Comic Book Artists influence Matrix

USA Today has a story today about the Comic book industry and how some artists have successfully moved across to the film industry. Josh interviews Comic book illustrators Steve Skroce and Geofery Darrow, who played integral roles in mapping out the original Matrix, as well as the upcoming two sequels:

Filmmakers Larry and Andy Wachowski “had the entire movie in their brains, and I was a translator for their ideas,” says Skroce, who drew up storyboards for the original film and has worked on such comics as Wolverine. “Comics are all about image, and The Matrix is as well. You could stop the movie in a number of places, and it would look like a comic book page.”

It also helps that there are comic book-friendly directors working in Hollywood. The Wachowskis and Dogma filmmaker Kevin Smith have even worked in the comic book industry. In fact, Skroce got his job on The Matrix because he illustrated the Wachowskis’ first comic. Smith has worked on a number of comics, including Daredevil and a series of books based on the superhero Green Arrow.

For comic book artists, the move into films can be difficult. “With comics you can take more liberty,” Baker says. “There are certain disciplines you have to follow when you’re doing storyboards, like making sure you work left to right, that you don’t have to do when you’re doing a graphic novel.”

But Atlantis producer Don Hahn says that having someone with a comic book background on his film was enormously helpful.

“They give you tremendous imagination, tremendous graphic style and tremendous clarity,” he says. “When you are forced to get a couple of ideas down to a page, you can’t be vague. Comic book artists give you a clear graphic vision.”

Some in the comics field believe comic book artists have unlimited visions to bring to the screen.

“It’s very hard to generalize comic book artists,” Mignola says. “We can be as different as night and day.”