It’s no stretch to declare artist David Mack as one of the most essential comic book creators of the past few decades. With a portfolio that includes his creator-owned series Kabuki, as well as covers to such comics as Alias and Fight Club 2, Mack and his beautiful, sometimes-surrealistic art are in a class of their own.

Mr. Mack first worked with Chuck Palahniuk while doing covers for Dark Horse Comics’ Fight Club 2, a sequel to the cult classic novel and film. When Mr. Palahniuk recently released his first coloring book Bait: Off-Color Stories for You to Color for Dark Horse, Mr. Mack was tapped to create his own coloring page for the collection–of Chuck himself.

Mr. Mack spoke with me recently about his involvement in Bait, how he approached drawing Chuck Palahniuk, and other projects he has coming down the pike.


Portrait of Chuck Palahniuk by David Mack

Portrait of Chuck Palahniuk by David Mack

FreakSugar: This isn’t the first time you’ve worked with Chuck. How did you become involved with Bait?

David Mack: The editor Scott Allie who also was our editor on Fight Club 2. Scott asked me to contribute the author portrait of Chuck for the book.

FS: Your portrait of Chuck is phenomenal. How did you approach constructing the drawing of him?

DM: Scott made a point of suggesting that I be considering the drawing to have what he called “Coloring Opportunities” for the readers. Scott also suggested that I include the fish as a callback to a story in the book.

Cover of BAIT

Cover of BAIT

FS: Was crafting the portrait a process in deciding how much of Chuck to pour into the piece and how much you wanted to hold back to let the readers fill in what they want?

DM: I started with a drawing of Chuck that I felt very much captured his likeness. And then I deconstructed the image into different sections that could be lines that of different colors. It abstracted the likeness a bit, but it can be further realized or further abstracted depending on the coloring by the readers.

FS: Is there a different mindset you have to orient yourself to when drawing portraits like Chuck’s versus your other work?

DM: As a straight drawing of Chuck, I think I’d enjoy doing some brush and ink likenesses of him or a watercolor wash that could capture something of him. This was more specialized in that it was purposefully abstracted into line areas for coloring. Kind of like a stained glass approach.



FS: What projects do you have rolling down the pike?

DM: I’m working on all the covers of the new Jessica Jones series from Marvel. I’m also working on some Neil Gaiman things right now. The new Kabuki Library edition comes out in November. And I’ve been working on the writing of our follow up to Daredevil: End of Days, this one focusing on The Punisher. I just did some work for Jodorowsky’s Dune, for the box DVD set and for the art exhibit in Paris. Finally, I’m working on a new music video for Amanda Palmer.

Bait is on sale now from Dark Horse Comics.