The following is an exclusive interview with the new artist for Green Lantern: New Guardians, Aaron Kuder! As listeners of The Green Lantern Corps Podcast know, I was very excited to see Kuder’s name when it initially popped up in GL solicitations. Like Tyler Kirkham before him, his style is a refreshing unique look not only for the lantern books but superhero comics in general. Brought to you by TheGreenLanternCorps.com
TheGreenLanternCorps.com: First off, thank you for doing this, we really appreciate it. I first saw your work on DC Comics’ Legion Lost #8 and it was a breath of fresh air for the title. What brought you to DC Comics and that issue of Legion Lost?
Aaron Kuder: I had just wrapped up Key of Z that I did with Boom studios and Evil Ink, and Brian Cunningham (the editor for Legion Lost) had been shown my work and gave me a call. Pete Woods, the regular artist for the book, needed a break.. So I filled in.
TheGLC: Looking at some of your past work, there’s a familiar style with your art. A style I really enjoy. I’m far from an expert on art, but would I be wrong in assuming there’s a huge Frank Quitely influence on your work? Who else helped craft or inspired your style?
Aaron: “Huge” not really…Not to say his work is anything less than amazing, because it is. Definitely influenced, but not “hugely”. I think we share some influences though… Mobius esque stuff.
Art Adams, Michael Golden, this guy Grzegorz Rosinski (if you don’t know his work.. Find it.. Lovely stuff), Alan Davis, etc..
TheGLC: This is Green Lantern website, so I suppose I should ask about that. You’re taking over the Green Lantern: New Guardians title with the Zero issue in September. When it was first announced that you were drawing that issue, I ran to twitter to ask you how long would be with the book. You didn’t know then, but solicitations have you on the book through November. Is it now safe to say you are the ongoing artist for New Guardians? What brought you to the title?
Aaron: I’ll be on New Guardians full time as of issue 15. I did the cover for 14, but because of other commitments and scheduling issues I wasn’t able to draw 13 and 14.
What brought me to New Guardians was my love for drawing crazy weird aliens and the like.. DC had pitch me a number of other titles but this was the one that I felt like I would have the most creative freedom for creating random new alien designs. That and I really like the idea of working on a title that is connected to something larger (the Green Lantern universe) but at the same time, being on the outside of it all. The fact that Kyle and the rest of the group are basically a bunch of rebels from the get go really appeals to me. Under dogs unite. 😛
TheGLC: Were you a Green Lantern fan or reader prior to joining the book? This is where our readers find out if you’re pro Hal, Kyle, John or Guy. Or Sinestro, there’s no harm in saying Sinestro.
Aaron: One of (if not the actual) first comics i can remember reading was Green Lantern Corps #1(vol 1). So yeah.. I’ve always had a big love for GL books.
And…I have to say, I’m a huge Guy fan. I love morally ambiguous characters. They make the story so much more interesting. Though I find there is something cool to be found with each of them. Hal being the true blue hero dude, always throwing himself into the fray. John is what I think of as a kind of tortured hero, he has a sense of right and wrong, but he’s smart enough to know that “right and wrong” are sometime subject to a persons perspective.. Of all the GL’s his steadfastness competes with his heart the most. Kyle is the wayward hero.. Constantly searching for himself.. Trying to do right by those he looks up to and at the same time, trying to be everything he can be.
TheGLC: That’s damn near the same thing Tony Bedard said about Kyle when we spoke to him. So what has it been like so far drawing the scripts from Tony Bedard? We hear that team books are the hardest for artists to deal with on a monthly basis. How has the experience been for you so far?
Aaron: Working with Tony has been great. Super pleasant guy to talk to, and really open to suggestions, which I appreciate.
TheGLC: You mentioned earlier that GL:NG provided an opportunity to design aliens. Green Lantern artist Doug Mahnke recently designed the latest Green Lantern, Simon Baz, GLC artist Fernando Pasarin designed the emotionally conflicted Keepers of the Lanterns, and Miguel Sepulveda is revamping the Red Lanterns costumes. Revamping, retooling and overall designing seems to be apart of the job on the lantern books. Is designing something you’re looking forward to as you continue your work on New Guardians?
Aaron: Absolutely. On my first gig with DC (Legion Lost #8), I got to design a bunch of the characters that show up for the first time in that issue. The new design for Rose Wilson is mine. Plus, the cover that I did for Legion Lost #11.. There’s a squad of super soldier types that I got to design. So yeah, I love coming up with new designs and such. (And boy oh boy I am already getting to.. Wink wink)
Oh btw, I’m glad you brought up Doug Mahnke. If you wanna talk about influences. He’s one of the people I look at to see what the GL universe should look like. Insanely talented that one.
TheGLC: No doubt about that. He’s been around a while now, and that’s not by chance. I’m looking forward to whatever new elements you and Tony come up with for the GL universe. Finally, it wouldn’t be an interview without teases for the future. Has there been a page, panel or moment that you’ve drawn so far that you really enjoyed working on? Can you give us a hint or two on what it was?
Aaron: Hmmmm… Well, I will say that drawing Larfleeze and his crew of Orange Lanterns never gets old. I keep thinking that if Jim Henson were around today.. And if he were to design a bunch of alien demon types, the Orange Lantern Corp would be right up his alley.
TheGLC: Ha! Thank you for time Aaron. Can’t wait to do this again.
Aaron Kuder’s next full issue of Green Lantern: New Guardians is issue 15, will be available December 19th. You can check out his GL:NG pages for sale here via Cadence. Aaron Kuder’s official website is here.