Quint: I think Jae Lee and Richard Isanove have set the bar pretty high for Stephen King retold within Marvel's pages. You obviously will need to give The Stand it's own distinct universe, a unique feel. What are you doing in order to achieve that?
Mike Perkins: I totally agree with you in regards to the amazing work that Jae Lee and Richard Isanove have been doing - it's truly gorgeous. The Stand, as opposed to the universe of The Dark Tower, is firmly set within the environs of the real world. Scarily so, when you consider the aspect of the superflu - Captain Trips - that rips across the world portrayed in the novel. We're going to see a lot of familiar environs within the comic and I've been taking photos so that I can get that reality spot-on. I'm going to be really playing around with the mannerisms of the highly individual characters too, so that they feel and react like anyone you meet in the street...with certain exceptions, of course. This is a Stephen King story!
Quint: The Stand is a dark tale. How dark are you prepared to go with your art?
Mike Perkins: As dark as the book goes to a certain extent. Sometimes there are situations that work better when the readers imagine them themselves, of course, but the novel is an incredibly atmospheric piece of literature and it's a true challenge to bring that atmosphere to the illustrated page. A challenge I relish.
Quint: Who is your favorite character, both in terms of King's original work and in your own character design?
Mike Perkins: I think both Randall Flagg and Trashcan Man are the most fun to play around with and in a way they encompass both ends of the spectrum visually. The Walking Dude should be a force of nature and played subtly - in shadow - the thing you fear in the dark. Trashy, on the other hand, is entirely twisted - a pyromaniac who likes getting a little too close to the fire. His deterioration is going to be weirdly fun to draw!
Quint: How far along are you at the moment? How expansive is the project (how many issues?) Are you just beginning to climb this mountain?
Mike Perkins: I'm working through issue two at the moment and the plan is for thirty issues separated into six five-issue arcs. I've just begun a brisk, invigorating hike at the moment - the mountain looms and I'm eager to conquer it!
Quint: Will there be any easter eggs for us Dark Tower fanboys?
Mike Perkins: Well, Randall Flagg - or at least the personification of The Walking Dude - plays an integral part within both epics...as he does through a fair few of Mr. King's novels. I'm sure there'll be plenty of interest for all sorts of fanboys.
Quint: What is your favorite sequence you've done so far?
Mike Perkins: I enjoyed the opening sequence as it came out onto the page fittingly oppressive - taking into account the approaching storm. I also enjoyed, rather worryingly, unleashing the first flu victim upon the world. It's incredibly graphic and rather disgusting! Lovely stuff!
Quint: Have you spoken with King about this project? If so, what was that meeting like? Did he steer you in any particular direction?
Mike Perkins: The editorial office of Ralph Macchio, Bill Rosemann and Lauren Sankovitch already have a working relationship with Mr. King - so they deal with him directly. He approved the character studies without any problems ( I've been following the descriptions throughout the novel extremely closely) and he let me know that the character study of Frannie was exactly how he envisioned her when he first started The Stand. That, for me, was highly complimentary.
Quint: As someone who collect comic art, the most important question I have is if you will offer people who have interviewed you via email a steep discount on one of your Stand pages. I only ask the important things, afterall...
Quint: Is there another property you'd love to try to tackle?
Mike Perkins: Well, I'm going to be quite busy for the next few years so that may be best to ask at a later date!
Short and sweet, but there you have it. Doesn’t Larry look like a young Springsteen? If I remember the book correctly, that’s pretty damn close. Also love Trashcan and Frannie looks cute. What do you guys think?
Check back in tomorrow for my e-chat with writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and something really nice to cap off the awesome art that Marvel has provided us.
Remember to check out Part 1 here!