Jon Davis Hunt Talks Shadowman from Valiant Comics!

Today Melissa is joined by artist on Valiant’s new series Shadowman, Jon Davis Hunt! They talked all about the comic, his art, creative process, and how he designed the character and world.

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Interview scheduled by Jeffery Haas

Theme music by Ardus

Jon Davis Hunt – Interview

[00:00:00] this

Melissa: is spoiler country and I’m Alyssa searcher today on the show. I’m excited to welcome a comic book artist John Davis hunt Colin bun may or may not be joining us today, but we will. We’re definitely talking to John today. All about their new comic shadow, man. Welcome to the show.

Jon Davis Hunt: Hi, thanks so much for

Melissa: having me.

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, it’s been already, we’ve been having a great time chatting. So I figured we’d let the audience then on it. So, you know, I definitely want to ask you how did you and Collin meet and like end up working together.

Jon Davis Hunt: So basically, so it was Heather, Anton, who was one of the, yeah, she was the senior editor at Allianz.

So she, she just emailed me out of the blue just saying that she liked my work. She’d seen it on a clean room and I was coming to the end of the WildStorm, which was a book I was. Doing for DC. And she just said, oh I don’t know if you’re available, but if you are, I’ve got I’ve got a book, it’s another horror book.

Would you be interested? And at the time I was looking [00:01:00] at doing a couple of different things and I quite fancy the idea of like, You know, sort of doing a horror books. I said, oh yeah, I’m interested. Can you give me some more info? And then she said, yeah, it was basically, it would be a reboot of, well, not reboot, but it would be a kind of a re kickstart to shatter man.

And that column was attached. I had not worked with him previously, but I knew of him and I knew several of his kind of horror books I’d read. So at that point I was like, yeah, Yeah, totally. And so she sent me the script of the first two issues and yeah, I read that as soon as I read the first issue, I was just like, oh, this is great.

It was, it was really a brilliant, it was a brilliant first issue because it, it was quite self-contained and it had all the kind of. Beats that you want to hit to introduce new readers, but it wasn’t an actual re-imagining of the character. It was just, it was kind of the best of both worlds. It carried on continuity from what had gone before, but there was plenty of scope for me to kind [00:02:00] of do some new stuff with the character designs.

And so yes, that was it. So I not actually met Calum before I then chatted. To him sort of buyer sort of email basically has always thrown backwards and forwards kind of character designs and it all just, yeah, it would just went from there.

Melissa: Yeah, that’s awesome. Yeah, it’s really, it’s really cool.

I’ve, I’ve taken a look at the art and as we were just chatting beforehand, you were kind of telling me about how collaborative process works, where the writer writes a bunch of stuff, and then you have to, you know, come up with some images. Can you talk a little bit more about that? Because I was finding that really fascinating.

Jon Davis Hunt: Oh, so yeah, so it’s kind of like, so most cases. Almost, almost all the time, all the products I’ve worked on, the scripts have been done before. I’ve kind of come on board. So with shadow, man, I had the, I think it was the first three issues before, so they were already written. So I jumped on and I did the first thing I did was design sketches for Shadowman himself and Jack and Byron.

Somebody has one of the supporting cast. And Cullen [00:03:00] scripts are really good because they’re descriptive enough that I understand exactly what’s going on. But then equally they’ll give me loads of free reign to kind of use by and sort of imagination sort of run with things. And sometimes, especially with color and the way he’ll describe monsters, he’ll just basically.

Like type a load of bullet points. So there’s a monster in the second issue and it’s just, he just put something like, it’s like a house fly and a vulture and a hyena, but big. And I was, yeah, I was I okay. So there, I was like, right. But it’s kind of cool because in a way, although that’s so broad, it actually does kind of give you specific things to look at.

So I just went and got loads of reference. Those aren’t just like Angela together, but yeah, we were, we were talking before I was saying like, sometimes I’ve worked with artists who get really carried away and they’ll put in these grandiose ridiculous scenes in which they. Yeah, cause they’re having, they’re having such a good time and they’re like they, they really want to [00:04:00] crank up the spectacle, but I don’t necessarily think that someone actually has to draw what it is that they’re, you know, what, what, what they’re requesting.

So luckily Cullen has not done anything yet out of what I feel comfortable joining with yet. I must hasten to add, I know he’s got some crazy ideas for the second art, so I’m just hoping it stays to, you know, Stuff that doesn’t make me like a little cry in the corner.

