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DF Interview: Brian Haberlin brings forth soul-destroying magic – and some rad tats – in ‘The Marked’
By Byron Brewer
The Marked may look like cool young influencers, but beneath the designer clothes, their bodies are tattooed with the magical glyphs of an ancient order that secretly protects the world against evil forces. With no new occult threats, The Marked use their tattooed powers solely for the pursuit of pleasure until a young woman called Liza creates a dangerous new form of Hybrid Sorcery. The party is over for The Marked.
You’ll believe in magic—terrifying, horrific magic – when you pick up The Marked, from co-writers Brian Haberlin and David Hine, the former of whom also handles the art chores. DF sat down with Brian Haberlin to discuss this unique series.
Dynamic Forces: Brian, before we explore your new ongoing series from Image Comics, The Marked, how does it feel to be reunited with your buddy from your hit book Sonata, David Hine?
Brian Haberlin: It’s not so much a reuniting…David’s gonna be my co-writing wing man for a while. We had a great time working on Spawn together and on Sonata. The Marked was planned when I first approached him a year ago to be part of my collaboration team.
DF: What is it about working with David that seems to bring out the best in the both of you? David will be co-writer on The Marked with you handling the art, correct? Can you briefly talk about that creative process?
Brian Haberlin: Yes, David on co-writing and me on art. On Sonata and The Marked I had the initial concepts. Then David and I will start bouncing around that with some early art via Skype. His ideas…my ideas…the best one wins and that’s what we continue with. The other good thing about working with David is he’s also a penciller/inker so he understands page design and sequential storytelling flow better than just a pure writer.
DF: So let’s talk about The Marked! Tell readers the inspiration behind this series, and how does it differ from some of your past titles like Aria and The Wicked?
Brian Haberlin: It all sort of just comes from the unconscious…for some reason I’ve been doing a lot of painting and sketching of tattooed women. And I liked doing them so…time to think of a story they might fit into so I can do more…witches that have been around for a very long time protecting us from what we cannot see using spells or what we call glyphs that are inscribed on them…sort of making themselves magical items and The Marked was born! In Aria, Kildare’s job was to more or less keep the balance of power between our realm and the realm of Faerie. With The Wicked, Chance’s role was to undo the deal with the devil. They are all in this universe and I’m sure you can see how they might interact.
DF: A little bat told me we may, just MAY, see some of your characters from previous series enter this ongoing? Can you volunteer any clues towards that, sir?
Brian Haberlin: Will absolutely happen. But the first story arc in The Marked will clearly focus on The Marked and their redemption.
DF: Who are The Marked, and what can you tell us about the magical glyphs with which their bodies are tattooed?
Brian Haberlin: The glyphs are inscribed by specialist Marked…they themselves don’t use magic, they only inscribe glyphs onto Marked, a skill passed down for countless generations. The powers and glyphs each Marked get are determined by their inner self…the true aspects of the life force or soul.
There, however, is a difference between normal everyday tattoos and glyphs. Most Marked bare normal tattoos as well as glyphs. The glyphs are the true magical power and are not visible until they are activated. For little magic they can immediately be used…but for high powered magic they must be charged…made visible for a time then let loose. And no matter what, if you charge a glyph it has to be used one way or the other...that can add a wrinkle or two to a situation.
DF: Who is Liza? What does her entrance into this bizarre story mean for other protagonists, and for the world David and you are creating?
Brian Haberlin: Liza is young, brash, brilliant, a once-in-a-generation talent…and thinks she can bring The Marked magic up a level with new ideas and concepts. She’s sort of a magical disruptor.
DF: “Hybrid Sorcery”? ‘Splain.
Brian Haberlin: The blending of technology and magic…not giving any more than that away.
DF: Brian, what other projects current or near-future can you tell readers about?
Brian Haberlin: There is a very big book that I’m part of that I can’t talk about…a pretty high numbered issue…but I can’t talk about that. (winks)
Well, I have Sonata, The Marked, Fury Formula (will debut in France before U.S.) and a new line of art education HOW TO books that start in November with augmented reality so when you see the step by step drawing on the page you hold your device to that page and you get the artist in real-time walking you through the process and apps to use for drawing reference. They will be the most advanced art educational books on the market and I have a slew of my talented buddies being part of it like Whilce Portacio, Philip Tan, Jay Anacleto, just to name a few.
Dynamic Forces would like to thank Brian Haberlin for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions. The Marked #1 from Image Comics hits stores on Oct. 16th!
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STONE: THE AWAKENING #1 - SIGNED BY BRIAN HABERLIN
NEW! 1. 01/27/2020 - ERIK BURNHAM
2. 01/23/2020 - HEATHER ANTOS
3. 01/20/2020 - ROB GUILLORY
4. 01/17/2020 - DANIEL H. WILSON
5. 01/14/2020 - JON TSUEI