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Planet Comicon – METAL!

The “Featured Creators” at Planet Comicon KC this year were Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, and Jonathon Glapion, the creators of Dark Nights: METAL for DC Comics.

On Saturday they hosted a METAL panel where the three creators discussed the comic mini-series, how they work together, and a bit about their futures.

Dark Nights: METAL is one of two mini-series DC has going on right now, the other being the controversial, and possibly world-changing, Doomsday Clock.  Scott Snyder, not to be confused with Zach Snyder, started off by thanking everyone in the audience for their support of the series and especially for selling out every title sending them all back for a second, and sometimes a third, printing.  He talked about how he had been laying out plot threads for ideas in the 52 issues of Batman he wrote before the Rebirth initiative began a year and a half ago.  Not really knowing where those threads would go, once Batman relaunched he started bringing together the idea that “metal” was a recurring theme in the DC Universe, with even his plot introducing a new element named “Batmanium“.  This, along with already introduced metals DionesiumElectrumNth Metal, and Promethium,  became the crux of METAL and their coming together the leading plot thread.

Greg Capullo, the penciller on METAL, talked about his love of music, specifically, yes, METAL music and how that inspired his art style on the series.  He says that his work week is typically 7 days long and each day can be 6 to 16 hours of work on the books.  You really get a feeling from his passion that working in the comics field isn’t really a “job” in the traditional sense for Capullo and is more of a lifestyle.  He says he still works with pencils and paper since that gives him a better feel for the art and he does not see ever moving to digital pages.

Glapion, probably the least known of three, is the inker on METAL and talked about his love of the work Capullo sends him, although sometimes he swears that Greg sends him extremely detailed pages out of spite.  His big revelation was that he has worked in all three types of inking: over pencils, over blue line, and digital.  He said that he favors inking over the original pencils, especially with Greg, simply because he sees all the detail, even the erased detail, that is lost in the blue line print or digital scans.  His biggest regret is that he has to erase the original pencils once his inking is completed destroying the original artist’s hard work.  This is also his greatest fear since he only has one shot at getting the ink down right and even a small mistake can ruin a full page of art.

Scott and Greg then talked about how they started together and that their Batman run was the first work they had ever done together.  This really surprised me since from the beginning, that Batman run was amazing and you would have thought the two of them had collaborated for years.  Greg recalled the issue that really made them “click” which was issue #5.  It was on that issue that Scott says that he gave over his trust to Greg in delivering the visuals for his words.  Scott was used to working in a full script form with other artists, spelling out page by page, box by box, what was happening in the story.  Greg says he was really frustrated by this and implored Scott to trust him and just lay out the scene, the dialog, and any specific details he wanted and let him do the work.  Issue #5 was where that happened and they never went back to the old system.  Issue #5 takes place in a labyrinth and the art forces the reader to literally turn the book over and over to follow Batman as he traverses the maze.  It really is brilliant and the amount of trust that had to be given to Greg by Scott must have been unnerving.


Finally, Scott, who was wearing a shirt with the new Justice League logo for his next writing job on that book, talked about how excited he was about the new stories he was getting to tell.  We haven’t heard what Greg or Jonathan are doing next but we might have gotten a clue in a slip of the tongue by Scott.  He said he has seen the first completed pages from the new Justice League book and, while pointing at Greg, mentioned that he was excited “about what WE are doing on the new title.”  That’s an interesting way to phrase his excitement being that the artist for the JL book has not been announced.

I really enjoyed the banter between the three creators and it is an interesting collaboration with Scott being somewhat reserved and uncomfortable with the crowd, Greg being loud and boisterous and very outgoing, and Jonathan kinda the quiet, “just let me do my work” creator.


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