Exclusive - Ten Questions to Penciller Christopher Jones - artist on Kolchak #3 - "Fever Pitch" (8/28/02)

Christopher Jones was kinda enough to take time out of his schedule and grant us a brief interview concerning his work on Moonstone's "Fever Pitch."

1) How did you get started in the artist industry?
Christopher: I've been drawing since I was a kid and my first professional work was on a book for Eternity Comics called Street Heroes 2005 with writer Steven Jones. 2005 sounded a lot more futuristic back in 1989 than it does now. It still wasn't a great title, but it sounded more futuristic. I started working for DC Comics several years ago starting with fill-ins on the short lived Young Heroes in Love and moving on to various Justice League projects including my recent work on Justice League Adventures.

2) What was your first experience with Kolchak?
Christopher: I remember seeing Kolchak: The Night Stalker reruns on late night TV when I was a kid. At the time I wasn't old and sophisticated enough to realize how lame the monster costumes were or how formulaic the plots were. I just knew I liked Kolchak and thought it was a cool monster show. My adult opinion is that while the series does suffer from problems, the charm and charisma of the Kolchak character carries it through, and the original TV movie of The Night Stalker with the vampire in Las Vegas is just brilliant.

3) How did you become associated with working on Moonstone on Kolchak
Christopher: I found out from inker Barb Schultz that Moonstone was looking for artists for Kolchak projects and jumped at the chance to work on the character.

4) For those unfamiliar with the job of a comic book penciller, what was the process you basically followed for bringing “Fever Pitch” to life? Script, drawing, inking, lettering, etc.?
Christopher: As the penciller I am given a script that describes the action and dialog of the comic, often using terminology to describe the visuals similar to what you'd find in a movie script. It's then up to me to decide how to lay out all the panels of the page and compose the artwork within each panel, making sure to tell the story clearly and allow room for the captions and dialog called for in the script.

Once I've finished the artwork, it goes on to other individuals to be inked, lettered, and colored.

5) How did you "bone up" on doing Kolchak and his cast of characters?
Stefan: I re-watched the original Night Stalker movie and read up on the Night Stalker companion book by Mark Dawidziak.

6) What was your inspiration or basis for creating the look of new characters (Carl’s unnamed female co-worker, Captain Murray, Dr. Kinatu)?
Christopher: I often pick an actor or a personal friend to model characters on. It gives me something to latch onto for drawing a new character by "casting" them this way. On a book based on a television show like this one, it also makes sure that original characters blend in well with the existing characters who are modeled on real people. Usually the script gives a pretty good idea of what the characters look like, so that gives me parameters to work within.

7) Did working on any of your previous projects help when drawing "Fever Pitch"? If so, how?
Christopher: I've done a pretty wide variety of material since starting in this field. Kolchak has less action and is more dialog and character driven than a lot of superhero material, and needs to look more like the real world. Thankfully I had done a lot of non-superhero work that had me well-practiced for that kind of material.

8) What was the hardest thing about drawing "Fever Pitch"?
Christopher: I'd say the biggest challenge in doing my Kolchak story was striking a balance between capturing the look of the TV show through photo-realism and trying to keep the pages looking as fluid and dynamic as possible. This type of book can often end up looking very stiff, and I wanted to avoid that. I think I succeeded pretty well.

9) What was the easiest about drawing "Fever Pitch"?
Christopher: I love doing stories with a lot of mood and atmosphere. Getting to do all the scenes creeping around at night with a sense of looming horror was a blast. It's something I'd love to do more of.

10) Do you plan to do any future work on Kolchak for Moonstone?
Christopher: I'd enjoy revisiting Carl Kolchak and his dark little world. He's one of the great characters and that's always fun to draw.

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For more information on Christopher Jones and his work, check out his home page. Anyone interested in purchasing original art pages from "Fever Pitch" can contact him there as well.

Kolchak Main Page