quarta-feira, 25 de junho de 2008

A tight team: Interview with Chad Walker

Chad Walker is, alongside his twin Eric, one of the Walker Boys, two American illustrators and game designers who are beginning to win the American market with his work, an update of the “Image Style” of the 90’s. In their site, http://www.walkerboystudio.com , the brothers and their staff of designers build a new set of web based games which seems to be one step ahead in the market. Their experience in game products such as AGE OF KINGS, AGE OF CONQUERORS and AGE OF MHYTOLOGY gave them possibility to recriate the scenario of the American Civil War in their latest project, Civil War: War Between the States, that emulate the great battles of that time.


CHAD WALKER – Here you go. Thanks for the great questions!

OCTAVIO ARAGÃO – The first time I saw a work by you guys was the first issue of the new version of PROPHET, a character created by Rob Liefeld that was a mix of Captain America, Rambo and Conan. How was that first contact with the industry and how you guys worked together in that story?

CW – That was an amazing experience to start off drawing Prophet in the comic industry. I remember the excitement in getting to draw one of the coolest characters Rob ever came up with (my opinion :D) Eric and I worked really well together in terms of art because we simply divided the pages up between each other drawing what ever parts interested us the most. I remember when Rob gave us the plot for the Prophet Storyline. Eric and I were talking with
him at the Florida convention and he told us that he wanted us to draw the Prophet book. He had us get paper and pencil in hand and start writing. He talked his way through the whole first issue while we wrote down everything. That was definitely a first and fun experience.

OA – You have obvious influences of the artists who worked for Image back in the 90’s, when Jim Lee and Marc Silvestri were the great reference in American Comics. Now, more than 10 years before the Image boom, how do you guys see their heritage? Was it good or bad to the Industry?

CW – I think what they did for the industry was great at the time. I think the direction they started heading was perfect in terms of creating a larger fan/reader base...but they as well as marvel and dc dropped the ball big time. Instead of continuing to be innovative and one step ahead, they topped off. Think about it this way, the comic industry is not competing book against book...it's competing against the movie industry, games, television, novels, etc. Comic books are entertainment so they fall in to a category in which the marketplace is flooded with exciting ideas and novelty. I personally believe that our forefathers of comics started something that
didn't exist, built up ideas and characters that would be remembered forever and then we had the generation of guys (Image) who surfed the wave of their work. The question is, did they simply surf and do a few extra tricks to impress the crowds or did they transcend and build the skateboard for times when waves weren't great. I think you can answer that question. You can only ride a wave for so long, but if you're innovative you'll always find ways to keep the motion going.

OA – You two seem to be great friends of Liefeld. Why none of the gigs you drew for him was completed, even when it was based in good stories and established characters like Youngblood and Prophet? And how do you deal with all that Liefeld bad press?

CW – We are all definitely great friends. In terms of the books, well... you would probably have to ask Rob about that, he has so many projects and stories going on that trying to keep up with what's next on his plate is a bit difficult for me to figure out. I personally would love to see those stories completed as well. Wonderful characters, stories and great art :).

OA – Your site is a very good promotional tool and based in a lot of fan based activities, sketches and technical tips like the “Picture and Texture of the Week”, but there’s a special link in there called “Civil War: War Between the States". Could you please talk more about it? Is it some kind of Alternate Reality Online game? Or is it something else?

CW – Great question! 'Civil War: War Between the States' is a Real Time Strategy game based around the American Civil War where the North and South fought passionately for what they believed to be God's will. Each side had strong beliefs and opinions on how they felt the country should be run. Walker Boys Studio is working on portraying the Civil War with all its strength and horrifying battles.

OA – The Walker Boys Studio have a staff of six creative minds related to comics, games, music and design. Tell us a little about your upcoming projects on this fields. How’s the working relation inside the WBS?

CW – The staff that makes up WBS is an incredibly tight team. We are all devoted to moving forward with our projects, while keeping everyone smiling with an occasional practical joke or two. =-) We have recently completed a new book that will be out in a few months from Wordware Publishers. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for it.

Thanks Octavio. I appreciate the questions and a chance to chat with you on things I love talking about.

OA – Thank you very much, Chad. Hope we’ll be seeing more of the Walker Boys in the future.

CW – Take care and God bless.

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