As we’ve reported since last year’s San Diego
Comic-Con, the Red Circle heroes are coming to the DC Universe. written
by J. Michael Straczynski
will introduce the characters, and then in September, two ongoing series
will launch: The
Shield (with Inferno
as a co-feature) and The
Web (with Hangman as
The Web, The Shield, Hangman and Inferno will star in four one-shots in
Here at Newsarama, we’re talking to the creative teams on the titles,
and today, we move to the penciler of Hangman, Tom Derenick.
Newsarama: Tom, you've been at DC for a while now, but just to
step back a little bit, how did you originally break into comics?
Tom Derenick: Submissions, many, many submissions. Cry
for Dawnand Malibu Graphics ended up taking a shine to my stuff
and I landed some work.
NRAMA: How did you get the job on Hangman?
DERENICK: Joey Cavalieri called me up and asked me if I'd be doing one
of the Red Circle books and when you get a chance to work with J.M.
Straczynski you don't turn it down.
NRAMA: You have a long history with Golden Age Hero revivals,
going back to your days on the Protectors. Had you been a fan of the
Hangman prior to getting the assignment?
TD: I was aware of him but I never read any of the comics. So
no I was a fan.
NRAMA: Would it be safe to say with all the changes, "This
isn't your father's Hangmen"?
TD: As I said, I hadn't read the old Hangman stuff but what
seems like a JMS-style tweak much like he did with Squadron Supreme. I
have to say though after reading the script and even before I started
drawing it I really got into the ideas in it.
NRAMA: Joey Cavalieri is your editor on the series, what did he
tell you he wanted from the series?
TD: Well, it's not exactly a Hangman series. Red Circle is a
group of interconnected one-shots. The standalone very well but fit
together beautifully for a bigger picture. I only draw the Hangman and a
page in the Shield but I've read all the script and I was impressed.
NRAMA: J.G. Jones did the character
designs for some of the Red Circle Heroes.
How much freedom do you have with the design of Hangman in the monthly
TD: I did change J.G. look slightly. My Hangman's a bit beefier
and his cloak and belt have been altered. Just little tweaks. He's
essentially J.G.'s design but made to work better in my drawing style.
NRAMA: What's the deal with the noose around his neck for all
TD: You'll have to read it to find out.
NRAMA: Fair enough. What type of reference material do you get
for the Hangman stories?
TD: I pulled together a group of Civil War reference books. The
first chunk of the one-shot follows that time period.
NRAMA: After working on Shadowpact and Reign
in Hell, have you become the supernatural guy at DC?
It does seem that way sometimes but no. If I were to label myself at DC
it's the Books with a million people in them artist. Seems more like I'm
drawing the most populated books more than anything. Love drawing for DC
though. The company's been great to me.
NRAMA: Finally Tom, we can’t finish this up without noting that
you’re one of DC’s resident workhorses. Now that Countdown and Trinity are
behind you is it easier to work on a monthly comic?
TD: Well all the Trinity guys
were on a two book a month pace. Mark Bagley had the heaviest workload
but we were all working heavy. Because of that we were working more for
speed than detail so now with the slower pace it's possible for all of
us to give our art a little something extra so there should be a