I put the artists on Sixsmiths volume 2 to the question. This is what Jan Scherpenhuizen told me from his lair underneath a windmill.
Were you possessed by some malignant spirit when you agreed to be a part of this project, and if not, why on earth did you do it?
Interesting question, though no doubt it’s asked lightly. I was raised a Catholic, but I’m philosophical by nature and that makes for two elements of the personality that will always be uneasy bedfellows. The philosopher sort of got his feet in the back of the Catholic and pushed him out of bed when they got to an age where it was too small for both of them, but the Catholic is a dogged little sod and will try to creep back in any time you drop your guard. It was a mirthful and mischievous spirit and one that revels in the act of creation that agreed to this, and he has no regrets. There is this other little chap, however, who when I am drowsy and about to drop off, whispers that I have indeed fallen for a malicious spirit and I will pay for it. To which I say, fuck him. (And I’ll pay for that too, and, to quote Kurt Vonnegut Jr, so it goes.)
Not only did you pencil your own chapter, but you inked Franks’s two chapters and you did one of the covers for the digital serials. Is this some kind of penance for past since? Do you feel in any way responsible for unleashing this rude beast upon the world?
Well, it depends on how you look at it. If I’m going to be modest (and god knows that little Catholic sod would recommend that, if I’m going to imperil my soul with blasphemy and sacrilege, I shouldn’t compound matters by being prideful on top of it) I’d say I think I did rather a nice job of helping to groom the rude beast (so he’s rude but natty), but he was going out anyway, with or without my help. If I’m not going to be quite so modest I’m willing to take some credit for bringing this baby to life. Though the beast has many mothers impregnated by the insatiable Franks and there’s some real beauties in this particular harem I’m honoured to be whoring beside (what the hell am I talking about … not sure but it is metaphorical).
What was the best part about working on the Sixsmiths?
Being impregnated by Jason Franks … no, not really, that was the second best part. The best part was getting to try out a new style and do something more cartoony. It was a great gig, actually, because I also got to do the Freak Jesus segment for a couple of pages which is in yet another style – a weird mix of Buscema, Colan and Steranko elements – and I even got to Kirby it up for the mock-up cover for the issue. Not the cover for the digital issue (though that was fun to do to) but the cover inside the story. Needless to say, it is always a pleasure to work with Jason because his stuff is always fresh and interesting so it’s nice to be involved in a class act.
What was the worst part about working with Jason Franks (this time)?
Possibly the chanting which sounds like some insane arcane argot not made for the human tongue to utter … Dude, when you ring up, just say hi like anyone else. Also, he has this annoying thing about not letting me totally dominate the process. God damn you, Franks, you broke my heart! I can’t believe I agreed to ink your stuff … twice!
Thanks for reading, folks! And remember, you can currently order Sixsmiths volume 2 from your local comic store by forwarding them the following link, or by citing Diamond code FEB171451. Orders due Feb 18th. In stores April 26th!