Artist André Araújo’s not only really getting into his work on EDGE OF VENOMVERSE #4—which you can read August 9—it’s almost as if he’s merging with the famous symbiote himself to create the perfect storm of a comic book with writer—and Yellowcard lead singer—Ryan Key. Take a look into his art with this special sketchbook spotlight, and catch a glimpse of what’s cooking in Old Man Logan’s dire future…
Marvel.com: André, what are your artistic inspirations in terms of figure design and layouts?
André Araújo: People that have followed my work—both here at Marvel and my creator owned work Man Plus—know I’m a huge fan of Moebius and Otomo, taking inspiration from them in regards to pretty much everything: figures, layouts, designs, themes. But many more names come to mind, with a similar impact on my work: Druillet, Hermann, Shirow, Toriyama, Leinil Yu, Frank Quitely, Sean Murphy, Samura, Urasawa…among many others.
Marvel.com: When you first read the script for this issue, what sorts of things were you immediately struck by? What did you feel you needed to bring to this one?
André Araújo: I was immediately struck by the conflict in the center of the story. I won’t spoil it, of course, but I knew it would demand some care as it wasn’t simply mindless action. So adding weight to the events on the book was my main concern, because I knew that, from the characters and situations that were on the script, the fun factor would always be there.
Marvel.com: Old Man Logan is such a fascinating character—what goes in to your portrayal of him here? How do you balance such things as strength and sympathy in him?
André Araújo: It’s all in the details, I think. Because he is Wolverine, but not the Wolverine we know. At least not entirely. So there’s a need to incorporate the old traits we all know and love about Logan, but we’re taking into account the rather dramatic story that led from Logan to Old Man Logan. It can’t be exactly the same character. So there are the subtle changes in clothing, hair, dialogue, movements. When you add it all up, you have Old Man Logan.
Marvel.com: Your rough layouts seem pretty tight. What’s a typical day like for you drawing a book like this? Where do you begin on a page?
André Araújo: After I get the script I’ll read it and draw all of the layouts, which is usually a two-thirds of a day’s process. In this step, it’s very easy [to make a fix] if something isn’t working properly; that’s why I draw them pretty tight. I take into account the composition, pose, angle, perspective, balloon position—all of it. Then I start doing the pages. I draw traditionally, ink on paper, and I start with a blank page—some artists start drawing over the layouts, which is clever, but I love a white piece of paper—it’s the part where everything is possible. I usually work in chunks of 10 pages, meaning I pencil 10, then ink the same 10 and move on. This is to prevent me from moving around too much from tool to tool, but it’s broken in chunks to avoid getting tedious. I pencil 10 pages in one week and I ink 10 in another week. That means it takes me four to five weeks to draw one issue of 20 to 24 pages.
Marvel.com: What do you enjoy most on a story like this? The more organic, down-to-earth elements or the fantastical parts?
André Araújo: It’s a combination of both. All artists love the great action splash pages, the big spread of a city where you can showcase all your skills, but you need the mundane, the routine parts, so that the big pieces have impact. So that’s how I love to craft my stories: showing all the down-to-earth bits and then surprising readers with a splash or a spread where I can flex my muscles and give the story an important/spectacular moment.
André Araújo and Ryan Key suit up Old Man Logan with a symbiote in EDGE OF VENOMVERSE #4, available August 9!