Melissa: Just hiding under your desk. Yeah.

How long does it typically take you to, to draw into, to create one issue?

Jon Davis Hunt: So I can do on a good day when you know, when I don’t get sidetracked easily by, you know, YouTube or whatever I can draw, I can draw a page a day and that’s kinda my comfortable pace. But I tend to work two, five to six weeks for each issue, which then gives me.

A little bit of extra time to spend longer on a particular page. So there’s a sequence in the fourth issue, which has a couple of splash pages. In fact, they’re [00:05:00] double splash pages. So it’s when you use both. Yeah. So I took a lot longer over those. But yeah, normally I spend. Two to three days thumbing out the sort of breakdowns Bernie.

So that’s when you just read through the script and I’ll do a little tiny sort of ups of each page, I’ll work out what the, what, what the panels are what’s happening in every panel and where the speech balloons or the captions are going to go. Which is something that initially when I first came here in industry, I didn’t, I didn’t sort of know to do so quite often I draw stuff and then I’d get it would come back and.

The latter would have put like, you know, speech billings or captions over stuff. I drawn and I’d think, oh, why is he covered up now? I realized he had to cover something up because I being an idiot hadn’t left in any space, the speech billings. Anyway. So now I’m kind of much more aware. Yeah. And also you have to wear the flow as well.

So as you’re drawing, you’re thinking about the composition of what you’re drawing. So where the action and the, the, [00:06:00] the. Dynamics of the page pager leading the eye. But once you add speech balloons and captions to that, the, the reader will be following those first. So yeah, what I try to do now is I try to allow room for captions and speech billings to go in, but also mimic the flow that I intended with the artwork as well.

So that’s something that, you know, I’ve, I’ve only just got to grips with reading the last few years is that that’s a weird thing with drawing comics sheet. You think. Well, you never think, you know what you’re doing fully, but, but you kind of think, okay, I know mostly what I’m doing and then you’ll uncover some other huge, like you’ll just overturn a rock and you’ll be like, ah, there’s loads of stuff here that I’ve no idea about what I’m doing.

So you have to like learn those and stuff. But yeah, composition is, is like a big thing. Storytelling is I, when I first started drawing comics, I would hear. How to establish pros, talk a lot about storytelling and how that was more important than being able to draw stuff. I didn’t really fully understand that [00:07:00] until a few years ago.

I think because I was so concerned with just being able to like draw hands correctly or, you know? Yeah. So you sort of reach a point where you like, okay, I can draw a thing. I’m quite comfortable drawing anatomy and, and that, and then you’re like, yeah, I need to really understand the storytelling and composition.

And I think for me, I always try and when I plot stuff out. So that if the, if the captions weren’t there, you could understand the physical actions, what the people do within the scene and the expressions and the body language, just from the visuals without any need for text. So I try and make that part of my, sort of like my goal basically when I’m playing out every page.

Yeah. And then take it from there. Yeah,

Melissa: that makes, that makes a lot of sense. And yeah, I wouldn’t have known any of that. You know, I think, you know, I’m, I’m sure even as an artist, like you were saying, there’s just so much learn as you go along now and it’s a different, it’s a totally medium you know, as far as art is concerned too.

Now when you’re doing that, do you have to go back and forth? Like when you [00:08:00] were talking about the, like the speech bubbles, like you give that down and then it comes back to you. Do you have to do any editing after that?

Jon Davis Hunt: Yeah. So that’s why, I mean, it was really handy having someone like Heather on the book who has been a brilliant editor.

She was, she was great because she will she’ll give really concise feedback. So, I, I’ve kind of got a good feel for how things should look and what things should do. So I’ll put stuff together. Sometimes I’ll change. Something on the page. So sometimes if a writer might break down and do this alive, they are often added extra panels just because I like the storytelling point of view.

Sometimes I feel there should be extra visual beats in there that maybe the writer hasn’t possibly sort of. Like considered because they’re much more concerned with the plotting and the characterization, the dialogue, but sometimes if there’s a specific sort of action in there, like a fight scene, or maybe there’s like a, a reaction to something that characters settled down, I’ll sometimes add an extra pattern in there.

But with. With, [00:09:00] with Heather, I’m able to thumbnail, I’ll put in, if I’ve changed things or added stuff, I’ll put notes in. I send that all to her and then she’ll give me feedback back at that stage before I’ve joined any pages. And it will be really concise. She can see from my thumbnails, what, what I’ve got wrong and then wildlife made massive mistakes.

And she’ll be like, actually, you need to change that. And that’s not right. And although she’d do it in a lovely way, she’s no, it’s like, oh, that’s really great, John, but Hey, what if you did this? Would this be slightly better? And I’ll be like, okay. Yeah, it wouldn’t be slightly bad to have that because what I suggested was terrible.

Melissa: Right. Dennis, he’s great. We actually had a girl on the show. I had a chance to talk to her and she says she knows her stuff.

Jon Davis Hunt: She does. She does. And she’s a real proper, you know, she’s a real genre geek as well. So it’s great because like you can riff off. I’ll be like, oh, this scene should be like this bit from this movie.

And she’ll be like, yeah, I totally know what you mean. That’s it. It’s really cool. And also she’s because I come from a gaming background as well, and she’s a real game as well. So quite often we’ll like, yeah, she’ll share [00:10:00] ideas based around that. So yeah. I mean, she’s been great. She’s really, and also she’s very good at.

Cause it’s weird. What you miss as an artist, like sometimes I’ll draw something and I’ll be like, can you do review your work? But for whatever reason, whether or not it’s an over-commit familiarity with it, or because you’re pushed for time or you’re just, you know, just, I mean, crap, you’ll miss things that Heather will catch as you’re pointing them out.

When she’s pointing them out. Quite often with me, it says it’s a, it’s a scaling issue. Like I have a thing sometimes my full shortening will be out of whack or I’ll just draw prompts. The wrong size and she’ll be like, oh, this is great, John. But that umbrella, it seems to be like, Massively tiny. Is it, is it, is it meant to be maybe tiny and I’ll be like no

Melissa: tiny irrelevant?

Well, I think, yeah, it’s, I think a lot of it has to do too with the fact that it’s like your vision, right? So in your head, you’re you kind of already fill in what’s missing. Do you think you do looking

Jon Davis Hunt: at it? You know? [00:11:00] Yeah, definitely. Definitely. I think it must be the same if you’re sort of a writer as well.

Like sometimes, you know, you can read things back as a writer, so many times it’s still a mess. Seemingly really obvious kind of errors can’t you? Because

Melissa: yeah, I’ll just blatantly,

Jon Davis Hunt: I mean, I do find that.

Melissa: Do you find that when you’re writing a book? I did often. Yeah. We’re I mean, I’m PR I’m pretty good. I’ve gotten, you know, as you said, you know, with experience, you get better.

And I’ve gotten pretty good at catching, you know, all the little errors, but yeah, I mean, I have to start. Reading it out loud now, because then I’ll catch more, you know, grammatical errors, if I’m, if I’m just saying it’s rather than because if I’m just staring at it, it’s like my, I just won’t see it.

And then of course, you know, I send it to an editor and a proofreader so they can catch any little ones that I missed, you know, the three times I went over it. But yeah, it’s really interesting how that works, but yeah, I do think it’s because it’s your work and you. You know what it is in your head, so you just fill it in.

Jon Davis Hunt: Yeah, because I worked with I worked closely with my wife. Who’s also a designer, so she’ll help on like the design of the [00:12:00] books and stuff and the characters, everything, and I’ll run my artwork past her. She will always spot things. But it’s funny because sometimes as well, she can tell, cause sometimes, you know, you, you our work quite late, you know, so I’ve finished a page up quite late and I barely like Mack and I just want to go to bed and she’ll look at a page, but yeah, it’s great.

And then I’ll send it in that Heather will point something out and how my my wife will be like, well, yeah, I did spot that, but. I didn’t want to kind of say anything in case, you know, like it was actually okay. But yeah, right. Like it was meant to be, yeah. Maybe, probably the thing I don’t really understand.

I’m like John someone’s hands, like really tiny or something, but yeah, it’s weird, but I just couldn’t see it, that they want someone points out then you’re like, oh my God. Yeah, totally. Like this is so obviously though, Yeah,

Melissa: that’s funny. Just need that. Like someone else to like, bring it aware to you. Yeah.

