Entries in Artists (1)

Friday
Apr262013

Artists on a Mission

 

Kristopher Waddell and Dominic Bercier at Wonder Geeks Activate 2. Photo credit Mike Arnold (http://www.facebook.com/ChocoPhotogro )Life in a creative field should inspire a certain amount of passion and dedication.  That life should instil the drive to push the artist to his limit.  Dominic Bercier and Kristopher Waddell, the main forces behind local comic book publisher Mirror Comics, bring that drive with them when they set their pens to paper to create a new comic book.

The duo are just putting the finishing touches on the last issue of the Mission Arizona trilogy due out this Saturday April 27th.   The story centers around the fight for the soul of one Samuel Risk.  Set against a western back drop, the devil has come to collect his due.

Despite having grown up with comics, Waddell began his career working on TV and film sets creating award winning scripts along the way. However, the man behind the story of Mission Arizona ran up against a wall when his vision would grow too big for what could realistically be accomplished on film. The comic world by contrast allowed him to realize his stories without compromising on anything.

“The thing that I love about comic books is that I can create a $300 million film in a 23 page script,” Waddell says. “I just can’t justify spending 10 – 2ok on an indie film, working within restrictions, when I can create and play in much bigger worlds for a fraction of the cost.”

Meanwhile, Bercier’s life in the industry began when he managed to meet one of his major influences.  Like Waddell, Bercier grew up with comics. Artists like Jim Lee, Neal Adams and Arthur Adams all left their marks on him.

“I grew up on comics so they all influenced me,” Bercier says.

His first major push into the industry came from an encounter with another one of his major influences.  Back in 1996, Bercier presented some of his work to David McKean, who was impressed with Bercier’s skill.  So much so that he believed Bercier had the skill to become a fantastic artist if he went to art school. Bercier took him up on that advice.

He began working for film studios like Dreamworks and Nelvana after leaving school.  He’d create the ink drawings and paintings for their films.  Later, he would pencil the backgrounds for comics published by Dark Horse and Image.  This left him unfulfilled since he had no identity while working for them.  

“Still, I was full of piss and vinegar, and looked forward to striking out on my own, which I have finally done with Mirror Comics,” Bercier says.

He kept drawing and creating comics in the meantime. It was all he could think about.

mission arizona 1 version 2During that time Waddell created a story he entered for the ‘Who wants to create a super heroine’ contest with Image/Shadowline. Though his idea Challenger garnered a second place standing in the contest, it was eventually turned down. Undeterred, Waddell simply finished the book with artist Veronica Fish.

Things finally began coming together during a comic convention in Ottawa. There Bercier first came in contact with Waddell.  The two kept in touch.  When Bercier co-founded Mirror Comics with Allan Isfan in 2010, Waddell quickly got in contact with him.  Waddell pitched Challenger to them not only to have it published but also to join the company in a larger capacity.  Bercier had no qualms with that.

“It was also easy to ask Kris to join us as editor-in-chief,” Bercier says. “He is so enthusiastic about comics.”

That enthusiasm will be on display once again when the last of the Mission Arizona trilogy hits the stands this Saturday.  The duo threw everything they had into this series.  Bercier even went so far as to experiment with colour with the series. It starts off with a black and white first issue which was meant to convey the hell that the protagonist was living. It progresses neatly into the full colour finale.

The duo don’t plan to stop there.  2013 promises to be a huge year for Mirror Comics with loads of new comics lined up.

“We have our focus, great stories and great artwork, but it’s taking us in many directions in 2013,” Bercier says. “You’ll see!” 

Bercier and Waddell will be on hand for the launch of Mission Arizona #3 at the Comic Book Shoppe on Bank Street on April the 27th.  On April 28th, it will also be available at the Comic Book Shoppe on Clyde St.