I did a little update interview with our David Mack. He is appearing at Denver ComicCon this weekend and I thought it a perfect time to post.
CAT: You have been doing the covers of the Neil Gaiman AMERICAN GODS DarkHorse comic series. Can you tell us a little about your approach and process when you start to do a cover? Do you have a favorite American Gods character?
DAVID: Right now, my favorite is the Bast cover that you are offering the print of. And I like that it has Mr Ibis & Jacquel & Horus in it as well.
My next favorite may be the #6 cover of Mama Ji.
I just turned in The Jinn cover which should be revealed next.
For my process of it, I listened to the audio book of American Gods last year while traveling. Editer Daniel Chabon suggested I include a different diety for each issue cover. I jot down different ideas of what characters are in each chapter and visual possibilities for them. I zero in on a drawing that is shown to the editor and Neil & yourself.
In the case of The Jinn, I actually painted two completely finished pieces based on my drawing that Neil approved, and then Neil chose which one he preferred.
I’ve done two completed pieces for Bilquis as well.
CAT: I know we are both cat lovers. Bast is the Egyptian goddess of cats. Tell us about your history with cats?
DAVID: My own cat Nico is often on my desk or my lap while I work. He was a tiny flea covered kitten when he ran up to me on a walk in 2003 & he’s been with me since. I often draw and paint cats & animals. There is a plan for MEWS to be my follow up to my MUSE art book in which it is a book of ink drawings that include cats as well as humans.
I love animals of all kinds.
As a child I won a Science Fair Award for my research into mice genetics. I raised mice & rats in a variety of colors patterns, shapes & sizes, and documented each generation to a scientific degree.
CAT: You have been traveling so much these past few years, doing your ambassador work and appearances. Can you outline where we may be able to expect to see you next?
DAVID: The State Dept has me travel overseas for them as a Cultural Ambassador.
Last year I was in former Soviet areas, including refugee camps & UNHCR Asylum Seekers center for refugees. Also teaching in Tbilisi for storytelling classes, and in special needs school, and Near the borders of Armenia and Azerbaijan, in the city of Marneuli at a wonderful school there.
This summer, the State Department will have me in North Africa. I will teach storytelling classes to a variety of students, including a School for the Deaf.
In the US, you will find me at Denver Comicon July 1. Comicon International in San Diego, and Honolulu Comicon in Late July.
You can find photos & art of mine here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/David-Mack-21231086294/photos/?ref=page_internal
CAT: What is happening on the Kabuki front? Anything you would like to share with us?
DM: Dark Horse Comics, who publishes Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, also publishes my work. They have all four volumes of the oversize KABUKI: Library Editions in stock right now. Each one is over 400 pages and has extra material. These four volumes are really the foundation of my work in comics. This is the story that got me the offer to write Daredevil at Marvel Comics when I started there, & these books have a wide range of my work as an author & artist.
Dark Horse also has my oversize art book Dream Logic in stock and available. It fits on the shelf with the KABUKI Library volumes and they line up on the spine togther. They also have my 320 page art book, Reflections.
All these books are available at any comic shop or book store and online.
A big thanks to Dark Horse and my Fight Club & Hellboy editor Scott Allie for sending my books to consideration for the Eisner Awards. That is the reason I have a current nomination for the Eisner Awards in the category of Best Cover Art.
Last year it was a great surprise to get an Emmy nomination (for the Jessica Jones opening titles), and to have that followed with an Eisner nomination is a great honor.
These KABUKI volumes are the foundation of why I have been offered all of this work. And I’m so happy to have these books in this wonderful format and available to anyone who wants them.
CAT: I recently met with Burton Olivier, the gentleman that got your work tattooed upon his back for Neil's poem I WILL WRITE IN WORDS OF FIRE. We are almost out of the FIRE prints, what do you think about revisiting that one? I loved the silkscreened version that our friend Brian Rise, hand-pulled in Austin, Texas...
DM: I love it. That is that project that brought us together. May of 2011, my father had just died, and Neil emailed me about doing this project with him, that would be a tattoo on a human back, but he also mentioned the idea of it as a poster or print to raise funds for charity.
You and I began our work together creating these prints with Neil each year.
I should also mention the Leonard Cohen song Democracy that Neil Gaiman & Amanda Palmer did vocals & music for, and I did the video for with Olga Nunes to raise funds for Pen America who protect the rights of journalists and writers.
I should mention that I just last week finished filming a new video for Amanda Palmer.
You can find the one we did last year called Vincent Black Lightning. And I imagine the newest one will be released soon.
CAT: Thank you, David, always a pleasure to work with you, my brother.