You know, inviting and creating shadow, man, you know, as you were saying, it’s a relaunch of an old, you know, older character and [00:13:00] I know it’s really dark it’s in the horror genre. It’s got a lot of dark themes. What’s like kind of inspiration. Did you take when you were, you know, creating all of these.

Scary images and dark, you know, sort of moods and towns mean what, what are those influences for you?

Jon Davis Hunt: So I, I think I’ve always liked my favorite horror films from the sort of late seventies and kind of eighties. So, stuff like. Like John, carpenter’s the thing and aliens them. I kind of like go to, but I I’ve always liked gross practical effects.

I’ve always just really liked the old kind of animatronics or affects that, that you got with those sort of films. So I, I tend to use a lot of that with shadow man. It was a case of cause there are demons in, in sort of each, each book sorry, each, each of the issues has like a different kind of.

Monster. And that she it’s a different genre, but for each, each issue is a different sort of sub genre of horror. And [00:14:00] that was kind of, and sort of like one of his original pictures was like shadow man is going to really explore the world of horror. So one issue might be like a psychological horror.

One might be a full body horror. One’s a slasher film, which was a really cool pitch. But then I thought I wanted that. I wanted there to be a way of kind of time. It’s good. Tying them together because they all come from the same point of origin, which was the dad’s side. So I thought, even though they’re going to be different and look different, there should be a kind of visual similarity between them.

So basically I went for. Very kind of, quite, just gruesome, basically just like lots of, kind of globular gross lots of internal organs appearing on the outside, lots of bone kind of pushing through stuff. And then I tried to make stuff look quite sort of ancient as well. So I tied in a lot of, kind of very old raggedy clothing and bandages and just to.

This idea that the dead sides is kind of really on the one hand, very ancient, very dry, almost like a tomb sort of place, but then also it’s [00:15:00] filled all this gross kind of icky, horrible stuff. So that was my kind of Stein point. But then, then you just sort of run with that. And then I just play around with shapes and stuff that I think looks a bit gross.

I mean, I’ve always had a thing that I really don’t like solving sex, anything that’s a bit spidery or. But at least I just, Chuck loads of that stuff in, I mean, there’s not really a kind of a really, I probably should have a better system for coming up with stuff, but it tends to just be Joel, something that’s gross.

Put lots of teeth on it and then just riff on the page. Yeah. So, but yeah, so far it’s been it’s it’s good. Again, cause color will describe monsters. It will be like, it looks a bit like this, this, this, and this. And so I, I use my kind of, yeah, overarching what I just described, but this sort of visually showing stuff from the dead side and then incorporate the things he suggested.

And then somewhere along the line, it kind of coalesces into something that’s hopefully. [00:16:00] Looks kind of gruesome and cool. Yeah.

Melissa: Yeah. Dark and twisted. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. It does have a little slightly, not completely, but just from a few panels that I saw, I had a little bit of like a Tim Burton type of a

Jon Davis Hunt: yeah.

Well, it’s funny you say that actually. Yeah, no. So that’s. Acid really, I think that comes from so I wanted to make shadow man, quite athletic and quite slender rather than having being this big bulky kind of, sort of hero because although he’s essentially, you know, punching monsters I felt there were already these big bulky.

Heroes out there who kind of thought, you know, had posted monsters. So, because he was shadowing, I liked the idea of him being quite wispy and I hadn’t actually thought of timber, but that’s thinking as soon as you said that, like the whole nightmare before Christmas, that kind of felt like kind of, yeah, totally.

No, that’s probably, I probably should go watch loads of Tim Burton films actually. Yeah. [00:17:00] Yeah.

Melissa: Awesome. Yeah. Glad to help. Well, the other thing too is it’s set in new Orleans, which I’m, I’m so obsessed with that. The mythology of that study and the war and everything did, did new Orleans itself influenced you as well.

Jon Davis Hunt: So I, because I’m a Bret, my, my knowledge of, of areas like that comes chiefly through films. So, so I get a very stylized version of everything, but yeah, I did think it felt like. Again, new Orleans, because it has that kind of, as you’ve got the links to kind of boudou and this kind of mysticism, but also because it’s got a lot of colonial buildings, a lot of kind of old and everything’s well, not everything, but some stuff when you see in the French quarter, it’s very sort of, Like not run down.

