With all the buzz right now for Skottie Young’s project Middlewest from Image Comics, fans are starting to look ahead to the exclusive covers that will be accompanying the first issue. Fans can expect some absolutely gorgeous variants and exclusives for the series from some of the industry’s finest artists. Comic Burst had the opportunity to sit down with one of those very artists, the extremely talented Alan Quah (DC, Dark Horse, Valiant). Alan is the cover artist for the Big Time Collectibles/Comic Burst exclusive Middlewest #1 variant (500 Print Run).
Comic Burst: Who are your artistic influences
Alan Quah: My biggest influences are masters like Alex Nino, Alfredo Alcala, Sergio Toppi, Bernie Wrightson and Al Williamson. Perhaps from the names you can see that I appreciate art from the 70s, especially those black and white magazines these artists thrived on like Eerie, Creepy, Vampirella, 1984 and 1994. I love the way they interpret light and shadow in an industry when the printing technology was so limited and relied so much on the skill of the artist to make art stand out. These guys were classically trained and were really good at drawing, I am still aspiring to draw like them.
CB: We are ecstatic at how the variant cover for Middlewest #1 turned out. What was your process like, and what inspired it?
AQ: To be honest I had very little material to study on this assignment except for pages that were already solicited. But they were enough for me to come out with a concept. It’s also easy because I am a huge Skottie Young fan and occasionally I like to dabble in my cartoonish style. I also love drawing all kinds of monsters and this cover allowed me to draw a storm monster, so it is right down my alley. Practically a godsend assignment. So the creative process is pretty much industry standard: I start with a few rough ideas for the client to choose from, and then light-box the approved layout on my art board, which is where I spend the bulk of the time doing the grunt work.
CB: Where do you see yourself as an artist in five years?
AQ: I hope to be able to see how bad I suck five years earlier, which means I have levelled up in the art department! I hope I will be a better storyteller and still producing work that I am proud of on a monthly basis.
CB: When will your Middlewest #1 variant cover be available and are any signings planned?
AQ: I believe it will be available in Nov 21 and due to logistics I won't be able to do any appearances or signings for it :/
CB: Do you have additional work with Middlewest planned or other upcoming projects?
AQ: I'll be happy to come back for more if invited, for sure! I'll also be busy in the coming months working on a yet to be announced project with IDW, that will keep me busy until May. In between I will still be drawing some covers here and there. Looking forward to a busy 2019!
Black & White Artwork
Colors by Komikaki Studio featuring Sean Lee
Middlewest #1 by Skottie Young and Jorge Corona comes out Nov 21st 2018. Purchase the Big Time Collectibles/Comic Burst variant cover by Alan Quah.