By TJ Dietsch
Jonathan Hickman's epic run on FANTASTIC FOUR has included collaborations with Dale Eaglesham, Steve Epting, Barry Kitson, Ron Garney and others. Come August, the new ongoing artist to help chronicle the further adventures of the FF will be none other than Ryan Stegman, currently wowing fans on SCARLET SPIDER.
Stegman joins the book full-time with #609 and jumps in head first as the team deals with the destruction of Nu-Earth and also finds itself battling the evil, alternate future version of The Hulk known as The Maestro.
|Scarlet Spider by Ryan Stegman|
“Drawing this book is definitely something that I am excited about,” Stegman says. “The thing I've always loved about FANTASTIC FOUR is the family dynamic. It's just awesome. And the characters themselves present really unique opportunities for interesting compositions. So I mean, obviously I'm excited to draw The Thing because he's awesome, but drawing really great shots of the entire team is what I most look forward to.”
The artist also eagerly anticipates meeting Hickman in person after only communicating with him from a great distance.
“I actually just spoke to him yesterday for the first time,” Stegman shares. “But I've yet to have anything but a great experience with the writers at Marvel and I suspect that this will be no different.”
When asked about drawing Maestro, Stegman admits that he has yet to start work on the script to FANTASTIC FOUR #609, but did start warming up for the project and will tackle him very soon.
“I haven't had to draw him yet,” he explains. “Again, just doing sketches, trying to work it out. I'm going to be doing a cover soon with him on it, and then I'll have to make a final decision on his appearance.”
Stegman has given plenty of thought to bringing his tone to the pages of FASNTASTIC FOUR while also staying true to the designs created back in the 60’s and refined in the decades since.
|Scarlet Spider by Ryan Stegman|
“I think that all I can really do is bring my style that I've already created to the book,” he says. “I do want to make the characters look unique within my style, though. I think I have a pretty good grasp on how I want the characters to look, except for Reed. Jack Kirby made Reed look a little thicker than I would think to, considering that his power is his 'stretchiness.' To me, that seems like you would make him have the body of a track Olympian or something. But then, Dale Eaglesham kind of made him look thicker like Jack did and I liked it a lot. So I'm going to continue to experiment and see what works.”
Stegman will also bring a few new tricks he learned while drawing Chris Yost's scripts on SCARLET SPIDER that he hopes will add to the reading experience.
“[With] SCARLET SPIDER, I became a faster artist, and really ironed out some storytelling things that I think are interesting,” he notes. “I won't go into detail because it would be boring, but I definitely want to bring that storytelling style over here. Also, on the last issue of SCARLET SPIDER, I inked myself and I'm hoping to do the same on FANTASTIC FOUR, time permitting. I think that my inks really present a very different style than what people are used to with me, and I really enjoy playing with it.”
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