Chicago Comic-Con 2010: Chris Burnham

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At Chicago Comic-Con, Chris Burnham talked about The Amory Wars, Officer Downe, and his artistic influences.

BROKEN FRONTIER: What led you to become a comics artist?

CHRIS BURNHAM: The first thing that I ever liked in my whole life was Battle of the Planets, the Americanization of Gatchaman. So for my whole life, I’ve just loved robots and spaceships and punching and kicking. And once I realized Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends wasn’t just a cartoon, it was a comic, I was done. From age five or six, it’s been basically all I’ve ever wanted to do.

BF: Is your work on The Amory Wars finished or is there more in the pipeline?

CB: I’m doing all twelve issues. I’m working on issue five right now so I’ve got almost eight more to go. I’ll be on that for a while.

BF: I understand that you’re interested in doing your own comics project. Any updates on this?

CB: I’ve got some good leads, it’s just a matter of me sitting down and doing it. I get a lot of offers to draw someone else’s book and it’s always hard as a freelancer to turn down work. It’s kind of tough to carve out time to do my own thing when there are offers coming from all angles to do someone else’s.

BF: As an up and coming artist doing the convention circuit, what’s your experience been like? Are you loving it, are you feeling overwhelmed by it all?

CB: I’m basically used to it. The thing that sucks is that I never get to eat lunch. That’s the worst part of the con. I look down and, oh shit, it’s 5 o’clock. I forgot to eat. I’ve been pretty lucky and been pretty busy the last couple years. I’ve done pretty well. I starting selling prints so between that and whatever new comic I’ve got out and doing drawings for people, I’ve done well. It’s fun. I like it a lot.

BF: Who are some of your influences as an artist?

CB: Oh, there’s a kajillion of them. Of the ones at the forefront now, Geof Darrow’s pretty obvious. I love Moebius. The last cover I drew for Amory Wars, issue 7, has a heavy Doug Mahnke influence. I love his stuff. I’m not doing it on purpose but that day, I had read three issues of Green Lantern that he’d done so, while drawing, I thought “Oh, that is totally a Mahnke smile.” Going back, John Buscema is probably my foremost, deep influence. You would never know it to look at my stuff but I’ve been working it in for the last 25 years or so. Hopefully, over the next few years I’ll learn to bury all this into the Burnham so it will start to just look like Chris Burnham and not look like a poor man’s Darrow.

BF: Any other upcoming projects you’d like to talk about?

CB: The only other thing, other than Amory Wars, is that I wrote a short story for Hack/Slash Trailers, kind of a Hack/Slash benefit annual coming out in a couple months. I wrote a six page story featuring the villain, Butterface. And hopefully by 2011, Joe Casey and I will get back to Officer Downe  but we probably won’t know more about that for a couple months. Amory Wars is keeping me super busy.

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