Fishflies, Mazebook, Primordial and Ask Me Anything
As a huge fan of yours, in my personal collection of all your works, I am missing your original Ashtray & Lost Dogs issues from 2004-2005. Is there any way I can buy them directly from you so to have my Jeff Lemire collection feel complete?
Is that Madame Dragonfly comic you teased still in the works?
I would love to hear about what your Robins book would’ve been
Hi Jeff, I only started reading comics in my 30s (a few years ago) and stumbled into your work because I was drawn to the artwork in A.D. After Death and Royal City. Since then I think I've read everything you've published. Not that you asked, but my favorite is Underwater Welder :)
One thing I've noticed about your writing is that you rely heavily on time jumps. Whether it is Black Hammer, Frogcatchers, or Sweet Tooth I find that the story jumps between the present/past (or present/future for Quantum Age). I've got a few questions that I'd love to get your thoughts on:
1) Where do you think this influence comes from for you? I noticed that comics started employing it heavily around the same time that TV shows like Lost did (and Lost had a fair number of comic book people associated with it from Brian K. Vaughan to Paul Dini and Jeph Loeb).
2) How do you decide when a backstory is meant to be interspersed like most of your work vs. dropped all at once like the penultimate volume of Sweet Tooth which doesn't even show Gus for several issues?
3) Finally, do you construct an entire metanarrative at once? For instance, when you wrote Descender #1, did you know the details of issue 32? For Black Hammer did you know what the twist on the farm would be? Or do you start with a good idea and see where it goes? Does the way the artist (when it isn't you) interprets characters and actions ever influence your writing and cause you to change direction?
Hi Jeff. I am an old comics fan, 48. But I started reading your works two years ago when I got into the digital ( I blame Comixology of course ). I have been buying the physical books which have been, thank God, published in Brazil, where I am from. Guess you can say I am a fanboy but I am not a crazy one;-).
Seriously, I read somewhere that The Final Frontier by the late and amazing Darwyn Cooke is one of your favorite books, which not coincidentally is one of my recent favorites. So, have you and Cooke been close ? And by the way, thank you for all the great stories, and thanks for setting this up.
ps you are not a fan of Rush, are you?
ps2 I like other Canadian bands, mostly obscure metal bands like Exciter.
I said that i would only try substack if Jeff Lemire starts one and well here we are. I’m absolutely loving it, truly a dream come true.
In short, your work got me back into comics. It has given me confidence in my own art as well as an appreciation for all kinds of art styles and made me seek out as many different independent creators work i could. It continues to be a massive inspiration for this Saskatchewan farm boy who never really wanted to farm.
What is the biggest mistakes you’ve seen creators make when first starting out in comics?
For me there are many things in Gideon Falls that show what a great medium comics can be. There are lots of examples of things that work well in that comic book that wouldn't work as well in a different medium. With that said, how do you think it will work on TV?
Just saw the Swamp Thing announcement! Looking forward to Tales From the Swamp!!!
Your work with the wonderful Tyler Crook put me on to Harrow County. I loved his artwork from the moment I laid eyes on it. Thank you for bringing his talent to my attention. His art is so absolutely perfect for Black Hammer.
How was it you first discovered Crook and how was it you ended up working together?
Read Primordial today, absolutely wonderful. Totally digging the We3 vibes.
Hello! I started reading your Peacemaker backups in Inferior 5 and loved it but after the book was delayed I missed the end of the story. Any chance your Peacemaker story will ever be printed as a one shot?
Your top 3 characters in the Black Hammer Universe
Favorite Toronto Maple Leaf of all time?? I'm a Mats Sundin guy myself!
Hey Jeff, really love your art style and how distinct it is and reflective of the tones of your stories. Does your art style come naturally to you, or is it something you've developed? Do you spend time in the planning stages making distinct choices about your artistic style, or does it just come out of you naturally?
Hi Jeff, I was wondering what your next media project will be (besides sweet tooth)? Also, have you ever wanted to direct a project, and if so which property would you most want to direct? Thanks!
Spoilers for those not up to date on the Black Hammer books.
Something I love about the World of Black Hammer is the way it explores violence and superheroes. The heroes succeed in the original farm arc not by fighting Anti-God, but by accepting retirement to a quiet life; in The Quantum Age, the only way to defeat Gravitus was to avoid fighting him; Skulldigger + Skeleton Boy built up to a huge confrontation that instead ended with a choice to break the cycle of violence, for Matthew to have another chance at a childhood and family. These stories are playing in the genre of superheroes where "the big fight" is practically expected by the readership, yet more often than not, you avoid it.
For me, this is a big part of what makes a story feel like a Black Hammer story. Even a story like Black Hammer: Visions #3, which hyped the story as being "Abraham Slam vs. The Slam", ends up being a story about why fighting was the worst possible choice. The heroic choice would've been to have a conversation.
So my question is how much of this sort of thematic material is conscious, especially when you're going into territory like the Black Hammer: Visions anthology stories, where you're inviting other creators to play in the world you and Dean Ormston created? How do you set those boundaries and what do you consider to be the core ingredients that make a story a Black Hammer story?
Hey Jeff ! Question for the AMA .. What was the significance (if any ) of the red outlined panels in Gideon Falls ?!!