Stephen King's The Stand

WW Chicago 08: Mike Perkins on The Stand

The CAPTAIN AMERICA artist gets down with the King—Stephen, that is—on Marvel's post-apocalyptic adaptation of THE STAND

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By Sean T. Collins He helped kill Captain America. Now he's helping to kill America itself. Acclaimed CAPTAIN AMERICA artist Mike Perkins will be joining SECRET INVASION: FANTASTIC FOUR writer Roberto Aguire-Sacasa in unleashing devastation of Biblical proportions on the comics-reading world this September when the first issue of THE STAND hits the stands. This eagerly awaited adaptation of the book many Stephen King fans consider the horror master's masterpiece depicts a world wiped out by a government-created super-flu, and the supernatural conflict between good and evil that arises amid society's ruins. In honor of Mike's appearance at this weekend's Wizard World Chicago, Marvel.com asked the artist how he got chosen to make his STAND, what he thinks accounts for this book of mass destruction's mass appeal, and which bits of King-y goodness—and badness—he can't wait to put to paper. Marvel.com: First things first: How did you land such a plum gig?

Mike Perkins:
I guess Marvel liked what I had been doing on the [CAPTAIN AMERICA] book and saw that the approach I utilize in my work—a sense of realism, a grit, timeliness—was what they were looking for in their adaptation of THE STAND. Marvel.com: Were you a big King fan in general or "Stand" fan in particular before this assignment? Mike Perkins: I have huge admiration, and the greatest respect, for all that Stephen King has accomplished and had read a fair few of his books, although "The Stand" had not been one of them. As soon as I was offered the opportunity of working on the adaptation I bought the unabridged version and found myself reading it from cover to cover, not being able to put it down. There's such an abundance of well defined characters, and a plethora of visual hotspots. Marvel.com: Why do you think the book is such a favorite of King fans? Mike Perkins: I think that, as well as it being such an epic, it's a book that seems to encompass a lot of King's themes that run through so many of his books. The Dark Man, redemption, the everyman hero, the crazy religous mother, the supernatural world being part of this one, the study of a society, the power the mind has just lurking under the surface...and the horror!

Marvel.com: Are there any characters you're particularly looking forward to bringing to life? Mike Perkins: Whenever the Walkin' Dude, Randall Flagg, comes on the scene, I know that I'm going to relish those pages. This guy's a force of nature, a down and dirty supernatural entity who just happens to be personified in dirty jeans and worn down cowboy boots. I reckon Trashcan Man is going to be a lot of fun to visualize too. He's one of the crazy, manic, run-down characters that Stephen King writes so well. Marvel.com: Any favorite scenes you can't wait to show? Mike Perkins: The Lincoln Tunnel scene, where Larry Underwood is escaping from Manhattan on foot, is one of the scenes that is already so visual...and yet most of the visualization is in the mind of the reader. That's going to be a challenge to draw and make terrifying. I'm certainly looking forward to that one. Stay up to date with the latest Marvel news from Wizard World Chicago at our Convention Central page!
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