With the release of Our Bones Dust #1 from Images Comics on December 6th, we are delighted to be joined by writer and artist Ben Stenbeck. Ben’s art has been featured in a number of comics, including Baltimore, Frankenstein Underground, Koshchei and Hellboy.
Could you please tell us a little about yourself?
I’ve been working as a comic artist for about 17 years. Almost all of that time on books with Mike Mignola, Baltimore, Witchfinder, Frankenstein underground, Koshchei, a little bit of Hellboy.Before that i did a lot of various illustration jobs, abit of time at Weta Workshop on lord of the rings. Made a short film, Worked for a few videogame companies. But comics was always my end goal.
Can you tell us about the origins of Our Bones Dust?
It started as an idea for a short story about a sort of feral ‘kid Conan’ back in 2012. It was going to be a short 20 page thing, but the idea grew. Mostly I really wanted to draw this world and characters.
How would you describe Our Bones Dust?
Its a story about a lonely feral kid in a savage, hopeless, post apocalyptic world. All this Kid really knows is survival. Until it’s discovered by an AI archeologist. Who’s not supposed to interfere with the wildlife but does anyway.
What can you tell us about the protagonists of Our Bones Dust?
Its mostly about the Kid and The AI. The kid learned to kill as fast as it learned to walk. The Ai is supposed to be detached and clinical, but shes not at all.
Did you write a full script for Our Bones Dust?
yes, i didn’t expect to, I started with laying out pages, but i was surprised to find that writing full scripts was really helpful. It allowed me to fill in blanks and edit the story way easier than looking over layouts.
You are writing and creating the art for the comic. What part of that process do you enjoy the most: writing, pencils or inking?
Ha, Now that i think of it i don’t think i can describe any of it as enjoyable. Its hard work and full of doubts. I think the best part is seeing it in colour for the first time. When ever Dave Stewart sends colour pages is when it all starts to feel worth the trouble.
Visually, what was your aim for Our Bones Dust?
It was always important to me to have big open vistas and interesting set pieces, I really wanted to sort visually wander around in this world. And to make it look different to the past work Ive done which is why i went with more of a line art style than I usually use.
How did Dave Stewart and Rus Wooton join the team?
Ive been working with Dave for almost as long as I’ve been in the industry so it was a no brainer to get him on board. I wanted something different for the lettering so originally i was going to have a great artist from NZ do it, he wasn’t really a letterer by trade and I thought he would bring something original to it, which he did, but we could sort of both see that it wasn’t right. And someone suggested Rus and Im really glad he came on board, hes got more experience working with Image than I do so hes been a huge help.
What has it been like working with Image Comics, Dave Stewart and Rus Wooton?
Doing your own book is so different to work for hire. There’s a constant barrage of a million little things that need to be done, But it’s gone really smoothly.
How long have you been working on Our Bones Dust?
If we count my first false start it’s been 11 years. But only really about one year doing the actual writing and drawing.
Mike Mignola has created a variant cover for the first issue of Our Bones Dust; how did that come about?
I’ve been working with him for so long it would have felt weird to not have him involved in some way.
Any message for the ComicBuzz readers?
If you like my work in the Mignolaverse I think you will enjoy this even though its very different. And if you don’t know my other work I hope you will give this a try.
We would like to say thank you to Ben for chatting with us. We would like to wish Ben and the whole of the Our Bones Dust team the best of luck with the series.