This week on Creannotators, I talk with the I Walk With Monsters creative team about one of our favorite comics of 2021! We talk monster design, writing deeply personal horror metaphors, Sally & Dearbhla’s upcoming horror work with Peter Milligan, and much more!
On Comic Book Herald’s ‘Creannotators’ I’ll be interviewing some of my favorite creators in comics about specific runs, graphic novels or series, looking for their insights on the inspirations behind the work and ideas or hidden material readers may have missed. Creannotators is an audio annotative guide to enjoying the intricacies and thinking in the art. Thanks for listening, and enjoy the comics!
I Walk With Monsters Is:
Writer: Paul Cornell
Artist: Sally Cantirino
Colors: Dearbhla Kelly
Editor: Adrian Wassel
Publisher: Vault Comics
Selected portions of our conversation follow, and have been edited for clarity.
CBH: Let’s start with you, Sally. One of the things that definitely hooked me first, with I walk with monsters was the monster design. It is not a traditional monster horror comic necessarily, and we’ll talk about that. But how do you determine the visuals for the designs of these monsters because they were very, very appealing and they very much pull you in?
Sally Cantirino: Paul was very clear from the beginning that we weren’t drawing a traditional like werewolf. It’s not a werewolf. It doesn’t have that cultural baggage that comes with werewolf stories. It’s more of a shapeshifter it the monster is what David needs it to be and then later on, there has to be a similar but different monster.
So I wanted to create something that had this staticky feel to it. Like the way that um, the way that the light looks at dusk or dawn, when your eyes are adjusting and things are sort of fuzzy, and staticky. Or, like it’s a blur in the corner of your vision. I wanted it to have this texture.
CBH: Dearbhla there’s a looseness to the coloring of the monsters that I think helps them it makes them feel somewhat unknowable, which is always scarier. It’s like it could transform at any moment. How do you determine kind of your your palette and like your approach for these transformations, which again, like the book is very, it’s very non monster based. It’s very human centered and character focused. But then when you get these moments to explore and explode with color, like what’s what’s your approach there?
Dearbhla Kelly: The monsters are this kind of big empty space in reality nearly so I kind of went for this very one color approach. I actually wanted to do something that’s extra where the colors bleed out from the edge of the monster and just kind of feel like the lights being sucked into them you know, like they’re pulling your eye to this darkness. This big kind of like, black holes, kind of monster.
CBH: Paul, as far as this story goes, it’s, there’s clearly a very personal element to it. But then your writing is very understated throughout, what was the relationship like, with you in the creative team here in terms of working together to make sure that like, the story has clarity, even with less dialogue, with less exposition with those sorts of things? How was that process for you?
Paul Cornell: Well, it’s been one of the best creative partnerships I’ve ever been involved with. With this amazing team. When one is writing something so very personal, it’s actually just the best possible luck to find people who can add so much to the material. And who seemed to have an implicit understanding of the material. So many times I find myself taking dialogue out because Sally could do it with the acting. And one of the reasons the book is so stripped down, is because the acting is so great.
Check out the audio podcast for the full interview!
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