IMAGE COMICS: What is it about these two sets of pages that works for you?
TONI INFANTE: Those two scenes are very important for our story: they're where the reader can get some important answers and new questions. For that reason, those pages needed to be full of drama and give lots of information beyond the dialogue. The past and present storylines blend together here and everything begins to make sense.
BRIAN BUCCELLATO: From a narrative perspective, this is a pivotal point in Travis's story. He's an orphan who has gone his whole life wishing that he knew where he came from. And finally, after twenty-five years, the door to those answers opens. Unfortunately for him, it's a door he can't ever close. And in the flashback we see his mother Vanessa about to give birth to him. I chose those pages because it's LITERALLY where his life begins and I wanted people to see just how creepy that beginning was.
As far as Toni's art, these pages are full of emotion and character. He is an amazing storyteller, so ALL of his pages are cinematic and full of emotion...but these pages in particular blend exposition and art as well as any that we've collaborated on.
IC: What's Travis feeling at this point in the story? How are things shaking out for him?
INFANTE: What I love about Travis is that he's not a hero or an anti-hero. Brian created a character with his own contradictions, and that means we can feel like he's alive. At this point, Travis has just begun his journey to find answers, and despite the fact that he makes some new "friends," he still has to distrust everyone. The search for his own roots is affecting his whole life and shaking the pillars of his social life. He begins to see himself not as the center of the world but as a piece of a puzzle, losing control of his own life in the process, which really scares him.
BUCCELLATO: Absolutely. This is the moment when he crosses the threshold and learns some truths about his past. And honestly, it's overwhelming for him—which is why he gets out of the car. He has lived for so long as a victim to his circumstances that he doesn't know how to handle actually getting answers to the questions that have defined him.
IC: Toni, when you were drawing these pages, what were you most trying to express in your art? What did you want to make sure the reader felt?
INFANTE: For me, the feelings of the characters, portraying their emotions and reactions, are always the main concern, not only by way of their facial expresion but also carefully studying their body language. I saw a documentary where Naoki Urasawa says that the most important thing is the idea that "you are not drawing a picture" but projecting a perfomance.
So in these particular scenes, I tried to make clear for the reader the confusion, the permanent perplexedness, of Travis with every new revelation. He has problems on every front, from his past to his job to his girlfriend, and he is completely lost. This stands in contrast with the previous scenes featuring David, and with Travis from the beginning of the story, who was able to confront anything with his fists.
BUCCELLATO: I have to add that it's really a pleasure to hear Toni talk about Travis in these terms. He TRULY understands our protagonist and the story we are trying to tell...and it shows in every single page. You are awesome, Toni!