SPOILER ALERT. You have been warned.
Last night a peripheral character on HEROES – Usutu, a future painter — was beheaded at the end of the episode. We didn’t know enough about where his storyline was going to get too upset about his hasty departure until we realized that with Isaac dead as well, this could signal the end of all the amazing work by comic book artist TIM SALE on the show.
After the jump Sale gives Flavorwire the scoop on his involvement with the series in a post-JEPH LOEB world, the creation story behind the Heroes font, and a possible direction for CHRISTOPHER NOLAN’s follow up to THE DARK KNIGHT.
Flavorwire: Hard stuff first. With the show’s two “future painters” dead, will your work still play a large part in Heroes?
Tim Sale: Regardless of what seems to be indicated from the episode, I’ve done a lot more work than what you’ve seen so far this season – more than in the previous two seasons. Usutu’s rock paintings have been a different kind of art, more like graffiti. I do them in black and white and then they’re rendered in color by DAVE STEWART, who sends Heroes the file. I’m not on set to see how they create the final product, but in previous seasons they would print the file onto a canvas.
FW: So your longtime collaborator Jeph Loeb’s exit won’t affect your participation in any way?
TS: I suppose it remains to be seen, as the show is in such flux, but I am not walking off in a huff or anything, if that’s what you mean, and TIM KRING called to tell me I was wanted, so there’s that! Next year is next year, so who knows?
FW: You created the Heroes font as well?
TS: It existed long before the show. Comicraft created it prior to Heroes to use in my comics – all of my books are lettered by computer in a neater version of my own handwriting. Tim Sale fonts. You can buy them from Comicraft’s online store.
FW: Your comic book THE LONG HALLOWEEN was a big influence on CHRISTOPHER NOLAN’s THE DARK KNIGHT. Any advice on where he should take the story in the third film?
TS: Far be it from me to give Nolan and company advice, but I suppose if he is looking around Jeph and I did another Batman-related story called DARK VICTORY that goes into the origin of Robin — though you don’t meet him until nine issues in. Jeph had to drag me to the idea of Robin kicking and screaming, but then I started living with a single mom, and she had an 8-year-old boy who over the years became more Robin-ish. Jeph based Bruce and Dick’s relationship on mine with the boy, that push-and-pull. Dark Victory shows the change of Gotham from a town overrun by gangsters into a town that is governed by “freaks” (Jeph’s term). His creation of triumvirate of Batman/Dent/Gordon — what they saw happening to their city and how they were going to address it — pushed the story farther than before. In many ways I think it is some of my best drawing. Not necessarily my best work, but my best drawing.
FW: Are there any characters out there who you’d still love to draw?
TS: That implies that there is a Holy Grail. But there are a number of minor characters who I’d love to do. Nick Fury Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. or Dr. Strange. Whatever, it needs to be fun and there has to be an emotional hook. Jeph writes really emotional characters.