Green Valley: Landis & Camuncoli Get Medieval [Interview]
October 6, 2016
IMAGE COMICS: Max, GREEN VALLEY features four knights on a mission. What separates GREEN VALLEY from most feudal fantasy tales?
MAX LANDIS: I think it's worth knowing that this is not a fantasy. This is a story about four friends, a mistake they made, the impact it had on their lives, their too-late attempt at redemption, and the unlikely and terrible things they discover therein.
By the end of the first issue, I guarantee no reader will have even a faint glimmer of the overall arc of the story. Even when you've pinned down what's "happening" in GREEN VALLEY, you still have surprises coming. You will not see the full picture until the last page of the last issue.
IC: What is it that fascinates you most about a feudal setting like the one in GREEN VALLEY?
GIUSEPPE CAMUNCOLI: The chance of doing something completely different from what I've done so far. I had never drawn anything like this, but when I was a kid I was a huge fan of J.R.R. Tolkien's saga (especially The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings) and I also became a RPG player, mostly in fantasy settings. So it feels good to illustrate such a cool story with this kind of imagery. It's almost like going back to my teenage years in some sweet and indulgent way, but at the same time it feels like that innocence is lost and gone. And I really hope this shows in the book.
IC: Which knight surprised you the most as you wrote their adventures? Was there one who kept demanding more and more screen time?
LANDIS: GREEN VALLEY, structurally, was one of my more precise stories. I knew where each person fit, very snugly, so while I was writing I had the rare joy of feeling more like an engineer than a painter. It was very exciting to watch the mechanics work, you know, the sort of "gears" of the story turning in lockstep. So not many surprises, but each knight represents something different to me, so they were all a joy to write.
IC: Can you tell us a little about your approach to drawing GREEN VALLEY? The first issue ranges from comedic to intense, and the colors over your art give everything a bright, painted, and semi-realistic feel. How do you want GREEN VALLEY to look?
CAMUNCOLI: The best that I can. Any time I approach anything, as an artist and a storyteller, the hope is always to tell a good story and to make every character and every sequence fluid, emotional, and powerful. In this adventure, I'm joined for the first time by Cliff Rathburn, who beautifully inked the pencils, and by Jean-Francois Beaulieu, who made them shine. A truly glorious team. I like new collaborations, and this is no exception.
IC: On a similar note, there are some pretty cool action scenes in GREEN VALLEY #1. What do you personally like to see in fight sequences? Are you a fan of fluid panel-to-panel storytelling, or more into the big, iconic moments?
CAMUNCOLI: I'm actually into both, as each style can be purposefully used at the proper moment and place, and they can totally coexist with each other. I like fighting and action sequences a lot. If there's something in it that's very different from what I have drawn before, that's even better. And man, you really don't know what's coming from issue to issue of this series.
GREEN VALLEY #1 is available now.