Between his celebrated collaboration with Mark Waid on Daredevil, which relaunches in March as part of All-New Marvel NOW!, and his distinctive variant covers for Dynamite Entertainment and Marvel, Chris Samnee is an artist in high demand. But beginning in April, he returns to Dark Horse’s Angel & Faith — he drew a standalone issue of the previous series — to provide variant covers for the first arc of Victor Gischler and Will Conrad’s Season 10 run.
Dark Horse provided ROBOT 6 with an exclusive first look at his covers for Angel & Faith #1-2, while in the brief Q&A below, Editor-in-Chief Scott Allie explained why Samnee is the perfect artist for the job, and what readers can glean about the new season from what he drew.
Kevin Melrose: Chris Samnee is no stranger Angel & Faith, having drawn an issue of the previous volume. But what made him your choice for these variant covers?
Scott Allie: As soon as we started putting together Season 10, I was trying to figure out how to bring him in to it. I thought I’d hit him up with another fill in, like he did on Season 9. What happened, though, is that it was a long, arduous road nailing Will Conrad down as the interior artist on Angel & Faith, because he’s been in high demand over at Marvel and DC these days.
When I finally nailed Will down for interiors, he had a lot to finish up at DC, and wouldn’t be available as early as I’d need him for the covers on A&F. Chris did a great issue of A&F last season, and Angel is I believe his favorite Whedon character, so I asked him to come play.
Is the scimitar a new addition to Faith’s arsenal, or is the weapon Chris’ doing?
Rebekah [Isaacs] was pretty creative with Faith’s arsenal, so I think she may have used one last time around. But this was entirely Chris’ idea here. Wait till you see the ax he gave her on the #3 cover …
Angel and Faith went their separate ways at the end of the previous series. Should we read anything into the two of them not appearing together on either of these variants?
Yes, you should. The two are very much separated as Season 10 kicks off. But also, I looked at my favorite covers by Chris for other publishers, and just loved what he’s able to do with a fairly stark composition, so that also fed into the idea to focus on each of them separately.
Is the grave Angel is trying to escape on the cover of Issue 2 a literal gateway to hell, or simply symbolic of his current state of mind?
More symbolic, but mainly it was because Chris threw a pile of great cover sketches at us, and this image really jumped out at us. When you get a sketch that really hits you in the gut you have to go for it, even if it’s not the most literal representation of the book.
So we can look forward to more variant covers from Chris beyond these first two issues?
Yup, Chris is covering the first arc for us. Then Will should be ready to take over. I love having the two covers on the Buffy books, a painted one and a line art one, and it’s nice to have the artist on interiors do the cover, too.