10 Things We Learnt From Paste’s Chat Between Brian Michael Bendis and Geof Darrow

10 Things We Learnt From Paste’s Chat Between Brian Michael Bendis and Geof Darrow

A Master Speaks

♦ Paste’s extensive interview between Brian Michael Bendis and Geof Darrow was fascinating, so here’s ten things we learnt from it with a link through to the interview itself…

  1. There is no such thing as the Darrow magazine: “I used to have people call me up when I was living in France. They’d send me their portfolios because they wanted to do artwork in the magazine. They thought it was a magazine. It wasn’t a real magazine.”– Geof Darrow
  2. Darrow actually worked once with Jack Kirby: “One time he came in and he had to finish something, so he asked me to sit down, and he took one of my pencils, just a nub of a pencil. And he did a model drawing on my desk, and I’m watching him. Afterwards he left and I took the pencil and I put it in an envelope and wrote “Kirby’s Pencil.” I don’t know where it is anymore, because I’ve moved so many times.”
  3. The artist met legend Moebius through very unlikely means:”I stumbled into my relationship with Moebius, just because my girlfriend at the time had a really good friend who was working at Disney. He was an architect and one of the engineers on Disney’s Epcot Center in Florida. I’d heard that Moebius was in town working on Tron. I just wanted to meet him. Just shake his hand. I called my friend up and asked [for an introduction]. He said, “I’ll see what I can do.” A day went by and I gave up on it, and then he calls me up and says, “We’re having dinner with him on Saturday.” That’s how my relationship with him started. All I wanted to do was shake his hand because he was such a mystical figure.”
  4. Darrow got to meet Frank Miller through Moebius: “I was a big fan of his and I got to meet him through Moebius. I was living in France at the time and I’d come back in the summer back to Los Angeles and spent a couple months there, just to get the Parisian life out of my head because it’s not always the most fun place to live.”
  5. The artist will probably return to France at some point:” I’m probably going to move back there in the next year. My wife is French and I have a double nationality and go back there.”
  6. On how he met the late, great Dave Stevens: “I moved to California and I was working at Hanna-Barbera, but before I went to Hanna-Barbera I went to Filmation and I met Dave Stevens. He was working there, and to this day I remember the drawing that he was doing. That guy was so slow. Holy cow. We got to talking and he was a guy who I ended up hanging out with a little bit. He was too classy to me. But we would go out on occasion, because he was such a brilliant artist. A really funny, wonderful guy. I mostly hung out with artists in France. When I moved to Paris, they were very open. Because I was working with Moebius, it opened the doors for me. When Dave Stevens would come to Paris, we’d go out with Liberatore to this one club called La Marisol. It had magic, jazz and strippers.”
  7. Darrow likes the fact that readers can name the writers of comics these days: “I love that people know who the writers are now. They knew who Liefeld was, and Jim Lee and Frank [Miller]. But when I was over in France and they have this rule and it makes me laugh, that a good comic should take you 45 minutes to read. Buy a book, take out your stopwatch, and you hit it. If you finish it in 39 minutes, do you feel like you’ve been screwed? That’s hilarious to me.”
  8. The artist talks about his love of Japanese comic creators: “I really love the great manga guys—they’re probably some of the best storytellers in the world. [Hiroshi] Harata, Sanpei Shirato, [Osamu] Tezuka and [Katsuhiro] Otomo. I think the Japanese could tell a story.”
  9. Darrow worked on a movie based on his Shaolin Cowboy comic: “I spent three years working on this animated Shaolin Cowboy movie. It got half-finished in Japan. It was being produced by the Wachowskis and Madhouse Animation, who did Ninja Scroll. The Weinsteins were putting half the money in. [But] the bubble broke. The Weinsteins…they were already going bankrupt and they pulled their money on it, so it’s sitting in boxes.”
  10. The artist has always worked on what he has wanted: “I’ve ran into guys and their whole thing is they write or they draw thinking toward the movie or the TV show. There’s nothing wrong with that I guess, but I’ve always drawn what I want to draw.”Paste Bendis and Darrow Interview

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