In Oblivion Song Robert Kirkman and Lorenzo De Felici have created an apocalyptic hellscape full of new and unique monsters.
Kirkman spoke with Monkeys fighting Robots on Monday about the creative process of monster design, and how he works with his co-creator De Felici.
“When it comes to creating original monsters, that’s where you lean on an artistic co-creator to be completely honest. Well, to a certain extent it’s been somewhat organic in that when I write the scenes I will call for different kinds of animals and give them different descriptions about what kind of size they are and kind of an analog function on how they would relate to some kind of earth animal that we both know.
But we talked out some initial designs and how I wanted the creatures to look. I didn’t want them to be furry. I wanted them to be a little bit kind of gross and sickly looking.
And so once we kind of established a general look for how the overall thing would be then it’s just kind of a case by case basis as I write scene I’ll just go, “I don’t know it’s like a cheetah” and then Lorenzo be like, “Okay, alien cheetah here you go.” Over the course of the many issues that we’ve produced we’ve actually kind of cataloged and started naming the various animals so that we could reuse them. I think we’ve got no point where we’ve like maybe 20 or 30 unique, different animals that have shown up here and there.
It got to be a little confusing like when I’m writing a show 11, and I’m like you know like that one thing that looks kind of like a rat. But it wasn’t like this butterfly thing that was kind of like you know like use that thing again. So now we’re going through the process of actually cataloging them which is a lot of fun,” said Kirkman.
Kirkman also offers words of advice to future writers, and how to not trap your artist in a panel.
“Seeing everything through his visual lenses is one of the pure joys of writing a story like this. In issue 2 they go to a museum and there’s this giant woolly mammoth, tusky, like monster thing. I don’t remember exactly what description I gave him for that, but I just said I wanted some massively impressive, slow-moving looking, like crazy ten story tall monster. And you give him a big enough canvas.
I mean that’s one thing that a writer has to do. I work with a pacing, and so I can write, “Hey draw the coolest thing ever” and then give him seven panels on a page and then he doesn’t get to actually show off, and that’s a mistake some writers make. But when I give him something like that, and I want him to show me something that is that huge and you give him a two-page spread and then you let Lorenzo work is magic.
So, when it comes to creature design I just really have to lean on that guy. He’s been working his magic issue after issue, and there are some really impressive stuff coming,” said Kirkman.
Check out the 8-page preview below:
What do you think of the look of the book?
Here’s the official synopsis:
“A decade ago 300,000 citizens of Philadelphia were suddenly lost in Oblivion. The government made every attempt to recover them, but after many years they gave up. Nathan Cole… won’t. He makes daily trips, risking his life to try and rescue those lost, alone and afraid, living in the apocalyptic hellscape of Oblivion. But maybe… Nathan is looking for something else? Why can’t he resist the siren call of the Oblivion Song?”
Oblivion Song is written by Robert Kirkman, with art by Lorenzo De Felici, colors by Annalisa Leoni, letters by Rus Wooton, and Sean Mackiewicz keeps everyone on track as the editor of the series.
Oblivion Song hits your local comic book store on March 7, 2018.
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