Sunday, November 24, 2019

Singapore Comic Con (SGCC) 2019 - Q&A With Artist Extraordinaire David Mack

Talented mixed-media artist David Mack was busy meeting and signing for fans at Tokyo Comic Con the past weekend. For his next convention stop, the creator of acclaimed comic book series “KABUKI” and the character Echo from the Daredevil series, will be in Red Dot Island for Singapore Comic Con (SG Comic Con) 2019 on 7 and 8 December. YEAHHH!

A fan favourite with the fans in this region, David Mack has been here a few times already, but he was still sorely missed last year when he was unable to attend the pop-culture convention due to other commitments.

Since the last time he was here, David Mack has been busy as always. He has been working with long time bestie Brian Michael Bendis again on the Jinxworld series called “COVER”, and drawing beautiful covers for comics, including Neil Gaiman's “AMERICAN GODS” and Chuck Palahniuk's “FIGHT CLUB”. In addition, he has been working on Dark Horse's new 400-page plus “KABUKI Omnibus”, which will be released in December in celebration of the 25th Anniversary of “KABUKI” .

Red Dot Diva managed to catch up with David Mack and talk about his various projects - the past, current and future ones!

Red Dot Diva: Helloooo David! We were so happy to hear that you will be back in Singapore for the comic convention. What is it about the convention and our island that draws you back? (Is it the Kopi-O, kaya and toast? Haha.)
David Mack (DM): I’m very happy to be returning to Singapore! The convention, the people, the culture, the food, the art & artfulness… all of it has been inspiring for me every time!

Red Dot Diva: What is it about your friendship with Brian Michael Bendis that makes the artistic collaborations between the two of you work so well? Do you both have your thoughts in sync?
DM: Brian and I have been best friends since 1993, so we have a long history together of creating together. We try to bring out the best in each other’s work, and I think when we work together, each of us pushes the other into a zone that we would not normally explore on our own. It feels like making music together in which each of us is contributing a part, and the other is building on that, and back and forth for each step.

Red Dot Diva: Your latest collaboration, the comic book series “COVER”, is about comic conventions and spies. So, (in hushed tones), have you actually met anybody during these conventions that do not seem to be who they say they are?
DM: A lot of “COVER” is inspired by my travels around the world for the US State Dept. Much of these endeavors have been public, but sometimes there are events that are called “Non-branded”. I was able to work with a lot of skilled people overseas on a variety of events, and I learned a lot from these people and these endeavors. Some of that made its way into the inspiration for this story.

Red Dot Diva: What is it like working with Neil Gaiman and his various titles? Will you be doing a book with him sometime in the near future?
DM: I am very much looking forward to working on a book with Neil Gaiman. I just finished a cover this week for a new Neil Gaiman series that I am doing covers for that has not been announced yet. And today I just completed a new print for Neil’s New Years Wish for the holidays. It’s been a joy to create 28 covers for American Gods. I worked on an early version of the Good Omens TV ID for Neil’s Blank Corporation animated logo. I directed a music video of Neil doing the vocals for Leonard Cohen’s “Democracy” that I think we will be sharing again this week on the 3rd anniversary of Leonard Cohen’s passing.

Red Dot Diva: You have travelled a fair bit on US State Department trips. I know you meet groups of students at institutions like NAFA and ITE West the last time you were here. Please share with us more about the humanitarian trips you took this year?
DM: This year in August I was in North Africa for the State Department. I returned to Tunisia. I taught at many different schools and events & spoke at the Tazarka Comic Arts Salon. I also teamed up with a group of street artists from Morocco called Taraza who painted large murals on the walls in Tazarka. I painted a large mural on a school that I taught at.

In June I was in the former Soviet areas for the third year in a row. I taught at many different cities in the country of Georgia. Including Batumi on the Black Sea where I had not been before. Much of my time there was spent in the capital of Tbilisi, and I was there during the protests.

I was in Tbilisi a previous year during the mayoral elections & met the new mayor on his first day. I have taught at the School for the Deaf, in Tunisia, Georgia, and Singapore.

I’ve also taught in refugee camps and UNHCR camps. Often I teach in schools on the boarder areas, and to minority groups, at special needs schools, and even inside a prison for youth.

Red Dot Diva: We learned that Sony has re-optioned to do the TV series for “KABUKI”. How has the progress been for its development?
DM: This year was quite a year of work for me on behind the scenes meetings and development on “KABUKI” as a TV show with Sony. We are also in discussions now for making “COVER” into a TV series. I hope to have more updates on both of these later this year.

Red Dot Diva: You have already worked on some many mediums and different types of high profile projects beyond comic books, like title sequences for Jessica Jones and Captain America, as well as Dashboard Confessional's music video. What else is there that you still wish you could get involved in?
DM: It’s funny that you mentioned Dashboard Confessional, because that happened from my last trip to Singapore. On the plane from Japan to Singapore, I was sitting next to lead signer Chris Carraba. We met on the plane to Singapore, and talked the entire time. I showed him some of the music video I had just directed for Amanda Palmer,and he had me direct his next music video for Dashboard after our plane trip to Singapore. I look forward to directing more music videos, and working on more title sequences for film and TV, and I’m looking forward to working more in television and film. Writing, directing, and I’m looking forward to more art exhibitions & creating more creator-owned comic book series.

Red Dot Diva: We can't wait to see you again, David. Are you going to be bringing anything special to the convention this time around?
DM: I’m bringing quite a bit of original art from the covers I’ve been working on this year. It will be available at my table for people to see.

I also have new prints that I’ve made with Neil Gaiman, include Sandman prints, Good Omens prints, & more. The new KABUKI Omnibus is shipping in December for the 25th anniversary of Kabuki. So If the publisher gets some of those to me in time, I will try to bring those too. I’m very much looking forward to seeing everyone in Singapore! And you, Tina.

Red Dot Diva: I am salivating at the thought of having my grabby hands on that gorgeous GOOD OMENS print, if there are any left. See you soon, David!

If you are already a David Mack fan, Red Dot Diva knows that you will be making time to say hello to him at his SG Comic Con booth. But, if you a newbie to David Mack's art, do drop by his booth as well! He is super friendly, and loves talking about his various artwork and experiences working in the comics industry. You can also watch him draw, and he amazed at how he is able to produce such lovely pieces of art with a few brushstrokes!



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