Meghan Hetrick is one of the many artists bringing the Vertigo’s miniseries Bodies to life by taking the reader across four different time periods, with four detectives and four dead bodies. Meghan talks about what it’s like to work with so many different collaborators.
Charlie Chang:Bodies is such a beautiful book and you're there to contribute to one part of this book. It's got to be so cool to work with one writer but also alongside a bunch of really talented artists.
Meghan Hetrick: Yes!
CC: Can you talk about the early stages of conceptualizing this book?
MH: I really only had control of Shahara in terms of design but everybody really did their own work on this book. So they really came up with the look for their sections and the artists really really nailed what they were trying to do. Shelly (Bond) and Si (Spencer) could not have picked better artists. Not to toot my own horn [laughter] but the rest of the artists have done absolutely beautiful work.
CC: The whole book is great and even though each section is so different artistically, it all still works together.
MH: Thankfully! [laughter]
CC: Did you get to see what the other artists were doing or were you working in your own silo?
MH: There was a dump file on the Warner Bros. website that had everything in there so you could do cross referencing but we don't see the lettering and things like that. The dump file was there because everything had to be specific, you'll have one image that needs to be repeated throughout the story so whatever artist does that first, you follow them.
CC: Coming up with your part, what was your process in figuring out what you wanted to do?
MH: Shelly basically approached me and said "we have a strong female character set in London, in the modern setting" and I don't think she realized the OCD monster she was unleashing. I believe I'm the only American on the book and I have modern London to draw. So Google Earth right now is my best friend! Thanks! I'm obsessive, like in a scene I believe in issue 3 where her father is walking into a converted temple. That is an actual building, the scene across the street where they show the other building, that IS an actual corner. So...yeah...I'm slightly OCD.
CC: That's so awesome! That's the level of detail that nobody thinks about because you assume artists see things in their heads that they then put down on paper.
MH: We're just drawing, it's not a real job [laughter]
CC: What else are you doing for research?
MH: Well, I stop Muslim women in the street and asked them how they were tying their hijab cause with my character I wanted to pay respect to the culture. I did not want to do anything that would not be acceptable to the culture. There are a couple moments when you push the limits a little but they are for reasons. So, a LOT of research.
CC: What is your background with art and specifically comic art and who are your art heroes?
MH: I'm self-taught so I didn't go to school. Art heroes, in terms of classical art, Mucha, DaVinci, Titian, Caravaggio, and I lump Frazetta in with them cause, seriously! In terms of comic art, I learned to draw comics from "Witchblade #10" and I believe it was "Uncanny X-Men #337" with Joe Mad and Michael Turner. From there I fell in love with Greg Capullo and Spawn. I always went the darker side so I never drew ponies and kittens. That energetic, darker look and style always appealed to me.
CC: What are you looking forward to fans getting to check out with what's left of the series?
MH: Hmm...well Shahara's a badass. She is no holds bar. She is very very smart and that starts to get revealed. The other characters, I have no clue! So we're basically all in it together. The script is on the dump folder but I purposely don't read it. I want it to be a big reveal to myself.