Creatively, this will be a satisfying week for Invisible Republic creators Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman, as the first issue of their ambitious sci-fi adventure — “Breaking Bad meets Blade Runner” — arrives from Image Comics.
Bechko and Hardman initially started Invisible Republic around 2009, only to set aside in order to collaborate on other projects. When the creators picked it up again, Hardman chose to rework his art to a certain extent. Fortunately for ROBOT 6, Hardman notes, “I drew the entire first issue years ago before we reworked it into its current form and we haven’t shown these original versions of the pages anywhere else.”
The black-and-white pages are the original versions, while the final versions are in color (courtesy of series colorist Jordan Boyd).
“Invisible Republic is a project we started several years ago, before Corinna and I ended up working on various freelance projects such as Planet of the Apes and Star Wars Legacy. We produced a first full issue with the intent that it would be our creator-owned followup to our first graphic novel Heathentown, but until now the perfect publishing situation for Invisible Republic hadn’t presented itself. Publishers were always looking for shorter creator-owned projects or miniseries, and IR is nothing if not epic. We always knew we had a big story to tell and needed the room to tell it.”
“These images show how I developed a couple of pages from the original version of IR #1 into its current version (with the help of colors by Jordan Boyd). You can see the places where I shifted the emphasis, shifted the point of view or just plain redrew something that I felt I could draw better in 2015.”
“I chose these pages because they are fairly similar to the original version while diverging enough to be interesting. Since we rewrote and I redrew the whole issue, there are parts that deviate dramatically from what we had before but these smaller storytelling changes make for a more interesting comparison. For the most part I can’t even articulate why I approached the revised versions differently. Why don’t you just take a look and decide for yourself if you think I made the right move or if the new version feels like a ‘Special Edition’. Oh, wait. That’s right, I’m the artist, I get to decide. So I say the new version is the correct version. Sorry, relativists!”
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