With the release of Nottingham #6 this week from Mad Cave Studios, we are delighted to be joined by writer David Hazan, artist Shane Connery Volk, and colourist Luca Romano.
Hello David, Shane and Luca, we are so delighted to have you all here with us today. It’s great that we chat with you all about your comic Nottingham.
The Robin Hood legend has been used in a variety of different media over the years. Do you have a favourite from these versions?
David: My favourite would have to be the BBC TV version. It’s fun and campy in all the right ways, but doesn’t forget to tell an intriguing story and it gives the characters in the legend a lot of layers and nuance.
Shane: SCV- The Disney animated version is my favourite! I watched it so much as a kid and it’s still so good!
Luca: Hard to pick between the classic Disney and Mel brook’s version! Nostalgia wise I’ll have to go with the latter because back in my teens I could quote all the Italian dub by heart. Now that I think about it, I should check out the original! Maybe the 6th, to celebrate the release day?
For anyone who has missed the first few issues of Nottingham, what can you tell us about the series so far?
David: Our series takes the Robin Hood mythos and turns it on his head. We follow the Sheriff of Nottingham as he hunts down a serial killer who has been murdering Nottinghamshire’s tax collectors. Power plays, treachery, blood and anguish follow until finally the identity of the leader of the brutal Merry Men, previously only known as “Hood”, is revealed. The usual suspects, like Maid Marian, Friar Tuck, Little John, Will Scarlet and Alan a Dale are all there…but they’re not quite as you remember them.
Shane: Get ready for big action, and unexpected twists!
David, as a writer, what is it about the Robin Hood legend that makes you want to write about these characters in this world?
The characters are so flexible and dynamic, and are really very fun to write. They fit into a noir so easily, really. Beyond that, the mythos itself has a universality that’s stood the test of time. The jolly green hero has been adapted more times than I can count and it’s been an honour to count myself as one of those that people have so wholeheartedly embraced.
Shane, artistically has it been a challenge to illustrate Nottingham?
Absolutely! This series is everything I’ve wanted as a new comic book artist. It never gives me time to coast. David’s story is always challenging me and stretching me to my limits. The whole team has also allowed me to go places and try new things with my art which is so amazing. Nothing about this series is ever playing it safe and I absolutely love it!
Luca, what has it been like working on the series so far, and how long does it take you to complete an issue?
Truly a treat! David and Shane are both a pleasure and honor to work with: I’ve always been very outspoken in my appreciation for their skills because they damn deserve it. Also, I’ve been given full reign on the color choices since day 1, so I’ve been able to pour my heart into these pages with unbridled joy. Bless Brian and Mad Cave for this trust, that I hope was rewarded by the final outcome. As for how long an issue takes: about a month. I’m not a fast painter to start with, and when you add to that the amount of detail on the pages and the rendering style it quickly escalates.
David, what had the feedback been like for Nottingham?
Overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic, which is beyond our wildest expectations for a first book. After selling out so many printings and having people fighting to get hold of our books…I’m really hoping we can really live up to the hype and give the people a satisfying second arc that they will be equally as excited for.
Shane, as Nottingham is an indie comic, how important is pre-ordering and word of mouth for any indie comic?
It’s incredibly important. Not only to ensure that we get enough orders to keep making issues, but in the case of Nottingham, it’s been selling out so fast that you need to pre-order to make sure you don’t miss out! We have been so fortunate with the response to the series and can’t thank our fans enough!!
Luca, do you have a favourite Nottingham cover; that you worked on?
I kinda want to cheat the question and pick all volume 2 covers as they form a veritable tapestry from #6 to #10. Shane really knocked it off the park with that idea, that’s absolutely going to be displayed in my studio as a single 133x40cm pvc panel. It’s glorious. If we’re going for single issues: #1 original is too iconic to pass, with #4 variant with our mean boy Little John being a close second!
Issue six of Nottingham is coming out on April 6th; what can you tell us about the issue?
David: Our second arc finds our Sheriff once again mired in between the clashing political forces of 12th Century England. King Richard has been kidnapped and the Sheriff has been strongarmed into delivering the ransom to Rome, on pain of death. Prince John and King Phillip of France will stop at nothing to undermine the mission, so the Sheriff must join forces with the one man he knows will ensure the Lionheart’s safety at any cost…Robin Hood. Meanwhile, at home in Nottingham, Marian seizes an opportunity while the Sheriff is away…
Shane: We’ve given Vol. 2 everything we’ve got!
Any message for the ComicBuzz readers?
David: To those of you who have picked up Nottingham – thank you from the bottom of our hearts. To those who are thinking of it, preorder now! We don’t want you to miss out and that seemed to be the theme of last year.
Luca: Bring a raincoat, and don’t step on the pools of blood.
We would like to say thank you to David, Shane and Luca for sitting and chatting with us.