Marley Zarcone has been busy at work drawing the extraordinary world for SHADE THE CHANGING GIRL. Zarcone is bringing a new step in the world of Meta and the madness for DC’s YOUNG ANIMAL imprint.

She has developed her own eye catching style and has kept readers interested since issue #1. We had the chance to talk to her during SDCC 2017 about her amazing book and more regarding YOUNG ANIMAL. 

ComicsVerse: What has the experience been like working on SHADE THE CHANGING GIRL for the last year or so?

Marley: It’s been great! It’s funny since we’ve started out I’ve noticed the feedback has just been getting better and better since the last six issues. We’ve gone somewhere different and taking it across the mid-west, trying new things and expanding her horizons outside of high school. It’s been exciting.

CV: Once you and Cecil got your groove in for the book I think all readers notice a big jump with the creative process being produced. Do you have much input with the story yourself?

Marley:  We go back and forth on some stuff if I get the script and I see an opportunity like, well she’s entering something that’s a little metaphysical where she’s like walking into her own head, I’ll send it back to Cecil and see what she thinks. I don’t think we’ve had any sort of disagreements, so she’ll add things or some poetry that will highlight it more. It’s a real collaborative process.

CV: Were you a big fan of the Peter Milligan and Steve Ditko runs?

Marley: Yes, especially the Peter Milligan stuff. It’s fantastic, and there were so many amazing creators on it. That whole crew is a formidable influence on my own style, Brendan McCarthy, and Jamie Hewlett, Glyn Dillon did issues, and they were amazing issues. All these great artists were on it. Issue 22 and 50 were probably my favorite issues from that series.

Marley Zarcone Shade the Changing Girl #11 Page Two
Image courtesy of DC Comics.

CV: What made you and Cecil switch the tone from that horror comic original was like?

Marley: Well, we may be able to reproach that later. It’s just not the character of Loma at this point, she’s more exploring and figuring out her place. Also, the character she took over was a bully, not a serial killer, and you don’t have Kathy and her experiences. But you do have Megan and all the people she victimized. There’s definitely interest within the story, but it’s not going to be horror later. There’s always the potential for that, and I love horror, so we’ll see.

CV: How did everything come about getting involved with YOUNG ANIMAL?

Marley: I’ve done work for VERTIGO here and there for a long time especially with Shelly Bond. When she was forming the line for YOUNG ANIMAL, she knew I loved Shade. Jamie S. Rich also massively loves Shade too. Even some of the earliest fan art that I did for her was a huge Rac Shade.

CV: Are you pulling anything more from the Ditko run as well?

Marley:  Oh, yeah for sure. I think that Cecil has done a good job in blending that in, bringing Mellu from the original as a nice antagonist. I did draw the M-Vest in a little hologram in one issue from Ditko’s Shade.

CV: There’s also going to be a short hiatus coming up?

Marley: We’re just taking a little bit of a stopping point but coming back with an annual in January. Then we’re all going to come back with a bang. Just a great big pouring of creativity coming from that event.

READ: Check Out The Other SDCC Interviews!

CV: Will it be a crossover between all four of the titles?

Marley: Yes, the YOUNG ANIMAL imprint. All the four main titles, so Shade, Mother Panic, Cave Carson. John and Jody are fantastic, I love Nicks art, him and Gerard are fantastic together.

CV: What’s it like with Gerard curating everything? Does he have any input with the books?

Marley: He does have some input into the stories. He has some Manga influences that he thinks would fit well with Shade. He comes through with some really cool ideas, and he loved the idea of the hippo being around so he made sure that the hippo would be everywhere. The team mascot is a hippo, and that’s totally Gerard there.

CV: Can you tell us about any future plans for Shade as of now?

Marley: Well, I can’t be super specific, but I can’t wait for people to read issues eleven and twelve. Twelve especially will be a pretty mind blowing. After that, we do that hiatus and then the annual. It’s kind of cool because we get some time to recharge and touch everything up to its best potential really. I do need a nap occasionally.

Marley Zarcone Shade the Changing Girl #11 Page one
Image coutesy of DC Comics

CV: What can you tell me about your art process?

Marley: I work on a three-step process pretty much. I do a lot of the layouts for the pages in my sketch books so, I get it down and the scope of what I’m going to do. Then, I’ll scan them and blow them up and then I’ll do the final on the actual size. Everything is traditional; I do all my pencils and some inks. A portion of my Shade pages are inked by Ande Parks, and he does an excellent job.

CV: What else are you working on right now?

Marley: I did do an entry for Femme Magnifique with Gerard about Jon of Arc. It’s a little three pager but it’s pretty cool.

CV: Defiantly need to check that out. Any other future books that you can talk about?

Marley: There’s a Dark Horse book I’m adding to called THE SECRET LOVES OF GEEKS coming out next year that Cecil and Gerard are a part of as well. Any long terms plans no, doing this monthly takes up most of my time.

CV: Nice! Do you also have an online store where you sell your art?

Marley: I do! At is where my work can be purchased from, pages and such.

CV: What can you tell me about your personal influences for your art?

Marley: I think a lot of it comes from people that worked on Shade. Also, Hiroaki Samura his work on BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL, I do have some manga influences as well, so there’s some influence there. I also have American ones as well; my first drawings were tracing Andy Kubert.

CV: What are your current reads right now?

Marley: HARROW COUNTY, RUMBLE, James Harren is a genius, so is Tyler Crook. Tradd Moore whenever he works on something I’ll grab it. SOUTHERN CROSS is cool, and I’m going to grab the new BY CHANCE OR PROVIDENCE by Becky Cloonan. I love our YOUNG ANIMAL line, a pretty diverse stuff I try to grab.

CV: If you could take over one other book, what would you choose?

Marley: Geez, that’s a tough call. I’ll pick an issue that would be fun to draw, there’s so much out there to pick from. I did do a cover for JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS recently. Oh! They asked me to do something for DARIA recently so that would be a lot of fun. IDW is so much fun. A lot of DC stuff I would take on, SUPERGIRL would be a great book to take on.

SHADE THE CHANGING GIRL #11 is in stores now! 

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