New York Comic-Con 2009

NYCC '09: Hickman & Eaglesham on FF

Writer Jonathan Hickman and artist Dale Eaglesham join forces on FANTASTIC FOUR!

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By Jim Beard This summer, after the explosive finale of Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch's run, Marvel Comics proudly welcomes a new creative team to their flagship title FANTASTIC FOUR: writer Jonathan Hickman and artist Dale Eaglesham. "The World's Greatest Comic Magazine" indeed! "The Fantastic Four has taken on almost mythical status with me because it is so intrinsically connected to my beginnings as an artist and the sense of awe I felt when drawing and looking at incredible comic book art," says Eaglesham. Hickman's even more succinct in expressing exactly what it all means. "52 percent family/42 percent cosmic adventure/8 percent Doom," he explains. "The first arc will be called 'Solve Everything'—after that, things gets bigger. The themes are somewhat predictable: family, commitment, responsibility, etc. It's the delivery that will be a bit different."

Fantastic Four
pencil art by
Dale Eaglesham

Eaglesham's artistic eye has already turned inward to imagine the pages he'll be producing on the cosmically-charged series. "I am going to bring a handful of the compositional techniques I've used recently, some of them inspired from classic art, along with some newer experiments in visual dynamism," he shares. "In character-heavy scenes I prefer more static compositions to focus the reader's attention on the character exchanges and to facilitate them going deeper into the background. "I want to infuse a lot of passion into the characters so I just might nudge the character art a little closer to a [Frank] Frazetta-like appearance. In the backgrounds I am feeling that I will up the content but keep it simple and linear." Hickman and Eaglesham's favorites among the team present an irresistible lure to their creativity but so do what they see as the more challenging members. "I'm most looking forward to writing Reed and Johnny," cites Hickman. "I've got some very specific plans for both of them. Right now, Ben's the toughest, but that's just because I haven't found a way—or a place—to make the story I want to tell about him work with the broader narrative I'm operating from. I'll figure it out though."

Mr. Fantastic &
The Thing

"Reed is very important to me in that I want to bring back the Reed that [Jack] Kirby introduced to us, a Reed that is more imposing and heroic than we've seen recently," muses Eaglesham. "I am very eager to develop the look and throw him into action. "Most challenging will be the Thing. The minutely jutting rock formations are harder to draw than they look and it is time consuming. Don't get me wrong, it is time well spent. Drawing that rock is artistically fulfilling because it is challenging. He's a difficult draw but it isn't art unless you suffer for it a little." And what about those frankly frightening Fantastic Four foes? "Who doesn't love Galactus and Doom?" Hickman asks. "Those are the easy ones. Namor as well. I'm actually quite fond of Mole Man, but I'll be creating lots of divergent adversaries for the team. It would be fair to say that I'll be making up half and revisiting half in the villains." But ultimately, it's the chance to form a creative team to not only thrill the readers but themselves the two most look forward to.

The Mole Man

"Dale's obviously a gifted artist who has done this gig the right way for a long enough time that you will always get a logical, consistent, and dynamic page back every time," says Hickman of his new partner. "That's his baseline—I think from talking with him about the project, as excited as he is to get started, we may be looking at something well beyond that." "Jonathan has a definite vision for the Fantastic Four and I am going to use every skill I have acquired over the past 23 years to realize that vision," adds Eaglesham. "That he has a vision will make the experience of working on this title powerful and enduring. I love it!" For all the latest news, announcements and interviews, plus live panel blogging, video features and much more, visit Marvel.com's NYCC 2009 Hub Page! Also, be sure to check out Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited! Check out the official Marvel Shop for everything Fantastic Four! For all the latest news, announcements and interviews, plus live panel blogging, video features and much more, visit Marvel.com's NYCC 2009 Hub Page! Also, be sure to check out Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited! Download episodes of "X-Men: Evolution" now on iTunes!
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