An award winning veteran of the Act-i-vate, Chemistry Set and Zuda web comic collectives Kevin Colden has established himself as a Cartoonist of the highest order and a master story teller. His work is compelling and sometimes controversial with books like Fishtown and I Rule the Night challenging readers to take a look at the darker side of comic books. With an all new book from Vertigo hitting stores this spring Kevin took a quick break from his busy schedule as a rocker, writer, artist and now full-time father, and was nice enough to answer a few questions about his work and life:
comiXology: First off congratulations on the recent addition to your family, you’ve built up a reputation for delivering comics with quite a mature edge to them. Has becoming a father given you a new perspective on your work?
Kevin Colden: Thanks! I don’t think fatherhood has really affected my work much, other than having to learn how to draw with an infant in my lap. No matter how heavy the themes or disturbing the images are in my work, I always try to present some kind of moral context. Though the story I wrote and drew for Strange Adventures (The first thing I did after my son was born) has a lot of familial imagery. But I’m not going to writing and drawing about fluffy bunnies any time soon, unless they’re morally ambiguous bunnies with damaged psyches.
comiXology: Your Zuda hit I Rule the Night is a comic that at first glance may appear to be standard superhero fare. However as readers dig a little deeper it quickly becomes apparent that the story is anything but, care to elaborate on how I Rule the Night came into existence?
Kevin: I had done a strip called Strangle/Switch that was in an early Zuda competition, and was invited to sign at the Zuda table at NYCC that year. While I was sitting at the table, I came up with the idea of doing some kind of superhero-themed strip, and had always been a fan of Rick Veitch’s masterpiece BratPack. So I took the basic idea of abused sidekicks and pushed it into a much more real-world setting. In a lot of ways, I tried to make the ultimate modern myth, and the three parts each focus on one of the three basic storytelling conflicts, among other things. It ends up being a story about growing up and finding one’s place in the world, which I guess was me working out some issues at the time.
comiXology: Looking back now several moths after it disbanded, do you have any thoughts on Zuda experience and your place in it?
Kevin: It’s hard to say. I got a lot of support from the editorial staff, and always felt like my strip was one of the major strips, but due to various reason it ended up on two extended hiatuses during the run of the website and is now awaiting the release of the majority of the story through the DC App. All of the decisions leading to the hiatuses were made to preserve the integrity of the story (and I am responsible for at least a few of those decisions) but I never anticipated that it would have gone on this long for a digital book. So I’ll either be the greatest success or the greatest tragedy of Zuda, and only time will tell.
Kevin: I’m not sure it’s up to me. I haven’t stopped improving as far as I know, but the general populace tends to remember your most popular work, not necessarily your best work. So it may be this, it may be Fishtown, or it may be something else. Probably whatever they make a movie of. I haven’t started a new book yet, because I’m working on a screenplay right now in between drawing projects. But likely before the end of the year we’ll see something.
We’ll be back with more from Kevin later this week. In the meantime check out his Cartoonist at Large website and get caught up on I Rule the Night plus a ton of other great digital comics from Zuda and the other amazing publishers in our Web store and comics app.
Tagged: Fishtown · I Rule the Night · kevin colden · Zuda
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