@’s by FREELANCERS artist Joshua Covey!!!
MATT ADLER (MA): Tell us a little about how you got into comics, and what you've worked on prior to FREELANCERS.
JOSHUA COVEY (JC): I have always been a huge fan of comics, idolizing artist like Frank Frazetta, Art Adams, Jim Lee and so many other greats. Thinking to myself "Man, wouldn't it be great to do what these guys do for a living!?" But it wasn't until a couple of years ago that I really started pursuing it as a possible career. I was laid off from my previous job, so I had a lot of time to sit around and think about what I really wanted to do. I had a bit of money put away. So, with my wife's encouragement and support, I jumped on a plane and went to Seattle for ECCC, which was actually my first convention ever! Got some MUCH needed critiquing. Got home and went straight back to the drawing table and started on new material.
A month later I hopped on another plane and headed to Wondercon. It was there that I met Ross Richie for the first time. I'll never forget it either. I waited 4 hours in line at the portfolio review to have him look over work. But when I got to the end of the line, he was late for a panel. He took myself and 5 others aside and said "If you sit thru my panel, I'll look thru your portfolios." Another hour and a full BOOM! panel later, he reviewed my portfolio. I've been in contact with BOOM! ever since. It took some time but I finally landed a gig with BOOM! back at the start of the year on the AVENGEFULS one shot. Before that though, I did manage to land a small part in the HOUSE OF NIGHT series by Dark Horse comics.
MA: How did you wind up on board FREELANCERS?
JC: Shortly after finishing the AVENGEFULS and a few cover gigs for BOOM!, I got word from my editor, Chris Rosa, that there were a couple of other projects coming up that they wanted me to try out for. A few sample pages later, I was told that I was the guy for their new top secret on-going series about two sexy bounty hunters. ;)
MA: What attracted you to the series?
JC: What's not to like about "We want you to draw a new on-going series about two sexy butt-kicking bounty hunters in L.A.!"?
Seriously though, the main thing that attracted me to it was that BOOM! picked me based solely on MY style. With BOOM!, I get to be me. After doing previous work for them, I got to know the BOOM! team. I pretty much knew from the start that this was going to be a ton of fun to work on.
MA: Given that this is your first ongoing series, is that intimidating, exciting, or something else entirely?
JC: All of the above! With a little bit of everything in between. I mean, I'm the "new kid in town" starting a brand new series with brand new characters, I have all kinds of things running thru my head! It's crazy to think that two years ago, I was waiting hours upon hours just to have ONE guy look at my work, now I'm doing an interview discussing a new series that's about to launch! Honestly, I'm still trying not to geek out over the whole experience. This is really a dream come true!
MA: I understand that the Freelancers concept was initially created by Matt Gagnon and Felipe Smith. What kind of material did they give you to work from?
JC: They sent me the very first character designs that had been done back in '06. They gave me a quick break down of the L.A. setting and character profiles of both Val and Cass, and pretty much said, "Show us what you can do".
MA: Was the design work pretty much complete, or were you able to offer your own tweaks?
JC: It was close, but yeah I did get to throw a few things of my own in here and there. Overall the final designs still stay pretty true to Felipe's original concepts.
MA: What's the process behind your collaboration with series writer Ian Brill?
JC: Everything that has been done for the series thus far, from character designs to script ideas, has been gone over in meetings with everyone involved with the project. So from day one, it has really been a team effort to get this book rolling. Which to me, is great to know that everyone is putting so much time and effort into this book.
MA: Have you offered any input into aspects of the story?
JC: As of right now... No. With this being my first series, I've been content to just sit back and draw the pretty pictures. As the series progresses, I'm sure I'll break out of that shell and offer up something down the line.
MA: What's your approach to portraying the main characters, Val and Cassie?
JC: Music. Music is one of the main tools I use when approaching any character I work on. Helps set the mood, or in this case, the character's personality. For example, Cass' playlist would be a bit of Kavinsky, Gaslight Anthem, Silversun Pickups and the Black Keys. With Val, it's a bit different. Her playlist goes something like this. Nero, Gorillaz, Linkin Park and Johnny Cash.
MA: Given that the series is set in L.A., did you have to do much research to authentically portray that setting?
JC: Not living in the area, yeah. I've had to do quite a bit of research on the settings, but this is where I gotta give props to my editor, Chris Rosa. The guy really knows his stuff. He's like my personal GOOGLE. Seriously! My main goal though is to really give the book a true authentic L.A. feel. Hopefully I don't let the folks living in L.A. reading the book down!
MA: Are there any particular influences that have had an impact on your approach to the book?
JC: Oh yeah! The majority being films. The main ones being Drive and KILL BILL. I've been watching a lot of Kung Fu stuff and just action based films in general. Art-wise, two artists that I just can't get enough of are Art Adams and Adam Hughes. So I think it's safe to say you can expect to see a bit of influence from them showing up in the book along the way.
MA: What's been the best part of your experience in working on this book so far?
JC: Everything! I mean, everything up to this point and even this, has all been a new experience for me. It's been a blast from day one and I can't wait for everyone to see what we've got in store! You won't be disappointed, I promise you that!
MA: Thanks for filling us in Joshua! FREELANCERS #1 hits stores this October.
Matt Adler is a writer/journalist, currently writing for AICN among other outlets. He’s been reading comics for 20 years, writing about them for 7, and spends way, way, too much time thinking about them, which means he really has no choice but to figure out how to make a living out of them. He welcomes all feedback.
Proofs, co-edits & common sense provided by Sleazy G