For those who are not aware of Scott Wegener and his work as the artist on Atomic Robo, many might be interested to know that for him, his work and art on the indie series has been a growth process, one that he is quite proud of. “All the things that I learned about telling a story sequentially is something that I’ve put a lot of extra work into, through studying cinematography, storyboarding, the work of Will Eisner, and lots of hard work. The first book we did for Free Comic Book Day was where I really felt like the art was where I wanted it to be for the book, definitely one of my prouder moments,” Wegener said.
In the case of Atomic Robo, a book and character that Wegener describes as being a blend of elements such as Indiana Jones, Buckaroo Bonzai and the Ghostbusters, among others, he credits writer and creative partner Brian Clevinger with the origin of this unique comic book character. An idea that Clevinger had for years, Atomic Robo focuses on an over eighty year old robot who engages in action and adventure tales with a pulp edge to his ventures. As part of the creative overhaul of the series and main character with Clevinger, ever since his brief appearance in an anthology called Spare Parts, Wegener says that, “The core personality of the character hasn’t changed from Brian’s original idea, but we took the series from a very high level sci-fi piece to the dirty, pulp detective work that I enjoy, and we work together really well on that concept and approach.”
The process that goes in to creating a story arc or direction for the series is described by Wegener as, “Highly organic. The process is extremely collaborative and we shuffle ideas around a lot based on feedback we get from readers. I can say that the end result is not always where we thought we’d be when we start a project or idea. We constantly shoot ideas back and forth with each other and add suggestions to what’s happening, and it’s just a very fun, creative process.” The collaboration can sometimes be tricky, as Wegener and Clevinger live in different parts of the country, but Wegener described their working relationship as one that has been built on constant feedback and trust in what the other is doing.
In looking at the collaborative side of things, Wegener felt that the readers have been just as important in the development of the series’ direction, and that will be reflected in upcoming stories of the series this fall. Character development and depth will be a big focus for future volumes of Robo’s adventures, based in large part on Wegener has heard from fans of the series, saying, “I think we have a lot of personal interaction with our fans, through message boards, email and at conventions as well. It’s been great to have that approachability and to hear what people are wanting from the book in person.”
Without giving too much away, Wegener was excited about what the future will hold for the series. “We’re going to be adding, in volume four of the series, more of the action scientists from the first volume, such as Bernard. Fans can also expect to see more of Dr. Dinosaur and they will see a villain of Dr. Tesla’s becoming a villain of Robo’s but I can’t say more than that!” Wegener sees the series as limitless, with stories from all eras at his fingertips, drawing and working on Atomic Robo has been a satisfying experience. Fans of his should also look forward to a one-shot he did for Marvel, focusing on the Human Torch, part of Marve’s 70th anniversary celebration. For more atomic and robot goodness, check out http://www.atomic-robo.com