Tuesday, 3 May 2011

One Question Interview #26: Mark Andrew Smith

The Skull Bros in... action (?); from Gladstone's School for World Conquerors Issue 1.

Part Teen Titans, part Harry PotterGladstone's School for World Conquerors makes it's debut in comic shops this week, published buy Image. Written by Mark Andrew Smith, (best known as the writer behind The Amazing Joy Buzzards and co-creator of the impressively varied Popgun anthology) and illustrated by Armand Villavert (with colours by Carlos Carrasco), it follows the misadventures of the students of the titular academy--a school for the children of the Earth's greatest super-villains--as they uncover its secrets and the alarming truth behind the superhero community.

With a day to spare before release, Mark kindly accepted our offer to answer a question on the new title.

Q: How did the concept and design of Gladstone's School for World Conquerors come together?

For Gladstone’s School for World Conquerors the concept all started with the title.  It was an appealing name and something mysterious.  I really wanted to wander the halls of this school and discover what it was all about.  From there I brainstormed around 20 characters and from those about 6 really stood out.   The characters that jumped off the page at me were Kid Nefarious, Mummy Girl, Ghost Girl, Martian Jones, and the Skull Brothers.  After the art came in for the characters from Armand I had them firmly locked into my mind and the writing just flowed with that creative ammunition.  
The character design for Gladstone’s was instant once we selected our main characters.  Armand did sort of a “usual suspects” police lineup of them and it stuck.  He nailed them perfectly the first time and there were no comments, notes, or suggestions for revisions from me to him.  I think that really speaks volumes about Armand’s talent. 

A line-up of the Gladstones students (click to enlarge). Mummy Girl's our fave.

Bonus Q: In your opinion, what is it about the superhero concept that has caused it to be so enduring?

I think it’s just kind of a fantasy to be a character that can do all of these incredible things.  The mind is the limit of what can be done.  I think for me the characters are also very compelling.  Gladstone’s we’re doing our best to build an entire universe of heroes and villains and it’s been a fun road creating the world of Gladstone’s.

A huge thank you to Mark for answering his question. Clearly a sucker for punishment, he's casually agreed to return later in the year for a full-length interview, where nobody will  be able to accuse us of cheating for asking more than one question. We're looking forward to it. 

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