To go hand in hand with our interview with Jeff Mariotte, I am chomping at the bit to
talk to the illustrator of Zombie Cop.
You all know his work from previous comics and other areas of fantasy. As most of you
are aware, I used to own a hobby shop several years back, Game Masters. It was there that I was introduced to the artwork of Szymon Kudranski with his illustrations. I remember some
Marvel Masterpiece cards he did, and research through some old cards that reveal illustrations for Fantasy Flight Games.
When I say Szymon has talent, trust me, that’s an understatement. This guy is better
than fantastic. Szymon Kudranski, at least in my book, ranks up there with Boris Vallejo and Yuehui Tang.
Enough of my rambling, let’s get to know Szymon!
ZM: Your work is certainly impressive! How old were you when you knew that illustration
was your calling?
SK: Ever since I was born, I’ve been very creative. Doesn’t matter if it was drawing, sculpting, painting, taking pictures or making movies and animations.
Though I devoted myself and concentrated on something what was giving me most pleasure and happiness; comics.
ZM: What has been your favorite work you have done so far?
SK: Well, I think all of them in some part. But definitely with no shadow of doubt I can say number one is 30 days of Night Annual 2004 which was my first job for American comic industry.
I was 17 years old by that time and I had a lot of duties at school. It wasn’t easy to combine school with professional job, but I did it and I am very proud of it.
ZM: You are from Poland, correct?
SK: Yes, I was born in Poland.
ZM: Who has been an inspiration to you in regards to your illustrations?
SK: It all started long time ago, when I was a child. My dad was an artist and he drew a comics for a local newspaper. I was very fascinated of his work, so I was bringing my notebook, sat next him at the same desk, and we drew together. I was creating my own visions of his comics.
When I get older I discover others artists, I was a huge fan of Todd McFarland, then I saw art of Ashley Wood, Bill Sienkiewicz, Dave McKean, Kent Williams.
ZM: I’ve seen around the web other pages that have been released for Zombie Cop, I’ve
got a few listed on my site as well. Knowing Zombie Cop has about 100 pages,
how long did it take you to do all of them?
SK: I Never before did comics that has a 96 pages! Well, I was making a Scatterbrain 4 part series with 22 pages each one, but it was different.
With Zombie Cop was plenty of work, but Jeff gave me a lot of freedom in my art.
Usually took me one day, very rarely two to create one page.
Jeff, Jim, and Kris were happy from the final results, so I go for it.
ZM: I saw that you did a poster for Bill Moseley of Rob Zombie’s Werewolf Women of the
SS, have you done anything else associated with Bill Moseley?
SK: Bill likes so much that poster, than he offered me to create a few more he could use at his appearance at his horror conventions. I made a posters to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Devils Rejects.
Currently we work together on a comic book which unfortunately for everyone I am not allowed to talk( You know, you can’t fuck with Otis !)
ZM: I remember reading too that you were a part of the Asylum Press’ Asylum of Horror,
you wrote a story in that one, didn’t you?
SK: I did a lot of work for Asylum Press. Publisher Frank Forte is a great guy who understands my visions and is letting me do practically everything I want to do and he is happy with that.
Asylum Of Horrors is my first short comic I’ve written and I’ve draw myself, it’s a story about obsessed love which leads to massacre ending.
ZM: Jeff Mariotte had some wonderful things to say about you in our interview with him,
you guys have worked together before haven’t you?
SK: I know Jeff for a couple of years. Actually I would say Jeff Mariott and Steve Niles were first people who gave me a chance to work for a big, important publishing company which was IDW.
Steve brought my art to IDW and Jeff ask me if I’d be interested in working for them.
I work with Jeff on 30 Days of night Annual 2004 and Dracula Revenge. It was my first comic books published in USA.
I have lot of respect for Jeff and Steve, work with both is a pure pleasure.
ZM: If you had a chance to work on any project out there, what would it be?
SK: I would work on Any project that is Great written.
ZM: What is a day in the life of Szymon Kudranski like?
SK: Very busy and simple at the same time: eat, draw ,draw,draw , eat, draw,draw,draw and sleep.
ZM: When the impending doom-plague of zombies breaks out here in the real world, what
will be the first thing you would do, and where on the planet will you go?
SK: Everywhere where I can safetly draw and watching dvd’s !
ZM: What is your favorite color?
ZM: What were the last 3 comics you read?
SK: Wake the Dead, Lurkers, Hellboy
ZM: What were the last 3 movies you saw?
SK: Vulgar, Freddy’s Dead, Slither.
ZM: In closing, do you have anything you would like to plug? The floor is yours!
SK: Zombie Cop is finnaly out! Check also Warlash Dark Noir #2 and very soon graphic novel Farmhouse from Asylum Press.
Szymon, thanks for the interview and we will certainly check out your newest works of art!