to do more. But I tend to have a very wide bandwidth in terms of writing multiple projects.

I’m currently writing 6 books, which is a bit much, so soon that will be cut down to 4 or 5, which is my comfort zone.


Any updates you can give on the Descender movie?


Nothing I can discuss. It;s in development at SONY and they are talking to some very interesting screenwriters and directors.


Hi Jeff,

I’m a huge fan or your creator owned stuff including Essex County, Trillium, and Sweet Tooth. I’d be curious to hear about your inspiration for Sweet Tooth. Where did you get the idea? Did you have the whole story planned out before you even started? I ask because it was so well though out. I loved the ending! Speaking of, any chance you’ll ever release the original art to the last issue?


Thank you. I did have the whole story worked out right from the start, I usually know my endings. Gives me something to work towards and build to.

In the case of Sweet Tooth, I was still a relative unknown in comics and didn’t know if it would last as a series at Vertigo. So I had a plan for the story if it lasted 9, 15, 24, 30 issues. They all had the same ending, just gave me more time to develop things the longer it went.


do you read the puck daddy hockey blog on yahoo? Greg (the main editor/writer) is my best friend - I’ve been trying to get him to read Essex County and interview you…


I do! And I’d love to talk to him. I just started playing hockey again after a three year hiatus.


thanks jeff - always nice to talk to you. Thanks for being so kind to fans - on twitter, here and at conventions.


When you were still relatively new on the scene, how did you land at Vertigo with a short story like The Nobody? Did you shop it around to a bunch of publishers or did you know that Vertigo was its home? By the time you released The Underwater Welder you had already made a reputation in the industry, so I imagine you could almost have your pick of publishers.


I had published the ESSEX COUNTY graphic novels with Top Shelf. They went on to be nominated for a couple of Eisner Awards in 2007 and caught the attention of Bob Schreck, who was working at Vertigo.

At the time Vertigo was looking to do more OGNs and Bob had me pitch as well as Matt Kindt. I pitches the Nobody, Matt pitched Revolver.

As I finished The Nobody I pitched Sweet Tooth, which Bob and Karen Berger loved.


Thanks for answering my questions and making yourself accessible to fans. It means a lot!


Working at Vertigo was a really big deal for me because Vertigo books were what kept me reading comics when I became a teenager, and also working for DC and Vertigo gave me a page rate for the first time and allowed me to finally quit my day job as a line cook, which I had been doing for 12 years.

I would draw all day then work in restaurants cooking all night. I did that for 7 or 8 years before I finally could do comics full time and also support my family.


Can you tell us anything about your process? You mentioned before that it takes some time to find your voice, but how did you find yours? Especially when you were starting off, it must have been difficult to get feedback on anything you were doing. And what about now? Do you have anyone that you bounce ideas off of or read your scripts before you put them into production?


Hi Jeff,
I just finished reading Book of Death The Fall of Bloodshot. I loved Bloodshot’s epic journey and was pleased to see his final fate was not predicable. Will we see some of these story elements showing up soon in Bloodshot Reborn? Thanks! Dan


When I started, I was in total vacuum. The internet was not a thing then so there was no online community. And I didn’t know anyone else in Toronto that did comics. So I just taught myself by doing it and making a lot of mistakes and sticking to it.

I started by trying to write and draw a big sic-fi horror graphic novel. I started it and then stopped an restarted it 3 different times over 3 or 4 years. I would get 100 pages into it and my art would have grown/changed so much that I needs to restart it. Finally I gave up and started doing some short stories so that I could actually complete something and experiment more.

For me it was all about cartooning, never just writing. It was about writing and drawing comics. And it was all trial and error, trying out different pens, brushes, paper. Making a lot of mistakes. And eventually a style just sort of formed out of all that.

I drew 6-8 hours a day ever day (while working a day job each night to support myself). I never went to art school, so it was all self taught. There were a lot of techniques and things I could have learned very easily had I known other professionals or cartoonists that I had to struggle to figure out on my own, but I think that helped me develop my own style more.

Now it’s very different. My best friends are all my peers, Matt Kindt, Ray Fawkes, Scott Snyder. So we feed off of and help each other.

I give Scott all his best Batman ideas.


Thank you. I like that one too.

We will indeed see many of these elements play out but not necessarily in the same way or the same order they were depicted in Fall of Bloodshot.

I have a very big, long term plan for Bloodshot. Issue 4 shipped last week and I just finished the script for issue 17 (!) which is how far ahead I am.


Haha, that’s awesome! Thank you for taking the time.


Whose beard would win in a fight: Alan Moore’s or Matt Kindt’s?