"This one goes to eleven" -- Greg Capullo on how nail-bitingly intense things are going to get in "Death of the Family"
The "Death of the Family" event ripping its way through DC's Bat-Books reaches a new peak of intensity with "Batman" #14, which just hit stores. MTV Geek chatted with one-half of the powerhouse team anchoring "Batman," Greg Capullo, about his inspiration for the Joker's new look, working with writer Scott Snyder, and what new levels of insanity and revenge we can expect this issue. Then stick around for a sneak peek at pages from next month's issue!
MTV Geek: Greg, “Death of the Family” has been an amazingly wild ride so far. How are you enjoying it?
Greg Capullo: It’s some of the most fun I’ve ever had. And, I’ve had $h!tloads, trust me! But, Batman + Joker=Awesomeness to the 10th power!
Geek: Did you have any particular inspiration in mind for Joker’s unique face in “Death of the Family”? How did you come up with such a frightening and compelling look?
Capullo: With the Joker’s face having been cut off in "Detective", it became a question of how do we reattach his skin? Scott is into horror, and I’ve drawn a zillion issues of "Spawn", so together we arrived wear...er, I mean where we are now. I just threw together some sketches with Scott’s direction in mind. He was wanting the skin stretched into the biggest Joker smile yet! So, Recipe is: sprinkle in some "Texas Chainsaw Massacre", throw in a dash of Halloween, mix well, add mixture to Joker stock, Pour mixture into your Snydullo food processor, set on high and voila! (Snydullo food processor--in stores in time for the holidays!)
Geek: What is the collaborative process with Scott Snyder like?
Capullo: The line has gotten pretty blurry. I mean, we each have our given role, but...
For us, it’s about producing a Batman that we think kicks ass and that people wanna see. I mean, that’s the bottom line for us. So if I add or subtract something, or if Scott gets an idea from something I’ve said or done and it’s good we roll with it. Into the Snydullo it goes, free from egos.
Geek: "Batman" #14, hitting stores this week, has some really nail-biting stuff, including one scene in particular involving Commissioner Gordon that’s truly stunning –not just because of its intensity, but as a piece of art all on its own. How do you get into the head-space to come up with these images?
Capullo: It sorta happens naturally, really. You know, it’s like all the stuff you’ve learned, the experience you gain over the years gets you to that point. But, if I were to try to offer some kind of explanation it would be something like; I try to put myself in the character’s situation--you know, feel what they’re feeling--act it out. That’s what get’s the emotional impact. Visually, I try to come up with an iconic image (hopefully, a memorable one) that typifies that the emotion I want the reader to feel.
Geek: Who do you like drawing more –Batman or Joker?
Capullo: Is this a trick question?
Geek: What’s your personal “take” on the Joker? Is he just out of his mind, or is there something more there?
Capullo: It’s said that madness and genius are separated by a very thin line. Joker is, without question, out of his mind, but his ability to plan and execute is remarkably genius. If you had a conversation with Joker (hopefully, one where’s he’s completely secured so no harm can come to you), you’d be thinking, “Wow! This dude is so intelligent and what he says really makes perfect sense!” Then, he’d continue on and you’d realize, “He’s completely off his rocker.” But, no. The Joker has a lot more going on that the average person pushing around a shopping cart and muttering to himself.
Geek: You are very active with the fans on Twitter and the like, teasing little tantalizing bits of art and sketches here and there –what has been the response out there so far for “Death of the Family?”
Capullo: It’s been AMAZING! More than Scott and I could’ve hoped for. And really, that's all you can do is hope. You can’t predict with certainty what fans will love, hate, or just go, “Meh.” I’m not a carnival barker, so when I went around trying to excite fans, I wasn’t “hyping” DOTF. I was genuinely excited about it and imagined fans would dig it. I was just giving them a heads up. A thrill ride was headed their way!
Geek: Things already look pretty bleak right now for Batman and his “Bat Family” – and we’re only on Month Two of the event! Without giving anything away, can you describe how much more nuts and tense it’s going to get as “Death of the Family” progresses?
Capullo: I will offer this quote from Spinal Tap. “This one goes to eleven.”
Batman #14 is in stores now!
Here's preview pages from "Batman" #15:
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