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Interview: Francis Manapul Talks Flash & Beast Legends

Find out how you can get more Manapul.

 Francis Manapul & Steve Leonard
 Francis Manapul & Steve Leonard
Not only is Francis Manapul busy drawing the awesome adventures of Barry Allen as The Flash. He's also appearing on his own TV show. Beginning this Thursday, September 9, on SyFy at 10/9 Central, you can catch Manapul on BEAST LEGENDS. We asked Manapul a few questions about the Flash and the show. 
Comic Vine:   You mentioned recently there will be more Captain Boomerang featured more in the second arc of The Flash, any more info you can share? Francis Manapul: Captain Boomerang plays a major role in our first story arc, and he gets spotlighted in issue 7. The second story arc will feature a different foe and a new character. 

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CV: Does it feel weird having someone else draw issues #7 & 8?
FM: Not really as Geoff wrote one and done issues that spotlights a Rogue. This allows us to focus on the story arc, and definitely makes our schedule a little more desirable by buying us more time. That said these issues help enhance the reading experience of The Flash as you get more in depth with the fellas that keeps Barry's life interesting.

CV: On a scale of 1 - 10 on the crazy scale, how would you rate your second arc on Flash?
FM: It's gonna be tough topping our first arc as we brought the action to a crazy scale that's off the chart! But the second arc maybe crazier with the knowledge of what we need to top. So I'll say we're gonna aim for 15!!
 == TEASER ==
CV: How does "Flashpoint" fit in with the series? How will the five issue series tie into the regular series? Will the issues crossover or stand alone? 
FM: Our first arc will have glimpses at Flashpoint, as will our second arc. Our third arc will run in conjunction with Flashpoint so The Flash will continue chugging along.

CV: What about Wally West? Anything you can tell us?
FM: No nothing I can say, but you may have an answer in a few months. :) 
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CV: As for SyFy's Beast Legends, how did you get involved with the show? 
I got an email from the Production Coordinator at Yap Films asking me if I had done TV or film work before. I assumed it was a behind the scenes gig like story boarding or designs. Because of the close proximity of their office to my home I swung in for an interview, and found out the job was for on screen talent. We chatted about the show and they filmed my interview, drew on camera, and a few months later I'm on a plane to Vietnam.

The show's been airing in Canada since June I believe on History Television, but is set to premiere on SyFy September 9 at 10pm.

CV:  How many episodes have been filmed?
We filmed 6 one hour episodes. If it does really well on SyFy I would assume a second season wont be too far behind.

CV: How does the filming schedule affect your drawing schedule?
It was basically like having two very demanding full time jobs. I'd get up at 5 am meet with the crew by 7am and film till dinner. After which I'd draw all night until about 3 am or so. The days were very long to say the least, but I was very enthusiastic about both projects and was energized by my excitement for it. But due to the physical nature of the show I went into what I call "Batman hours" and slept right after dinner from exhaustion and set my alarm anywhere from 1am to 2:30 am to draw before filming. It actually worked out quite well, and since we get a few days off on the road here and there I'd just coup myself up in the hotel room and draw all day. My set up isn't very elaborate, all I need is paper, pencils and my brushes and I was good to go so it made it easy to draw anywhere. But my laptop and the 2 scanners I went through on this trip was crucial and allowed me to deliver pages to my editors and colorist as soon as I finished them. I ate up bandwidth at the hotel like nobodies business. That's whats great about comics, is that you can really work anywhere. All you need is enough hours in the day. Although sometimes I wished there was 30hrs in a day. All things considering we were able to minimize any major delays to the book, ironically enough it was SDCC that wreaked havoc to the schedule. All in all, the lack of sleep was worth it in the end, as I'm very proud of what I've accomplished in both projects.

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CV: Will we see any of your art on the show?
Yes of course! That's the skill set I bring to the team. I tackle on some pretty big art projects on the show as it became a theme to create art that was to scale of the beast that we're creating. We also change up my medium a lot so that it's more visually interesting. It was very challenging for me as I had to adapt very quickly to the different mediums that we used. From giant sand sculptures to big graffiti murals I had to learn on the spot and do the best I could and bring these beasts to life.

CV: Have you come across any actual beasts while filming?
Aside from the animals we've encountered no. The show isn't about us finding these mythical beasts. It's about us using science and biology and bringing them to life. Using today's existing animals and it's habitat, we're able to "build" our beasts in a realistic manner. Basically if these mythical beasts were to exist, we create what that would be like.  Think of us as a foursome of Dr. Frankenstein's. That said I was in a precarious position or two with some lions. I was bummed that it didn't make the cut as it was one of the scariest encounter I had.
CV: Sounds good. We'll be sure to watch it (or set our DVRs) for the premiere this Thursday! Check out this clip from the show: