CONVERGENCE Shazam‘s creative team talks with DCN, plus Evan “Doc” Shaner’s model sheets!
Jeff Parker and Evan “Doc” Shaner’s CONVERGENCE: Shazam series is easily the best thing to come out the CONVERGENCE event! With Issue #2 (of 2) hitting stands this Wednesday, DCN talked with artist Evan “Doc” Shaner and series writer Jeff Parker about the series.
DCN: Jeff, much like your Flash Gordon series (also with Shaner) I find your take on these characters, classic but refreshing! Have you always been a fan of Shazam or did you have to research the cast of characters to get a feel for their personalities?
Parker: I didn’t have to do any research except to remember the DC continuity for introducing the characters once they owned them. I love the Marvel Family, Tawny, the Monster Society of Evil, all of it. The Golden Age Fawcett stories were the very embodiment of escapist comics. Uncle Dudley, always trying to convince everyone he had powers- I think he was probably based on Professor Marvel from the Wizard of Oz. Evan and I had a good time talking about stuff like that.
DCN: What made you want to write comics, what/who were your influences growing up?
Parker: I wanted to write and draw comics, and I did draw them for years before I switched to writing. I made my own stories since I was tiny, and I was influenced by everyone from Al Wiseman on the Dennis the Menace comics to Joe Kubert on Tarzan. I was really big on Don Newton, who drew Captain Marvel a lot for DC in World’s Finest, he was a tragic loss of talent. I was also really big into Alex Toth, and Evan and I connect pretty well on that point, as he embodies all the great design of Toth and the brilliant artistic solutions that are succinct and full of life. Later I read a lot of Alex Raymond, from Flash Gordon to Rip Kirby, and that was important to how I approached Flash Gordon.
DCN: What DC comics character if given the choice, would want to tackle next?
Shaner: If I hadn’t worked on Adventures of Superman I’d say Superman, but lately I’ve also had The Flash on my mind. I’ve been a Flash fan for a while now and I’d love a chance at a project with those characters.
DCN: Evan, what artist would you say influenced you the most?
Shaner: In regards to Shazam specifically, Beck was huge of course. Kubert, Toth, and Mike Wieringo have always been my big three so i tend to look to their work when I’m drawing, no matter the project. And certainly, with the second issue especially, Mike Mignola was a big influence.
DCN: Do you have a favorite Shazam/Captain Marvel story?
Shaner: Not a specific one, necessarily. That probably sounds strange, but I’ve never had one story I like above all the rest. The character has a long history and I love the way it all fits together. Of course I’m a big fan of the original Golden Age stories, but I really like some of the stuff from the 70’s and the Ordway/Krause run as well.
DCN: Evan, in your recently released model sheets I see some Raboy and Beck, would you say your approach to the Convergence: Shazam series was to meld their styles with your own?
Shaner: Not necessarily. I realized almost immediately that any attempt to directly mimic Beck or anybody else would be a mistake. I don’t think that’s what DC was looking for either. So I’m not sure if “meld” would be the right word. I’ve been thinking of it like a filter, looking at Beck’s Captain Marvel through my filter for example. I put those examples of the originals in the model sheets to make sure I was keeping in line with the spirit of the characters, but it needed to be my style or I think everything would have fallen flat.
You can enjoy Evan “Doc” Shaner’s model sheets below!
DCN: Can either of you tell us about any upcoming projects you will be working on?
Parker: From DC I have more cool stuff coming up: Batman ’66 is bringing in more comics villains as if they had been done on the TV show, and I’m starting Justice League United with Travel Foreman and Paul Pelletier, which is pretty exciting. From Oni Press the new printing of the graphic novel Meteor Man is coming out in a couple of weeks, and it’s now on the perfect paper to show off another Toth devotee’s art, Sandy Jarrell (who recently did the Lord Death Man story with me in ’66).
Shaner: Everything I’ve got in the can at the moment hasn’t been announced yet, but there’s definitely some work coming up this year that I’m really excited about.
This extra-sized issue includes a sneak peek at what’s coming up in the DC Universe!
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Source: Jeff Parker, Evan “Doc” Shaner