REDEEMED: Peter Krause to Exit ‘Irredeemable’ in August [Interview]
After 28 straight months of making deadlines and history with Irredeemable, BOOM! Studios' best-selling book ever, Peter Krause will step down from his job as series artist to pursue new opportunities outside of comics. Krause leaves behind not just 28 issues of consistently excellent comic book artwork, but also one of the very few original superhero series that has found both critical acclaim and success outside Marvel or DC Comics.
Beginning with September's Irredeemable #29, writer Mark Waid will welcome industry veteran Eduardo Barreto and his son Diego as the series' new artists. Irredeemable readers know the younger Barreto for his work on the series' Paradigm stories, and Eduardo is a longtime favorite of comics art aficionados for his striking, pulpy style (Batman: Scar of the Bat is a personal favorite).
"This is a classic bad news, good news scenario," said BOOM! Studios Marketing Director Chip Mosher in a statement. "Peter Krause, a pioneer of the Irredeemable world and all-around upstanding guy, no longer joining us is the bad news. The good news? We couldn't have asked for a more amazing artist team than Eduardo & Diego Barreto! Decades of experience and talent accompany these two men and we could not be more elated about them taking over for Peter!"
As Team Barreto prepares their first issue of Irredeemable, ComicsAlliance spoke with Peter Krause about this major milestone in his illustrating career, his work on the popular BOOM! book, and what's next for the venerable artist.Described by BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon as a "true visionary," Peter Krause took a break from comics once before, following a similarly long and definitive run on DC Comics' Power of Shazam! with Jerry Ordway, which remains a favorite amongst fans of Captain Marvel. Irredeemable turned out to be an auspicious return for Krause, earning him a shared Eisner nomination for Best New Series and a new generation of fans. That he's leaving will certainly come as a shock to readers who've become accustomed to his work and professionalism, but as he told CA, there comes a time when creators know it's time to say goodbye to a gig.
ComicsAlliance: Peter, you've been drawing Irredeemable since the beginning; 28 issues by the time you're finished. Why are you leaving the book you've helped make such a success?
Peter Krause: There is no one answer to that. I think all comic creators have a sense of when it's time to leave a monthly series. Often, that decision is made from above--editors, management. I'm grateful to be able to leave on my own terms.
Really, the tipping point was [in February] when I committed to some non-comics work. Overcommitted might be a better word. I made all the deadlines, but the stress levels were high. After consulting with Lisa (my wonderful wife and partner), it was decided something had to go. So I'm stepping back from the monthly comic work for a bit. I still have a couple of months of Irredeemable drawing ahead of me, with the plan that issue #28 will be my last.
Going back to when I got the assignment and started designing the characters, it's been two-and-half years of keeping the pedal to the metal. Thank goodness we had Diego Barretto to help out with the visuals when we were bumping up against the deadline monster!
CA: What are you doing next?
PK: Another reason I'm leaving is that I have a chance to storyboard a feature film. (Note: for readers who may not be familiar with storyboards, they are rough sketches that approximate the director's vision and are used as a roadmap for planning a movie or cartoon). I can't really talk too much more about it, and I don't know exactly when the heavy workload will start, but I want my schedule to be open so I can fully concentrate on it. I have done some preliminary work with the director, sketching out a couple of scenes. It's one of those opportunities that don't come by often. I'm excited about the new challenge.
When I come back to comics, I'd be surprised if I wasn't working with Mark Waid. Working with Mark has been a fantastic experience. Mark has been very open to input from me on the stories, and that I find that quite rewarding. Mark and I have talked about another series, and there's also another writer I've talked to very briefly that I would love to work with.
CA: Looking back at your work on Irredeemable, what do you think were your biggest successes? Where does this book stand in your career as a whole?
PK: I think the biggest success was co-creating a series from scratch with Mark that begat such critical acclaim. That, and learning how to ink! I'd been primarily a pencil guy, so every day at the drawing board was a learning experience.
I would put the Irredeemable work up there with Power of Shazam!, which I drew during the mid-'90s for DC Comics. The Plutonian and Captain Marvel! Quite a pair, wouldn't you say?
We have an incredible team working on Irredeemable. Editors Matt Gagnon and Shannon Watters keep things running on time, Andrew Dalhouse supplies wonderful colors, and Ed Dukeshire does a great job with the lettering. I'm sure they and Mark will carry on quite well.
Irredeemable #24 is on sale now, and volumes 1-5 can be purchased online from Things From Another World and in the BOOM! Studios app. Volume 1 of the Definitive Hardcover version of Irredeemable can be pre-ordered now for shipping in June.