I recently visited the 2018 Denver Comic-Con and had the chance to sit down with comic art legend David Finch (CyberForce, Avengers: Disassembled, Ultimatum, Batman: The Dark Knight) and his equally talented wife, Meredith (Grimm Fairy Tales, Wonder Woman: New 52, Rose), to discuss their take on the comic book industry, current projects, and juggling a marriage with a comics career.
How did you guys meet?
M – We met online through Lava Life.
D – Which I don’t even think is around anymore, but you know what, I’m not a guy who walks up to girls at a bar and says, ‘Hey, how’s it going?’ So yeah, I just got lucky. It just worked out, and I met somebody that is smart, good, and good for me.
Meredith, you were introduced to the comic world through David. Is that right?
M – That’s right. He had pushed comics at me for a long time and, I think, because the first comic he gave me was the ‘New Avengers: Disassembled’ art of She-Hulk tearing the Vision apart, I was pretty convinced that comics weren’t for me.
D – I totally thought she’d be impressed, but NO.
M – So, it took a long time after that for me to be willing to even open a comic and look at it.
I think you mentioned this story in a panel you were on earlier in the convention. Was that the art that David showed you on your first date together?
M – Yes.
D – That was it. I don’t remember if it was the single issue or the trade paperback or whatever but, of course, it opened right up to the most violent page in the book. (laughs)
M – …and my parents were like, ‘Are you sure you want to date this guy?’
D – That was not the first comic [her parents] saw, though. The first comic they saw was on Moon Knight. It was issue 2, and Moon Knight takes his little moon… I don’t even know what they’re called…
M – His crescents…
D – Yeah, his ‘throwy things’, thank you, and he cuts Bushman’s face off, and he holds it up to the moon, and it’s all bloody and so… that was the first issue they saw… so yeah.
You mentioned at a panel how you would love to do a hyper-violent Wolverine comic. What can you tell me about that?
D – Right. Wouldn’t that be awesome?! I’ve got to tell you, I might be pretty dumb most of the time, but I think that people over think this s*** so much. Just like, make Wolverine ridiculously violent. If you want to have a story, then fine, but it’s not necessary. Just let him loose!
So Meredith, what was the moment that you finally decided to join the comic book community?
M – I don’t think it was one specific moment… It might have been that moment with Lex Luthor and Bizarro in ‘Forever Evil.’ It was such a poignant, emotional connection between the two of them and I thought, ‘Oh… comics can be this.’ That, I think, was the moment where I was like, ‘Maybe comics are for me.’
Recently, David, you’ve moved back to Image, but you can’t talk about the project. Is that right?
D – Yeah, just recently. It kills me. I wish I could tell you all about it. I’m excited about it.
Can you tell me, whatever it is, is it a graphic novel or is it a series?
D – It’s kind of not my department, really, so I just I’m just drawing the pictures. That’s all I know, but I’m putting everything I have into it. That’s for sure.
Is it an original character or something we’ve seen before?
D – It’s all original. (smiles)
That’s exciting. Similarly, Meredith, you have an original property titled ‘Rose’ at Image as well.
M – Yeah, that’s right. Issue 12 came out this week.
What are some things to look forward to, maybe tonally, in the upcoming story for ‘Rose’?
M – Well, I think the last twelve issues have really been building toward that fight that’s been meaning to happen between Rose and Drucilla, and so issue 12 sort of teases a bit of a fight and then 13, 14, and 15 I just turned Ig loose, and he’s so great at doing fight scene artwork. It’s more of a quiet story usually. So, you’re going to start to get the action scenes happening and get that connection that’s been teased with Rose and Thorn, but, because they got separated, you didn’t get. I think the next 5 or 6 issues will be the most jam-packed of the series.
David, being the hyper-action guy, did you have any input on that one?
D – Oh, no. I mean, in the sense that I read it and said, ‘that sounds awesome,’ but no. She writes great action scenes on her own.
…like in Wonder Woman.
D – Exactly. It was a little shaky here and there starting. Like in the first book, there were a few things where I’d say, ‘No, you should maybe try it this way.’ But really, she does it well.
Speaking of Wonder Woman, there was a lot of controversy surrounding the design change of her costume when you guys started working on her story. Was there any struggle there between the two of you in reference to the art direction or coming to a final decision together?
M – No. I gave him suggestions and ideas, and then he drew a bunch of different versions of a suit for her. As soon as I saw that one, we both were like, ‘This is the one.’ It just made so much sense.
So in general, was working together an easy process for you, or were there any disagreements?
M – (chuckles) Well, I’ve been telling him what to do for the last 12 years, so…
D – It’s true. (laughs)
M – It was very seamless. There was no fighting or arguing about…
D – Well, that’s not entirely true, but close enough. There was nothing big, really. We really didn’t fight about it much at all. I know that the script is whatever process it is but not with me. It’s with editorial, making sure that it fit the vision that Meredith had for the character, but also DC’s vision of what they want for Wonder Woman. Anytime you work on a character that’s so iconic, and a company is so protective over it, there’s going to be some back and forth. There was that in the beginning, but once we were going, then we were just going through [the motions].
So do you guys look forward to working together again in the future?
M – Oh, I think there will definitely be another project that we’ll work on. It’s just a question, right now, of timing of when I’m available and when he’s available and having those two things aligned at the right moment. We do have ideas that we talk about what we’d like to do.
D – It’s somewhat easier for [Meredith] to do a couple things at once. I can only do one thing at a time, but Meredith is not only writing comics, but we also have kids and bills. If I was left to my own devices, we would starve. (chuckles) So yeah, there’s a lot of things. We’ve got a lot of responsibilities.
So how have either of you seen the comic book industry change and can you speak to the future of comic books?
D – I sure don’t know where we’re going, but I would say that, from my perspective, the biggest change is that, when I came in, it was really an artist industry, and it’s really become much more of a writer’s industry. While I think that’s good because when I read a comic I want it to have a great story, and that really is number one, I think that I’d really like to see a little more emphasis on artists again. I think we’ve kind of lost that a bit, and frankly, my opinion is that one thing comics have that nothing else has is the artwork, you know? The movies are incredible, but there’s something individual and special about a world created by one artist, or three artists (penciller, inker, and colorist), and you really don’t get that anywhere else. I think we’re overlooking that. Some of the new artists coming into the business right now are incredible, and I just don’t think that they’re getting the kind of promotion they should be getting. It’s intimidating. I’ve been doing this for a long, long time, and I think, ‘Oh man, I have to compete with this guy now?!’
With your legacy, I imagine you inspired many of those up and coming artists to join the industry.
D – I think a few, and that’s incredibly gratifying. I don’t even know what to say about that. There are artists, you know… I could give you a big, long list… Adam Kubert is a huge inspiration for me, so to be that for someone else is… (gives humbled expression).
THANK YOU to David and Meredith Finch for taking time out of their schedules to speak with me. I wish them all the best and look forward to what they have in store for us in the future. So, tell us what you think! What could David’s new project with Image be? Will we ever get to see the hyper-violent Finch version of Wolverine? Are you looking forward to the next explosive chapter of ‘Rose’? Who are some of your favorite new artists? Comment and Speculate below!!
Keep your eyes peeled for Rose: Volume 2 Trade Paperback, hitting the shelves in August!