Interview: Hester & Nauck Discuss GUARDIANS OF THE GLOBE

Readers, the globe is about to get a whole lot safer. Under the guidance of Phil Hester and Todd Nauck, Robert Kirkman’s Guardians of the Globe are being reformed and will take on a whole new host of challenges. Hester and Nauck took time from their schedules to discuss how they got involved with the title, what readers can expect, and what the future holds for the Guardians.

Aaron Long: Best to start at the beginning, how did you each get involved with this version of Guarding the Globe?

Phil Hester: As a reader, from the beginning. Brit might be the first Kirkman deal I ever bought, so I’ve been following these characters all the way up through Invincible to the awesome Benito Cereno penned mini. When Robert decided to relaunch the book as a monthly he called me up and basically told me all the work for hire I was currently doing couldn’t possibly be as cool as Guarding the Globe… and he was right!

Todd Nauck: I’ve been reading Invincible since Image’s Eric Stephenson gave me a copy of the first issue saying, “Here. I bet you’d like this”. He was right! I was hooked right away. I also read many of Kirkman’s superhero comics like Astounding Wolf-Man, Capes and the original Guarding the Globe mini. I had even drawn a Monster Girl origin story for Invincible #25.

So when I get this cryptic message from Robert to contact him about a project, I was intrigued. When I found out it was a Guarding the Globe ongoing series, it was a pretty easy decision to jump on board. I couldn’t be happier about this choice!

AL: The Guardians of the Globe tie several Robert Kirkman series together, what do you feel is their role in the shared Kirkman-verse?

PH: The temptation is to turn the book into a “what else is happening in the Invincible universe?” project, but that shortchanges the truly unique and interesting characters. My goal has been to write a book that’s in keeping with the tone of Invincible, but showcasing the team and its component members like true individuals. They’re cool characters with plenty of problems to explore. To make the book simply a recapitulation of themes from Invincible would be a big waste, so Todd and I are trying to stake out some new territory in the Kirkmanverse.

Also, I love to see Todd draw super heroes, so I’ll be trying to stay out of his way and give him cool stuff to draw.

TN: I have really been enjoying Robert and Phil’s approach to this series. I look forward to each of Phil’s plots and what’s gonna happen next. Not only in the overall story but also each character’s subplot or problem. I believe at last count, we have 15-16 team members. That gives us plenty to work with to go in all sorts of directions. And we’re just getting started.

AL: The Guardians roster is stacked with some pretty powerful members. Can you discuss what they will be up against in this series?

PH: Oh, you know, the usual; alien menaces, deranged lycanthropes, rampaging super villains, and a certain bad guy who happens to be tough enough to take them all on singlehandedly (see last mini). But I think the real drama comes from what the heroes face in their day-to-day lives. I like the action as much as anyone, but by delving into the heroes’ personal struggles we hope to make the action scenes feel more consequential. I mean, we see dudes punched through walls every day in comics, but when you understand what that hero is fighting to come home to, I think you’re more invested in the drama.

AL: Todd, you are dealing with a diverse cast of characters in this revision of the team, does that bring any unique challenges to tackling the art? So far, is there any one character that is standing out as more enjoyable to pencil than the rest?

TN: This is just the kind of challenge I live for! Fans of my work on Young Justice and my creator-owned series, WildGuard, know I do not shy away from “big cast” comics. I love drawing tons of superheroes. I enjoy the design element of “who to put where” in a given shot or scene as well as playing personalties off of each other. Plus, I really dig Cory Walker and Ryan Ottley’s designs. These characters are chock full of fun visual elements.

Best Tiger, the kung-fu gunman, is a very cool character with a great design. I like Outrun a lot because I like speedsters. But the one that’s standing out the most and has been the most challenging so far is Yeti. The trick to drawing him correctly is putting his huge mouth right where his pectoral muscles should be! It’s such a weird, unique design. I love it!

AL: Any final words for Comicosity’s readers regarding Guarding of the Globe?

PH: I hope it’s everything good about super hero comics. It’s scary, thrilling, funny, and hopefully, unexpected. If you dig Invincible, or really anything on the non-black and white side of the Kirkmanverse, you should have a good time for 20 pages each month. Also, we’re over six months ahead, so expect us back every month until you love us.

TN: Three simple steps: 1. Be sure to pick up Guarding the Globe #1 on Sept 5th. 2. Add it to your pull list while at the counter (why risk missing an issue!). 3. Tweet us/email us to let us know what you think about the series. Thanks, everybody!

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