Comic Vine News


Interview: Aaron Campbell on Drawing Garth Ennis' THE SHADOW + Exclusive Art

Aaron Campbell is ready to unleash the Shadow upon the villains of the world.


The Shadow may know what evil lurks in the hearts of men but you can bet artist Aaron Campbell will know what lurks within the Shadow himself. Back in January, Dynamite Entertainment announced that they would be bringing the Shadow back to comics written by Garth Ennis with art by Aaron Campbell.

Dynamite has been killing it when it comes to capturing the essence of classic characters brought to modern times without compromising who they're meant to be. THE SHADOW will be continuing this tradition.

We had the chance to talk to Campbell about drawing the return of the Shadow.

Comic Vine: In taking on a classic character, do you have stronger feelings of excitement , nervousness or both?

Aaron Campbell: I can’t really say that I feel nervous. The one thing about characters like the Shadow that have been in and out of development is that you tend to have a lot more leeway with what you can do with them creatively. Aside from a few diehard fans there seems to be a lot less attachment to one particular take on the character. So I’m really excited about Garth’s take.

== TEASER ==

CV: A lot of people are familiar with the concept of the Shadow but don’t really know him. What will be your approach from an artistic angle?

AC: Well I tend to be a purest. I love just about all the classic aspects of the character - the slouch hat, the red lined cape and scarf, the trench coat, dual 45’s. There’s just no outdoing that. The one thing, though, that I think I bring to the table is a more realistic style. I’m trying to make this very gritty and intense with and heightened sense of time and place.= I want this character to live and breath.

CV: Will there be a different tone between the times when the Shadow is in his ‘hero’ guise and civilian identity?

AC: If there’s one thing that the Shadow knows it’s how to play a role. When it’s the Shadow he’s a hardcore, bad ass, stone cold motherfucker (pardon my French). When it’s Lamont Cranston he’s the playboy about town, suave motherfucker. When it’s Kent Allard he’s just a motherfucker .


CV: Obviously you’ve seen Garth’s scripts or notes, who is the Shadow in your mind?

AC: He is an agent of fate. He is aware of things that no one else can even conceive of and for whatever ever reason he chooses to act on that. He has his own code, as crude as it may seem, but it gets the job done and serves an ultimate good.

CV: The story is set in the late 1930’s, what are you doing to prepare to draw that time period?

AC: I already have a massive amount of reference material from my work on Green Hornet and luckily it takes place in the same year. One of my biggest challenges is this scene in the first issue that depicts the Nanking Massacre. I’ve actually already drawn a very similar scene in Green Hornet. So re-envisioning the scene in a way that didn’t just completely copy my original image has been very difficult.

CV: Is the Shadow only limited to fighting crime during the night? What happens if morning comes and the case isn’t solved? Would the Shadow run around during the day?

AC: I suppose so, but luckily the Shadow doesn’t have to adhere to real world mechanics. So if Garth wants to make sure that the Shadow battles all his foes in the dark of night he can conveniently make sure that all the evil-doers only want to do evil-doing at night. But of course I’m sure we could manage some daytime daring-do if it came down to that.

CV: What’s the one thing you’re looking forward to on this book?

AC: Okay, this is going to be a total fanboy answer. For me I’m just amazed with fact that I’m working with Garth. I think back to when I was in high school reading Preacher for the first time. Garth Ennis was just this name, this distant untouchable idea. The fact that I could one day be working with Garth couldn’t even have been a glimmer of a notion. So I get to fulfill a dream that I couldn’t even conceive of as a kid. Everyday I just geek the hell out.