Yeah. Gothic in age. And there’s a, there’s a Crip, like feel to it. So yeah, a lot of that data influence. Oh, it’s great. What I did want to do is I wanted to add a lot of texture to the backgrounds. I’ve always enjoyed like, adding, like. [00:18:00] Detailed to my work. But particularly with shadow, man, I thought I’d take a little bit longer to really kind of study more of the architecture.

Although after issue one, actually he Shadowman leaves new Orleans and he goes off across the globe. So we bounce around all over the place. But in each twice I did look for a lot of ref or the architecture. So in issue three, where somewhere in Europe, And I spent a lot of time kind of just studying, you know, what the architecture was in that specific plagues and adding it to the background and then looking at you know, the kind of mysticism of that area as well.

And then helping that inform the kind of monsters and stuff sort of talking about it now, like one thing you find is as an ISE, you do get carried away and you add stuff in, and then in hindsight, I’m like, no, one’s going to care or notice things. Yeah. It’s, it’ll be some weird bit of background scenery that.

I’ve spent like a day or

two, but for the few people that take the time, there’s all sorts of little, yeah. Little Easter [00:19:00] eggs in there, but

Melissa: yeah, that’s so fun. And like with each episode or each issue is is it it’s different? So you’re like, it’s a different story or is there one big overall?

Jon Davis Hunt: Yeah, so there’s there’s like an underlying or overarching plot which has, I’ve got to be careful what I can and can’t say.

Right. So yeah, there’s a, there’s an overarching thing going on, but then each, each story is a self. Each issue is a self-contained story. With the subplot is. Kind of running through all of them, if that makes sense. Yeah, it’s really cool. So each, because I can’t, because for me, I like, I always liked horror stories.

I always, I had a thing when I was a teenager, I read lots of like short, you know, like, Short story compilations, you know? Yeah. I used to love stuff like that, so, and I really like, I’ve always, like, I think the great thing that the good horror story is that you get that little twist or you get that element at the end that adds a kind of, sort of [00:20:00] somberness or makes you kind of linger over the, you know, how it, it, it, it,

Melissa: it,

Jon Davis Hunt: yeah, exactly.

And I think Cullen is, I mean, he’s really good at. Delivering that little gut punch at the end, which you’re like, oh so knowing that he was going to do that in each of the issues was like another reason why I was really excited about yeah. Taking on taking a shadow

Melissa: man. That’s really great. Yeah, no, I know what you’re saying with the, with the horror stuff.

Cause I just got done watching the haunting of hill house.

Jon Davis Hunt: No, I’m going to watch that. They’re not seeing it yet, but

Melissa: it’s good. I actually liked the other one a little bit better than the haunting of blind manner. Okay. And that’s the same cast and everything, same directors and writers. But yeah, no haunting of hill house was really, really good.

And it has that, like, you’re saying that feeling, you know, at the end where you’re just sort of like, huh, like you’re just got that little punch to the gut that wonder [00:21:00] and think about it for like days after I’m still thinking about it. Yeah,

Jon Davis Hunt: yeah. Yeah. Those, those stories are really, I mean, I have to want to watch something like that.

I have to love watching it. It’s completely. Like cheesy and like, feel good. The kind of, you know, but yeah, one of my favorite horror films is the mace the, like the, the Frank Double-A version of it. Have you seen that? Cool. I saw

Melissa: that a really long time

Jon Davis Hunt: ago. Cool. The modern one, the one with Thomas Jane is,

Melissa: oh, no, I don’t think, I think I saw maybe it was there.

There was an original wasn’t there. The mist,

Jon Davis Hunt: hang on, hang on. Am I thinking, is it called the master? Is it called. I think it’s good. The best. Yeah. Yeah. I get confused between the mist and the fog. So yeah, so the focus, the junk habits and what I think, which is the one where they’re like like it’s on B pirates or pirate things.

Melissa: Yes. Then that’s like a boating dock and that’s what I’ve seen

Jon Davis Hunt: the fog. So the mist is with Thomas Janan and it’s amazing. [00:22:00] So we can’t talk about it now. It’s not even hint at what the ending is, but you should watch it. Okay. Really, really awesome. But if you had seen it I could, I could use it to sort of illustrate something, but I can’t now because I’ve been deployed.

