An Interview with Alex Wilson
In super exciting comic book-related news, local author Alex Wilson has won an Eagle Award! The Eagle Awards are a long-running comic book competition presented annually at the MCM Expo London Comic Con, and this year they featured a special award sponsored by Snow White and the Huntsman, the MCM Expo Award For New Visionaries, aka the Huntsman’s Challenge. For the Challenge, competitors had to produce a five-page dark fantasy comic in the month of February. In the original announcement, two winners were going to be selected: one for art, and one for story. But Wilson’s story, with art by Silvio dB, won both! Wilson graciously agreed to do a brief interview with me:
AK: The Huntsman Challenge seems pretty intense in terms of constraints—having to complete a 5-page dark fantasy comic in just a month. What made you want to enter? Did you have an idea in mind already? Or were you inspired by the Snow White tie-in?
It was all baby steps. I heard about the contest and thought coming up with a story would be a fun challenge. I felt the resulting script had merit, so I looked for an artist who might work with me on it. And when I found Silvio, I realized we had all the potential pieces of a great finished comic if it came together right, so this might be worth the insanity of finishing it in a month.
It was a new story. I wrote about five broad ideas, including one loosely inspired by the title of the sponsor’s film and I liked that one best at the moment. If I’d considered from the start that, yes, I’d ultimately submit the script to something sponsored by a PG-13 film about Snow White, I probably wouldn’t have done such horrible things to the Snow White-based character in my story. I would have done them to Bambi.
AK: How did the process work with Silvio dB, the artist? Was he someone you’d worked with before? How long did it take for the whole comic to come together?
I’d seen Silvio’s work with other writers and colorists and he was consistently great at the things I needed him to be great at, and then saw his website gallery and found him to be a stellar colorist as well. He’s in Brazil, so it was entirely done over email, and he had an extended internet outage shortly before the deadline, so he had to upload files at a friend’s house and I finished lettering pages with fewer than 12 hours before deadline.
AK: Originally there were meant to be two winners, one for art and one for story, but you guys won both—was that a huge surprise?
The wording of the contest is bit strange to read in retrospect. There were two finalist stories as judged by their panel of comics professionals, and our story was one of them (we were shortlisted in both art and story), and then there was a popular vote between those two winners and we took the big award. We had some very worthy competition in finalist team Richard Worth and Jordan R.H. Colliver, and I’ve even read some of the other shortlisted stories. We were in great company!
But, yes, it was a series of pleasant surprises, starting with every rough sketch and character design I got back from Silvio.
AK: Have you seen Snow White and the Huntsman, and are you allowed to make fun of it, or would that be bad form?**
I haven’t seen it. I don’t know about making fun of it. We don’t know what the sponsor-supplied prizes are yet.
AK: Thanks again to Alex Wilson for the interview, and congratulations!
The winning story can be read here: http://alexwilson.com/the-time-of-reflection/
**AK thought this movie was terrible.
And for now for a couple of follow-ups to recent columns:
- Everything you could want to know about gay Green Lantern
- The Before Watchmen comics—the prequels to one of the all-time great graphic novels, Watchmen—came out this week. Here’s USA Today’s take on the controversy, a good basic round-up. I don’t plan on reading them at the moment—the whole thing leaves a bad taste in my mouth. But I don’t want to discourage anyone from checking them out—they have a good team on board and even though I wish they didn’t exist, they’re probably at least pretty.