Geek Vibes Interview: Artist Richard Pace of ‘Second Coming: Only Begotten Son’

As an artist and writer, Richard Pace has used his ample talents for numerous industries. Among them  games, television and comics. However, his first love has always been comic books. During his career, Richard has contributed to various titles for all the major publishers. Titles like Batman: The Doom that Came to Gotham (DC), PITT (Image), New Warriors (Marvel), and Imaginary Fiends (Vertigo).

These days, he is co-creator (along with Mark Russell) and artist for the successful series Second Coming from Ahoy Comics. So in recognition of its second season with Second Coming: Only Begotten Son, we welcome artist Richard Pace to Geek Vibes Interview.

GVL: Well since this is our first chance to talk to you Richard, could you tell us a little about your beginnings. When did you first take an interest in comic art and who were your early heroes and inspirations?

RP: I was always a kid who enjoyed drawing, but it wasn’t until I saw a collection of Frank Frazetta art in my local bookstore that I knew that sort of fantasy art existed. In the book it covered how he did comics in his early days, so I had the path laid out for me: draw comics then do fantasy art book covers.  Along the way I fell more in love with comics than illustration, and the former allows me to do covers, which we see with this arc of Second Coming.

Working with Mark Russell

GVL: Before your work on Second Coming, had you worked with Mark Russell previously? If so, did that familiarity help with the creative efforts on Second Coming? If not, how did your collaboration come together?

RP: Second Coming was our first time working together. The first editor for the series, Molly Mahan, paired us up.

Working at Vertigo was always a career plan.  I thought that sort of supernatural horror and dark fantasy was in my wheelhouse, but I think I’m pretty deft at body language and expressions, which means I have a good take on the sort of satire Mark does.

Further, I see storytelling as not a simple set of guidelines of excuse to do splash pages, but in telling the story with the best chosen sequential imagery. Mark’s scripts are dead solid for character and dialogue, but leave me room to use my “camera” in the best way, I feel.  That might be even more true in what I pass on to Leonard Kirk and Andy Troy in my layouts.

Possible Apprehensions

GVL: What apprehensions did you have going into the first season as far as response went, and what did you learn that has helped with Only Begotten Son?

RP: Well, the only apprehension was in this not being some sort of horror book, which I thought was going to be the direction I was going in, but will have to wait a few years now.  The strange side benefit of all this was Mark and I left Vertigo just before it was shuttered.

I try and be mindful while working at every stage, so I hope I’m improving as I go forward.  I think I’m better at breaking down the script to story, better at drawing the characters, giving Leonard better layouts, better and finishing the pages that need me doing everything. . .

Working with Leonard Kirk

GVL: You are sort of tag teaming with fellow artist Leonard Kirk. What has that experience been like and how much communication did you have during your work on the issues?

RP: Leonard’s amazing.  Shortly after we left Vertigo Curt Swan’s birthday came up and social media flooded with his classic Superman art and I had the idea that the pages set in Sunstar’s world should look more like that.  I spent a couple of days playing around with my trying to work in his style and it just felt and looked unnatural.  My work is inherently scratchy and I try to make it feel like I’m drawing everything on the site live.  We needed someone with a clean line that really had superhero comics in their artistic DNA, and we were lucky to get that with Leonard.

Plans for the Future

GVL: Well the results were certainly apparent. Finally, with the second season of Second Coming under way, have you and Mark discussed how many stories you would like this series to encompass? Is there more opportunities for growth for Second Coming?

RP: Yeah!  Mark has let me know we’re aiming for around 24 issues, give or take.  That’s four volumes of trades and I’m looking forward to see how it all shakes out.  My biggest hope is a limited omnibus edition that looks like a classic hardcover family Bible with gilt edges.  I keep floating the idea in hopes the fan response makes it inevitable.

GVL: That would be cool. I had kind of mentioned that in my review for Second Coming: Only Begotten Son. How your illustrations reminded me of ones I had seen in different bibles. So that would certainly work. Thank you so much for giving us your time, Richard. We look forward to the 2nd Season of Second Coming.

Be sure to check out Ahoy Comics Second Coming: Only Begotten Son, available where great comics are sold. Also you can see our review for the first issue here.

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