Right. And did it just come out recently? It’s quite old, actually. I think it’s about God. I think it must be like 10 or 15 years old, but it’s so good. Mean it’s really good. I can’t, I can’t, I want to kind of explain why it’s good, but if I explain why it’s good, it’ll ruin that we shouldn’t even talk about anymore.

Melissa: Well, I’ll watch it. And then we can, we can talk again about it. That was like a therapy session over

Jon Davis Hunt: it. Yeah, exactly. You kind of went. Yeah, it’s definitely a bit, little bit. Yeah. You want to watch something jolly afterwards? That’s definitely design. Yeah,

Melissa: that’s great. Oh, no, I’m putting it on my list for sure.

And then speaking of jolly, like, because you know, this is such a, a dark, you know, themed a storyline. Do you have, are there any like lighter [00:23:00] moments or any humor that’s like woven

Jon Davis Hunt: in? Yeah. So, with the Baron somebody’s character he definitely acts as a kind of this almost comment. Well, it’s not really a comic foil.

He’s, he’s weird. He’s kind of like. He’s the comedic kind of sidekick and the, and the straight man. And then also kind of the sinister sort of narrator to what’s going on. He axes Jack who. He’s a shadow man. He acts as his kind of like advisor and confidant, but also he’s kind of, antagonist in some ways as well.

He’s kind of an old sort of character, but he’s tremendous fun to draw. And the white colors written him as this kind of quite theatrical sort of. Yeah, like, like dark elders, God, who’s also just, he’s almost low key, like in the way he’s kind of pulls the strings behind the scene, but he provides lots of, kind of fundament.

There’s some really good moments later I’ll wear because he is very theatrical and dramatic and Jack is very straight. [00:24:00] So there’s quite a few, there’s quite a few places where. Where barren goes completely over the top. Like melodramatically over the top, right? Jack’s just like, what are you talking about?

And kind of days ready? Good. He said there were some fights that will try this and try human. Yeah, it’s really cool. It’s pretty cool to write that. And that was really fun to draw as well. I bet.

Melissa: Yeah. I love when there’s like that banter that breaks up. Yeah.

Jon Davis Hunt: Yeah, totally, totally. Otherwise it’s just a bit too bleak.

Isn’t it? It’s just like, everyone’s just dying in

Melissa: it. Yeah, exactly. Like what was it? The walking dead was like that when I was reading, reading that comic years ago and it was just like every episode, I was like, oh my God, this is, yeah, I’m exhausted. I mean, it’s good. It’s good stuff. But it was just, you know, you need, I love that the darker campy cheekier stuff.

Jon Davis Hunt: Yeah. Yeah. I think, I think you’ve got to have, I think you’ve got to have both to get your readers through it, but also to illustrate, you know, to provide that kind of, [00:25:00] when things do get dark and serious you need that contrast only. Otherwise if it’s all just one way but then equally you don’t want to undercut the seriousness of the situation too much because then it makes it.

It loses some of its impact. Doesn’t it it’s really, it’s really different. Ultimately it’s really hard being a writer. Whereas as an artist, she’s drawing it, you know,

Melissa: I hope you, I hope you solve. That

sounds great. Less pressure. For you in certain respects, I guess. But then, you know, visually, you know, everything’s really dependent on you as well to sort of, you know, obviously display everything. So that’s fine.

Jon Davis Hunt: I don’t like mess everything up written this great script. That was that’s the thing like the script, and it’s been edited.

He’s gone through several revisions. The script’s done, then everyone could read it and go, yeah, this is a good script. And now I have to like, not mess it up.

[00:26:00] Melissa: I’m sure it’s fine. I mean, you know, there’s challenges with anything, but like you said, you know, we were talking about earlier, you know, once you’ve been doing this for a while, I mean, it probably does just become easier and easier over time. The more you practice and work every day and, you know, create a habit.

Jon Davis Hunt: Yeah. Yeah. I’ve definitely enjoying it more now than I did when I started it. It’s weird. Like I always wanted to make comics and then you get your first gig. Your very first gig is great. Cause you aren’t aware in some ways of. You know, I mean, you’re sort of harsh on yourself cause you want it to look really good, but you’ve had no at that point you had no feedback, no kind of critical response whatsoever.

