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Wildstorm: Nguyen get's The Authority
Posted 14/05/2004
Source Newsarama

[Image: Auth_promoBURN_t.jpg]After copious speculating and guessing by fans, WildStorm has confirmed for Newsarama that Dustin Nyguen is the new penciller of The Authority, coming on board for upcoming writer Ed Brubaker’s run.

The move will mark Nguyen’s return to the WildStorm Universe following his five-part Batman story, “As the Crow Flies” with Judd Winick, which is slated to wrap in July. Prior to Batman Nguyen had been the artist on Wildcats 3.0, which had recently been cancelled. “I had already planned to head back to WildStorm after Batman,” Nguyen told Newsarama. “I promised a lot of people I would, plus I’ve always felt at home there. They were the first to give me a shot at things, so I was hoping if Batman had gotten me any good press or recognition, I could drag that back with me to WildStorm and see what damage I could do there. Plus it’s all one world to me... I still get to hang out at the DC booth every year, so that's plenty.” Given the title lineup at the imprint, as well as Nguyen’s desire to come back, it didn’t take long for him to be matched with Brubaker on the series. “As I said, they knew I wanted do something Wildstorm,” Nguyen said. “Knowing that Ed was involved really made it for me though. I like saying his name. Brubaker...heh.” And the pairing is just fine with the writer. “Dustin’s name came up a few times in the early talks, but we all knew he'd be returning to Wildcats, so it never got serious. I'm a big fan of what Joe and Dustin were doing on that book, and would've never tried to steal him away. We actually had another great artist in place, but there were some difficulties, and he had to drop out. So then Ben [Abernathy, editor] and I were back to kicking names around again and I was getting kind of worried, really. There were a lot of artists that wanted to work with me on this book, but they were all committed to other jobs and just couldn't do it. And just when I was fretting, word came down that Wildcats was going to be cancelled, so Ben brought Dustin up again, and I said, yeah, call him up. Get him before DC lets him stay on Batman. (laughs)”

Brubaker agreed with Nguyen’s assessment of bringing some attention back with him to the WSU following his Batman run. “From the beginning I knew we needed to have one artist draw my entire run -- that was my one demand really, since my run is one big 12 issue arc -- and I knew it had to be somebody really awesome, too, preferably someone with ‘heat’ as they say,” Brubaker said. “So I was <bleeping> thrilled that we were able to secure someone of Dustin's talent, and to get him right after he comes off an acclaimed and high profile Batman run doesn't hurt, either. I think it's ironic that my first Authority story was drawn by Jim Lee right after he finished Batman, and now I get Dustin right after his Bat-run, too.” Speaking of filling big shoes, Nguyen knows that’s what he has to do, given that The Authority’s artistic legacy consists of names like Hitch, Quitely, and…Nguyen. “I guess the first time I did the fill in a few years back [vol. 1, issues #23-#26], I watched myself a lot, worrying,” Nguyen said. “Nowadays, I really just want to make my mark on things instead of attempting to fill the shoes of the great. When I jumped on Batman, I didn’t really think about how awesome Neal Adams or Klaus Janson was, I just really wanted to do my best and contribute what I could to the already legendary title. I realize The Authority hasn’t been around quite that long, but I think there's enough history there dating back to early WildStorm Universe that makes this book along with titles like Wildcats very iconic.”

As Brubaker mentioned, another artist was slated to pull the art duties on the series, meaning that, from accepting the gig, Nguyen was already slightly behind the eight ball in terms of scheduling. But – Nguyen’s been a quick study. “I've been reading up on the title and Ed's pretty elaborate on the details and order of things, so I’ve been pretty much caught up…since - Wednesday.” Given the orbits the two have been in for the past few years, it comes as a mild surprise that Brubaker and Nguyen haven’t worked together before. Ships that pass in the night, and all that. “Joe [Casey] is a good friend of mine and has always told me how easy he was to work, and I've been a fan of his stuff for years,” Brubaker said. “And he's one of those guys who just gets better every issue, too, so I've been watching him grow the last year. I remember when I saw the Wildcats issue that was all motorcycle sword-fight action and I was just floored. That was some of the best action I'd seen in comics lately.

[Image: authority14cover_t.jpg]“I love to work with artists like that, who are still growing, and who are up to a challenge. Dustin is definitely up to the challenge of taking on The Authority, and that's important for a book like this, because it's not an easy book to draw, but it's also a book that has made two artists into superstars. So to have Dustin raring to go, and willing to draw whatever is supposed to be on the page, and to know that he's dedicated, too, that he hits his deadlines, is awesome. Because like I said, I really needed one artist for this book. No one has had one solid artist on the book since Warren [Ellis], and I think that consistency is part of what helped set the bar so high on The Authority. “One thing that was mentioned when discussing him before he got the gig, was that he'd drawn the book before, so it wouldn't be as excited to some fans, maybe, for him to do a longer run. But I felt that the situation was so weird back then that we never really did see him draw the team. He drew the fill-in team during a time when fans were already pissed off about having to wait for Mark [Millar]'s last issues. And besides that, he's so much better than he was then, too. I mean, just look at his first cover -- It's already different that anything we've seen from him and different from every Authority cover we've ever seen.”

And Nguyen is raring…“I'm a huge fan of the Carrier and it's history and existence,” the artist said. “I'd love to blow it up. So far, I've found that I feel most comfortable drawing the doctor, but I’m still getting used to the others - I didn’t really draw much of the team in my last fill in run. Hell... it took me 16 issues to get to know Agent Wax in Wildcats. Technically, I find that Midnighter is the toughest to draw. I'm always conflicted on how I want his expressions to look. A lot of people would like to think of him as Batman or something, but I really doubt it. They don’t really have much in common except that they both wear dark clothing and masks. Oh yeah, and that pointy nose thingie...and I had already planned to secretly draw the Beef Brothers [S&M…enforcers/persuaders] on every other page no matter what book I’d be on!” Brubaker: “I imagine Dustin and I are both adapting what we do well to the strengths of the book as much as adapting to each other. One thing I've learned from working on this book is to allow it to be The Authority. I'm bringing my voice to it, certainly, but I'm also wallowing in what I loved about this series from the very first, so it's different from a lot of my previous work, I think. I'll wager it'll be the same for Dustin, more detail and crowd scenes than he's used to drawing, but still that attention to faces and character and action that make his work his own. I can't wait to see more, honestly. This is the most fun I've had in comics since the first Catwoman stuff.

“I know this story is going to kill Dustin while it's hopefully knocking the fans on their asses thanks to his art, so I'm just hoping all the ridiculous things I'm making him draw don't destroy his hands. The first issue has a riot in it that is going to be a blast to see. Beyond that, I'm not revealing anything, because there are too many cool moments that could be spoiled. But I will tease that this storyline is going to really appeal to readers who've been with the book and these characters for the long haul. I've worked hard to make it new reader friendly, too, but if you were a fan of the book in the days of old, this run is really up your alley. The big thing in mainstream comics right now is to re-examine the past, and so one of the things we're doing in this book is to stick our thumb in the eye of that idea, while being as good a superhero team book as we can be at the same time. It's a high-wire act, for sure, but this book set the tone for every team book that followed it in a lot of ways, so I think it's time to really do something new and <bleeped> up with The Authority again. “I guarantee that anyone who gets to the end of our second issue will be hooked for the long haul.”

The first issue of the Brubaker-Nguyen Authority run will be #14, tentatively slated for an August debut.

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