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DF Interview: Scott Kolins is a one-man band on Adam.3
By Byron Brewer
Fresh from the announcements of last weekend’s Emerald City Comic Con’s Dark Horse Builds Characters panel, Scott Kolins is making his solo series debut with Adam.3. Evoking imagery from Silver Age super science to notes from pulp magazines, Kolins is welcoming the opportunity to take all the creative reins and doing a one-man show providing the script, art and coloring.
Dynamic Forces was anxious to find out about this book, so we pinned the talented Kolins right below Seattle’s Space Needle and got these facts from the creator.
Dynamic Forces: First, Scott, let me congratulate you on your first SOLO series. How does that feel?
Scott Kolins: Having Adam.3 finally come out after all these years of working and fretting about it – and then having doubts it would actually happen – after all these years – it feels fantastic! Couldn’t be better. Cloud nine.
DF: You are most associated with your unique brand of illustration. How will it be taking up the writing mantle on Adam.3 as well? AND coloring?
Scott Kolins: I’ve written a bunch of books at DC: Solomon Grundy, Citizen Cold, Magog and JSA, Green Lantern, Reverse Flash and Batman – so I have a bit of practice at it now. Geoff Johns was instrumental in my learning that part of the craft and his support has meant the world to me – hoping I can measure up to his excellence. That said – creating a new book from the ground up – is a whole new level. Figuring out the day to day reality of the landscape and the characters’ lives so it can be simply implied as we get to the action and cool stuff – how the plots and subplots can weave together and be told in a fast pace – that’s the magic. I don’t believe in taking your time and slowing things down. This series is going to cover enough story that most books would take 10 or more issues to tell. Cut all the needless scenes. And I have more than 50 issues of story for this book – if it can continue. We start on one island – but the story eventually can become global and actually involve the whole galaxy! And yes, on top of all that – I’m slow at coloring! (laughs)
DF: Tell us the origin of this project, how you created it and how it came to be part of Dark Horse’s ECCC announcements.
Scott Kolins: I first drew Adam in high school – but he was very different. More like a third cousin of Superman or Shazam Captain Marvel. I used to create characters every day with my friends. We’d all do it, but years later I still really liked the name and a couple aspects of the costume I created. So after years of art training and tons of new influences I decided to readdress him and see if I could find something better. Over the next years I came to the [current design]. And while I was doing that I played with story ideas. What would I want this guy to fight? Who would be his friends? Where would he live? That all came into place and I had scripts and about ½ an issue of art ready to show people. I brought it to Dark Horse a couple years ago. We talked and almost had the deal ready then but the timing was wrong. And after Past Aways got under way I approached Dark Horse Comics about Adam.3 again. Now the time was right!
DF: From your Facebook page: “… A sci-fi jungle comic …”? Explain, sir.
Scott Kolins: There’s science fiction involved while we are obviously in a primordial landscape. The island looks like native Hawaii – but Adam has a companion floating computer orb named Port. Adam’s home is a silvery clean domed treehouse and most of his friends are all the animals on the island. Adam talks with animals. They talk back. How can that happen? Plus our villain comes from space!
DF: Tell us about the storyline: protagonists, big-bads, etc.
Scott Kolins: Adam is an old school good guy – heart of gold but not gentle with danger. He’ll help a fallen hurt deer, but will also punch a rabid bear to get its attention. Adam will have some extra abilities as the series grows but right from the start he’s pretty dang tough. Adam’s wife is Sky. She will not be a “damsel in distress” – though she’s very much a pacifist. Beo is Adam’s son who is very capable himself – you’ll see him take on a great white shark. But Adam and his son have big issues which will be explained in the book. In fact Beo is very central to the whole story. I don’t want to give away who or what the monster is yet, but I’ve shown it to select few and they smiled from ear to ear. I love drawing this bad guy. There’s also a secret character that has a piece of this story and involves Adam directly. Oh and there’s Mojo – the family “pet” for lack of a better term. There’s so much to Mojo I can’t explain here – but just know he’s big, fluffy and my daughter desperately wants a plush Mojo toy. (laughs)
DF: Mixing Kirby science fiction with Burroughs’ primordial landscapes is an awesome concept, but it does give you some big shoes to fill. Are these two inspirations for you, and who are some others?
Scott Kolins: I’m absolutely inspired by Burroughs and Kirby – though I’m not drawing Kirby tech or drawing tons of gorillas or having Adam learn the alphabet. The Kirby influence is keeping things larger than life and the Burroughs is more the feel of nature – beauty and the danger. Maybe a bit more Jack London mixed with Burroughs. Other influences are the pacing of Barry Windsor’s Smith’s Weapon X or the pop originality of John Byrne’s Alpha Flight. It’s funny – most of my time at Marvel or DC, I felt like the respected oddball. Flash was the only time I really felt truly accepted. Now at Dark Horse I still feel a little odd in a different way –this time I feel way more mainstream than the other guys there. We get along great, but I don’t have tattoos! Seriously, I am so happy with Dark Horse Comics for this opportunity – that is inspiring!
DF: Also from your FB page: A mention of my favorite super-show, The Herculoids, which I always thought would make a fine comic! OK, in all seriousness: Gloop or Gleep?
Scott Kolins: I loved them all. Though Igoo was my guy. [DF Note: Mine too!] That show was brilliant. That Herculoids part connects with the Kirby influence. It’s the part that helps me not get bogged down with trivial stuff. It’s important to know what Adam eats for lunch or what music he likes – but that stuff doesn’t really impact the story. It’s good texture for the background but nothing to stress over. What’s more important is that Adam flies on a giant eagle named Snowcap! [DF Note: Zok?]
DF: How will Artist Scott Kolins, usually in command, cooperate and compromise with newly-arrived Writer Scott Kolins on this project?
Scott Kolins: Ha! Wish me luck! We argue all the time. He’s a real jerk! So temperamental! I’m hoping we can ride out the tantrums and create a working relationship that’s mutually beneficial. Fingers crossed!
Dynamic Forces would like to thank Scott Kolins for taking time from his busy schedule to answer our questions. Adam.3 #1 from Dark Horse Comics hits shelves in August!
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