Then your first work comes out and then you get that feedback. And some of it’s good. Some of it’s not good. And then you become super aware of all your failings as artists that a human being. And then you spend a long amount of time kind of combating that. And. And it’s hard. I think, I think I spoke to, I know a lot of artists who, who feel that they [00:27:00] never get to a point where they’re kind of happy with their own work, which it, which I completely understand, but I kind of reached a point a few years ago where I was like, I need to just start enjoying the, I get to do this as a living because it is brilliant.

And the only downside is that. You know, you’re not as good as you want to be in the future, but I think you realize that you’re never going to reach that point, you know, because there are so many artists in sort of the industry that reached that level of just insurmountable, awesome mess. You’re not going to reach that point.

So you’re always going to be kind of harsh on yourself. Like, oh, I need to get better. I need to get better, but I kind of, I’ve kind of reached a point now where I’m like, I know I still need to improve in lots of areas, but. This is such a great, I mean, drawing comics is so awesome. I mean, it’s, I mean, it is.

I mean, it’s, I mean, it’s, I mean, it really is. I mean, basically I wake up in the morning, make myself a coffee, sit there, put Netflix on watching [00:28:00] Netflix for a while I draw monsters and I get paid for it. It’s amazing. So I was like, awesome. But along with that comes a lot of angst and insecurity as an artist.

So I was like, I need to, I need to start with that. I’m always going to want to improve and kind of get better as an artist, but you, you have to reach a point where you’re like, look, you can’t speed up and he can’t get better any faster. And I’ve reached a point now where I think you know, you’re good at drawing some things and all right.

Drawing other things and bad at drawing some things. And I try not to draw any of those things, but I’ve just trying to like, just really enjoy it. Like joining shadow shadow has been really, really good fun. I’ve really, really enjoyed it. Yeah, it’s been

Melissa: really cool. Yeah. It’s a really cool looking comic and yeah, absolutely.

And how many, how many issues is shadow man? Total?

Jon Davis Hunt: Yeah. So the first arc is put these for four issues and then we’re going to take a little break and then we kick off the second arc. So we got kind of obviously with [00:29:00] COVID and locked down, that kind of messed up our schedule slightly, basically. But yeah, it’s yeah.

So the idea is that, you know, it’s going to be an ongoing, I know Colin’s got loads of, I mean, he’s got arcs going off, went into the distance, so hopefully we’ll be, yeah, we’ll be solving it for the long haul. Oh, that’s

Melissa: awesome. I was going to ask if it was like ongoing, so that’s really cool. And you have issue.

One is out. I think it came out last month.

Jon Davis Hunt: Yeah. Came out. Gosh. Yeah, it came out last, the end of last month. Yeah. So issue two is out not. This week, but next week that probably won’t make any sense because obviously this, this would be, yeah.

Melissa: Yeah. I’m like looking at my notes there May 26th. Yeah.

Yep. Yep. Awesome. What can you tell us? You know, obviously no spoilers that like what you hint about for for issue two and

Jon Davis Hunt: going forward. Yeah, so, it’s so we go to a different part of the world and we have a slightly different tale. What can I say? No, one’s brief me on what I can or can’t say, so maybe I can say anything.

I forgot [00:30:00] to just give a huge, right. There’s there’s so there’s a totally different. Monster in it, which is cool, which was quite a challenge to draw. That was a, we were talking about this before. This was the one where Helen’s description was. It’s like a fly and a hyena and a vulture. All at the same time, but big, I think, but, but, but really big.

And yeah, there’s some cool stuff in it. You get more I think the relationship between Jack and Baron, you kind of that builds and you get more there. A feeling for what their relationship is, which is cool. And then more hints about the underlying I never know if it is an underlying or overarching either up probably.


Melissa: A little bit of both

Jon Davis Hunt: bits of that kind of happen as well. Yeah, so it’s cool. Yeah. Yeah. I don’t think I should say anything

Melissa: else. Yeah, yeah, no, of course. Yeah. Don’t want to spoil it for anyone, even though we’re called spoiler country now. Well, I’m really excited to check it out. I think everybody listening should go check [00:31:00] it out as well.

And I know it’s available, like issue one is available at comic book stores and John diamond. And I know I did see on Amazon that they’ve already got a pre-order for the first. Volume of the first part. Yeah. It looks like November of this year. So, yeah, everybody should definitely check that out and thank you for coming on today and chatting with me.

This has been awesome.

Jon Davis Hunt: It’s been a pleasure. Thanks so much for having me as well. Thank

Melissa: you for sore

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