STGCC interview: Fight Club 2 artists David Mack and Cameron Stewart
The Singapore Toy, Games & Comics Convention (STGCC) descends on Marina Bay Sands this weekend.
It will see cosplay and artist booths displaying local and international talent.
Two visiting talents are comic book artists David Mack and Cameron Stewart.
Aside from their renowned work on Marvel and DC titles such as Daredevil: End Of Days (Mack) and Batman And Robin (Stewart), the pair are the art team for next year’s graphic novel sequel to Chuck Palahniuk’s iconic novel, Fight Club.
US artist Mack will provide the covers, while Stewart, a Canadian, the interior art.
M spoke to them about the project.
PHOTO: Allan Amaton/David Mack Facebook
You have known Chuck Palahniuk for some time. How much influence did you have in his decision to create a graphic novel rather than a prose sequel?
I don’t assume I can take credit for that. Chuck and I have had several discussions over lunch and dinner over the years, but I think it may have been at a dinner at (major Marvel writer) Brian Bendis’ house that Brian suggested that Chuck do Fight Club as a comic book. I think Chuck may have seen it as a challenge for him to grow in a new medium.
As a fan of Chuck’s work, was meeting him a fanboy moment?
I had written to Chuck (snail mail), maybe 2006 or 2007, and he wrote a kind letter back and gave me his number to meet him for lunch in Portland the next time I was there.
I published this letter in the back of KABUKI: The Alchemy and Chuck was kind enough to write an incredible introduction for the latest KABUKI volume.
Often, each time I was in Portland and staying at Bendis’ house, I’d run out and meet Chuck for lunch. I’d come back and tell Brian about it. Brian would joke that Chuck was my Tyler Durden, as Brian would never see him. I would come back and write down the entire conversation to reflect on it.
I have this fantasy that I could draw these conversations, sort of like the film Dinner With Andre. I could call it: My Lunch With Chuck.
It gave me an idea for other stories that are conversations with creative people I admire.
You did artwork for the end credits of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Have you had more offers for film work since then? Have any of the cast asked for commissions?
Yes. I did art and concept design for the film with the designer Erin Sarofsky. I was very happy with that film.
Last week I got to meet Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie who play The Winter Solider and The Falcon.
I did the promotional image for the series, and I’m doing all the covers.
I also did art for a new TV show, Matador, by director Robert Rodriguez — also with Sarofsky’s designs.
Right now I’m doing some art for the new POWERS TV show (based on the Brian Bendis comic and starring Sharlto Copley).
This weekend isn’t your first STGCC. What are you looking forward to seeing again in Singapore?
I love the fans at the convention. I had such a wonderful time at the show last year. I am very honoured and happy to be returning. I will be bringing books, prints, and art of KABUKI and also early design art of Fight Club and if the Winter Soldier DVD comes out in time, I can bring my art for that too.
The obvious question, how did you get involved with the Fight Club sequel?
Chuck announced the sequel at the San Diego Comic Con in 2013. I was intrigued, but never thought that I would be involved. Then I began to hear rumblings that he was in talks to publish through Dark Horse Comics.
I have a history with Dark Horse — I’ve done some Hellboy stuff and they published my own graphic novel Sin Titulo — so I contacted them and told him that I would really love to draw Fight Club.
I also did a three-page comics adaptation of one of the final chapters of the original novel, as an audition piece. I think that went a long way in convincing Chuck that I was the right guy for the job.
Were you a fan of Fight Club, either the book or the film?
I was a big fan, that’s why I went hunting for the job! I saw the movie when it came out and loved it. I bought the novel immediately after and loved that too. Since then I’ve been a big Chuck Palahniuk fan and I’ve read most of his published works.
While Fight Club is about as high-profile as it gets, what are your dream projects that have yet to happen?
Some of our original ideas for Batgirl were shot down! I can’t really say too much about them in case we do actually get to use them in future but we definitely had some unusual ideas. As far as dream projects, generally they involve more personal work.
You redesign of the Batgirl costume (Stewart takes over as writer in October), making it look practical and less salacious. Was that a conscious stand against the criticism over the titillating look of superheroines?
Absolutely. I’m very interested in making comics culture more inclusive to women. Since this is a comic about a woman, I felt it was vitally important to create a design that appealed to them, instead of the more traditional appeal to men’s tastes.
It’s long been held as a “truth” that women don’t read comics, and I completely reject that idea — women love comics, they just don’t have a lot of titles that seem to be made with them in mind.
What do you want to achieve with the Batgirl?
I want to make a fun, exciting, funny, positive, heartfelt comic that’s geared towards all readers, but with specific focus on young female readers.
What are you looking forward to in Singapore?
I’ve never been to Singapore before. I’m always excited to see a new part of the world and meet fans in an area I’ve not been to before — so I’m excited to talk to people at STGCC.
I also have heard that the food is incredible so I’m looking forward to sampling some local cuisine!
Mack and Stewart will be at the Fight Club, Batgirl, Temple of Art & Kabuki Panel and Beyond on Sat, Sept 6, at 12.45pm. More info here.