Review Fix chats with â€œForce Six, The Annihilatorsâ€ creator Drew Spence, to find out what inspired the comic. Revealing what else heâ€™s working on, Spence lets us know his career in comics is just beginning.
Review Fix: What inspired the look and feel of Force Six, The Annihilators?
Drew Spence: I started creating comics as a kid and was influenced by, well everything! I loved Sci-fi, fantasy and martial arts. I watched movies, read comics, played D&D [the Dungeons and Dragons tabletop game], video games and adventure books. The Annihilators switched genres for almost every story so, as an adult revisiting this comic, I needed a universe that could accommodate all those settings and angles and still make some kind of sense.
Review Fix: What about using CGI over traditional media? Where did that come from?
Spence: I would see these robots and figures in overseas catalogues, the toys and models and wanted that exact look for my art so I started scanning the pictures and turning them into comics. That started my experiments in photo manipulation. I did a good number of comics, but I still needed more control. I filmed a season of Mark of the Griffin (a live action web series) and used the still frames to make a comic. I came across John Byrneâ€™s Star Trek New Visions and realized the overall potential.
Review Fix: From still pictures to CGI?
Spence: Yes, I tried Poser many years ago and I couldnâ€™t get the look I wanted so I gave up on computer modeling. I stumbled across Daz Studio and its monstrous modern library of assets and saw the vision come into focus. The [Daz] Studio software is a 3D assembly environment, which really works like a movie set and the store sells digital assets. Itâ€™s people, places, things and even tutorials.
Review Fix: Tutorials on how to use Daz Studio?
Spence: Yes, all the different aspects- to speed up your workflow, solve artistic challenges and build on your creativity. I worked with Digital Art Live Magazine and created a webinar series about making CGI comics, along with courses on touching up your artwork, special effects and gaining extra value from your library.
Review Fix: How is Killer Butterfly different from your previous work?
Spence: The look is similar, but the story unfolds in a much more linear fashion. The Force Six Annihilator series is based on a sampling of adventures from a long career of action. Itâ€™s like the true story behind a legend. Killer Butterfly is a straight telling of events. It happens in the same universe, but in a world much less influenced by higher technology.
Review Fix: What makes these comics special?
Spence: I think itâ€™s the stories Iâ€™ve chosen to tell. I want to write the kind of comic where each reading gets deeper and gives you more information. These are stories that need to be revisited as I insert many flash-forwards and call-backs. I want the reader to have moments of â€œOhh thatâ€™s what that meant!â€ and you canâ€™t do that without some trust that the fog will clear up – if you keep reading.
Review Fix: What creators do you think have influenced you the most?
Spence: So many, where do I start? Frank Miller had such a gritty and loose art style. When I drew my first comics, I wanted something rough and expressive. It was also Arthur Adams and the amount of detail in his work. Thatâ€™s the pseudo-photo-real style at work, along with the artistic story-telling of Barry Windsor-Smith. Thatâ€™s why both of my stories are starting out early in the heroesâ€™ development. They are far from invincible and have more than personal daemons to grapple with.
Review Fix: How do you want it to be remembered?
Spence: Iâ€™d like to give the readers the same experiences I had when I read comics. I used to stare at the cover and guess at the story, then dive in and get lost in the adventure. My comics are heroes and villains, twists and turns and a good dose of justice and vengeance.
Review Fix: Anything else you’d like to add?
Spence: Yes, thank you for taking the time to talk and shining a light on Force Six, The Annihilators and Killer Butterfly. I thank the readers and Patreon for their support of The Dynamic Universe. It pretty much makes everything possible. Thank you.