In 2019, when writer Chip Zdarsky and artist Jason Loo debuted their original series Afterlift on comiXology Originals, they thought they had produced a fun book that audiences would enjoy. Needless to say, they were right. By the time the series was over, it had won the 2020 Eisner award for best Digital Comic. So where do you go from the top? Well never let it be said that they let success intimidate them. Coming on October 26th, the creative team behind the award winning Afterlift comes at us again with The All-Nighter. A tale that was made to begin on Halloween.

So when your a group of Vampires and you are trying to stay incognito, what would be the last thing you should try? How about channeling your supernatural abilities into being a Vigilante Superhero. That is what young Alex decides to do, much to the chagrin of his fellow Vampires. Drawing attention to them and possibly revealing their real nature was exactly what they DIDN’T want.  Sound intriguing? It most definitely is. But what else could you expect from the creative minds of Zdarsky and Loo. Recently, I had the opportunity to talk to artist Jason Woo about his artistic beginnings and most importantly, The All-Nighter.

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Beginnings

GVN: Thanks for giving us a bit of your time, Jason. Since I haven’t had the pleasure of talking to you before, let’s start with a bit of your background. When did you take an interest in comic art and whose work inspired you to possibly pursue it?

JL: I started making minicomics in high school and selling them to my friends in the cafeteria and at punk shows. I just loved that medium of storytelling since I was a kid. When I was making those mini-comics. I was reading a lot of DC, especially Starman by James Robinson and Tony Harris as well as Ron Marz and Darryl Banks’ run on Green Lantern. Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud definitely left an impression on me.

Working Digitally

GVN: Do you work traditionally with pencil, ink and paper or do you work digitally? If you do both, are there benefits with either format?

JL: AFTERLIFT is the last comic I worked on traditionally, then I bought an iPad and have been using Procreate on my comics since then. Editing has become a lot easier and faster working digitally. So when I get notes to enlarge a character in a panel or shift over a car I spent hours drawing, I never have to pick up an eraser and redraw these things. I’ve also saved lots of money on art supplies which helped fund my action figure collection.

Working with Chip Zdarsky

GVN: So, not only a great artist but one who also has his priorities in order. I approve. You are once again partnering with talented writer Chip Zdarsky on The All-Nighter. Of course, you had worked with writer Chip previously, most notably in your award-winning series Afterlift. What do you believe makes your partnership work so well?

JL: I’ve known Chip since the time I was a college intern at his studio. I’ve been a fan of his following his early works in Marvel while he was supportive with my creator-owned series the Pitiful Human-Lizard. He brings a lot out of me and is a super encouraging collaborator, while I’m a pretty fast and dependable artist who delivers his pages before the deadline. There’s almost a Batman and Nightwing dynamic, but in a super positive and less grim way.

The All-Nighter Pitch

GVN: When did Chip propose the story to you for The All-Nighter and were you onboard right from the beginning?

JL: We already knew we wanted to work with each other again. As he puts it, we’re “comics-married”! Right after we wrapped up AFTERLIFT, we were pitching ideas to each other. I loved how AFTERLIFT had a universal theme that any reader can connect with. So I wanted our next comic to resonant with readers the same way, but with NO superheroes! So I pitched an all-night diner run by a family of vampires from different backgrounds just trying to survive the working world without needing to kill anyone. Then Chip ran with it… but added SUPERHEROES. I was like, ‘NOOOOOOO!’ Now these vampires have a superhero identity on top of their secret identity of being vampires. So Chip added another layer to these characters which makes The All-Nighter a lot more interesting!

Colorist Paris Alleyne

GVN: Having the privilege of reading the first issue, I would say that the premise works extremely well. Double aliases indeed makes for an interesting narrative. Reuniting with Chip is not the only similarity with Afterlift.  As a matter of fact, you have reunited with the whole Afterlift team for The All-Nighter, including colorist Paris Alleyne. What does Paris bring to the table that works so well with your art?

JL: Paris is a good friend of mine and we’ll get together regularly at a coffee shop or pub for a drink and draw. So there’s that immediate interaction if we have any notes or questions for each other. But Paris brings the right lighting and vibrant atmosphere for every scene, as well as adding certain details I would not have thought of that gives the comic it’s grounded look.

New Projects

GVN: It certainly shows. Thanks again, Jason. Before I let you go, do you have any other projects you would like our followers to know about and where can fans follow you on social media?

JL: I’m excited to have some work in a few upcoming Star Wars books for IDW in November and December, especially the Star Wars Adventures annual that features a Lando story co-written by Chip and myself, and also drawn by me. People can follow me on Twitter and Instagram at @Rebel_Loo

The first issue of comiXology Originals The All-Nighter by Chip Zdarsky, artist Jason Loo, Colorist Paris Alleyne, and letterer Aditya Bidikar is available October 26th. All issues will be available at no extra cost to members of Amazon Prime, Kindle Unlimited, and comiXology Unlimited, and for purchase on the Amazon Kindle Store and comiXology. In addition, The All-Nighter is currently in development as an original series for Amazon Studios with executive producer Jordan Feiner.

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