True Blue for “TRUE BLOOD,” Part Two

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Originally published at on April 10, 2011

Continuing our exclusive interview with TRUE BLOOD: TAINTED LOVE artist Joe Corroney, begun here

FANGORIA: How do you keep your style and stamp on the characters when the world is already formed?

JOE CORRONEY: I’m more or less taking the same approach with TRUE BLOOD as I’ve done with my art for other well-known, licensed properties I’ve worked on before this, whether it’s been STAR WARS, DOCTOR WHO or whatever else. I have different techniques I can work in, but I only know how to draw one way, which is my way honestly. I’ve always drawn in a high contrast, graphic approach with an attention to realistic detail in my other comic book art. It’s the same approach I take with my cover art I create with [colorist] Brian Miller actually. The key for me on TRUE BLOOD is relying on what’s been working for me so far already in my style, while also staying true to the source material as much as possible.

FANG: In TRUE BLOOD: TAINTED LOVE #1, the script by Marc Andreyko and Michael McMillian is very dialogue-driven and runs smoothly page by page. Is that difficult as an artist to keep the conversations interesting and flowing? 

CORRONEY: It can actually be a fun challenge to keep the visuals compelling when I’m essentially drawing a scene that could be a lot of talking heads from panel to panel. All artists might struggle from time to time with keeping the art exciting with dialogue heavy scenes. With Stephen handling the rough layouts though, he’s keeping the camera angles interesting and the shots lively for me. I’m not really adhering to his layouts 100 percent either honestly, as excellent as they are. In some shots I am, but in other cases I’m using his rough sketches as a springboard and going with different angles or pushing the depth of shots differently. I enjoy drawing some of the heavy exposition pages though; it can be a nice break from the action and I can focus on the likenesses even more, which is fun from a fan standpoint. 

FANG: The IDW comic follows its own storyline, but stays close enough to the HBO show itself. Does watching the TRUE BLOOD on TV become integral to the portrayal of the characters, such as Sookie, Eric and Bill?

CORRONEY: It’s absolutely integral. I don’t think I’d be getting to draw this much TRUE BLOOD artwork if I wasn’t intimately familiar with the material and a fan of the show. Just drawing from screenshots or promotional images that an artist might find online isn’t enough. You really have to watch the show to really get the tone, the overall vibe and energy to it. 

I’ve seen every episode multiple times, thanks to reruns on HBO and my DVDs of course, and I love picking up on all the nuances too. It could be how Sookie crosses her arms in a stubborn pose, maybe how Bill leans against a wall, the look of Jessica’s lips when she’s pouting, or the way Eric seems to stride across a room with a certain arrogance, or shoot a glowering look over his shoulder. I always try to work these kinds of details in to my artwork whenever I can.

FANG: What can readers expect from the next issues of TAINTED LOVE?

CORRONEY: The first issue is mostly all setup for the rest of the series, but with lots of great character moments too. With issue two, the action really kicks in to gear and all hell breaks loose. And in true TRUE BLOOD fashion, things just keep getting worse for the characters every issue from there. We’ll see them dealing with the drama and the horrific situation that’s unfolding in all of their own unique ways, but the originality of this particular story is what makes this comic book series so exciting. Fans will see these characters we all know and love react to a totally unique situation that’s scary and exciting, but still rings true to the roots of the TV series. 

FANG: What are you working on now?

CORRONEY: Right now I’m drawing issue #5 of TAINTED LOVE, and I have some small FARSCAPE and STAR WARS projects in the pipeline later, but I’m just focusing all my energy on TRUE BLOOD for the time being. I’m hoping IDW and HBO keep me busy with TRUE BLOOD beyond this current series, so we’ll see what happens.

FANG: Where can an audience find info or more about your artwork?

CORRONEY: Everyone can see what I’m up to, all of my past and current projects, including my TRUE BLOOD artwork, at my official website. They can also keep up with my latest project news and see artwork previews at my Joe Corroney fan page on Facebook too.