For years Rob Liefeld has been leaving his mark on the comic industry creating such popular characters as Marvel’s Cable and Deadpool. When he left alongside the other superstar artists to form Image Comics he began unleashing a catalog of characters and titles including Youngblood and Brigade that became extremely popular with fans. Years later he returned to DC Comics and the book that jump started his career Hawk and Dove along with a few other series in the New 52 re-launch sending him back into the spotlight once again with his unique take on these characters. Now he is returning to his own expanded universe of characters including Kaboom, Cybrid, Knightmare and more with the return of Brigade. Love him or hate him the man has no doubt left his mark on the industry and has plenty of loyal fans that support his work which is more evident than ever with his Brigade kickstarter campaign. I had the chance to sit down and speak with the most outspoken man in the industry to talk his career and the return of Brigade.
Bobby: How did you break into the comic industry?
Rob: My story is very similar to so many other artists’ stories I showed my sample pages to an editor and that gave me my first break and opened the door to this great 27 year career! I was 18 and drove 7 hours to San Francisco for a convention in order to share my work with as many publishers as possible, and Marvel comics gave me my big break.
Bobby: You have created so many iconic characters throughout the years. Do you have a particular process when trying to create a new character or to revamp it to evolve with a book?
Rob: I have a name first, that is always the first step, then I furnish the visuals to the name and a character is born. I’ve been very fortunate that so many of these characters have connected with the fans and have been so well received.
Bobby: Not long ago you returned to Hawk and Dove as part of the new 52, which was also one of your earliest books in the industry. When they had come up with the idea to re-launch the book was it something you immediately wanted to be a part of due to your roots?
Rob: Yes, I very much wanted to be a part of it and re-visit the book that kicked it all off for me, Hawk and Dove was the book that got me the New Mutants. Our first proposal was so good and was something I felt could succeed and grab the attention of the fan base; unfortunately we were not able to tell that story. As many have heard the DC 52 was put together at the last minute and was very fractured in its execution. We were constantly being told that we could not do what we bad previously proposed and our entire approach had be one very restricted. Sterling Gates had created a powerful story that built to a huge reveal and return of a major catalyst; I thought this was going to be a major story. Then it was all trashed at the editorial level and the 52 initiative started to careen off course and we had to scramble to appease the new limitations and restrictions. It was definitely not what I or Sterling signed on for. I occasionally refer to that original Sterling outline and imagine how fun that would have been.
Bobby: Of all your creations you have recently announced that you will be doing as Kickstarter to re-launch the awesome Brigade series. What made you choose this series?
Rob: I’ve held Brigade in reserve for very long time. I’ve wanted to re-visit the entire concept and shake up the line up with new and old faces, some more familiar than others. I felt that this was the venue to rejuvenate my enthusiasm for comics and do all varieties of stories. With the New Brigade we have opened up a huge doorway for the most diverse cast of characters I’ve ever worked on. The Kickstarter campaign has given the power to the people and put its fate squarely in their hands. It’s very exciting as the various pledges and commitments of support are expressed.
Bobby: Is the plan to be an ongoing series or just a mini-series?
Rob: This is my regular series now; this is where I will be doing my stories and art.
Bobby: As a big fan I know that with the original series there was a lot of the art done by Marat Mychaels, will he be doing any work on this series or are you handling both writing and art chores?
Rob: I have an arc that is perfect for Marat; I’d love to slot that in after the first arc as he is so identified with this series and Marat is and remains one of my closest friends and an outstanding talent. It will be great to see him illustrate this new team. We will see him on covers before that I assure you!
Bobby: When this one is off and running is there any plans you can reveal about other properties of yours that may be getting the re-launched treatment?
Rob: Brigade offers the opportunity to feature a wide cast that has been dormant for a long time. Cybrid, Knightmare, Kaboom even Avengelyne is in the mix in the near future. This is the primary Extreme showcase!
Bobby: Is there any other upcoming projects you want to promote or tell us about?
Rob: Brigade is at the fore at the moment. I have a great number of trans media projects in the pipeline, tons and tons of art and concepts that have been developed past year but aren’t quite ready to be seen by the public just yet.
Bobby: I have to ask, is there any movements on any of the TV or film projects you are working on?
Rob: Everything is slow, but everything is moving. As every creator knows, it’s very difficult to navigate the landscape of TV and film because there are so many hurdles to clear along the way. It goes so far beyond creative, there are all sorts of budgetary concerns and finance issues and audience concerns by executives. It’s very complicated. Unnecessarily so in many cases.
Bobby: Thanks for taking the time to do this.
To get involved or more information on the Brigade kickstarter campaign head over to http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/649924296/brigade-returns
For more information on Rob Liefeld head over to his official site at http://robliefeldcreations.com/