Exclusive Interview by AWA Staff

AWA announced a brand-new, extended edition of Garth Ennis and Goran Sudžuka’s beloved time travel heist, Marjorie Finnegan, Temporal Criminal, which launched exclusively on Kickstarter this spring. This “director’s cut” edition of the series adds a new, 20-page issue to the existing story alongside additional new and back matter, all encased in a wrap-around cover by Amanda Conner.

The team at AWA sat with Goran Sudžuka’s to talk about his work on MARJORIE FINNEGAN, collaborating with Garth Ennis, and some of his past work in comics (like Y: THE LAST MAN with Brian K. Vaughan, and OUTLAW NATION with Jamie Delano).

Go to the Kickstarter campaign.

Artistic Process and Creation of Marjorie Finnegan, Temporal Criminal

1. How did you and Garth Ennis collaborate to bring MARJORIE FINNEGAN to life?
Garth’s scripts are pretty clear, he knows exactly what he wants, so my approach was to simply follow his lead. I always set clear storytelling as my primary job and with Garth it’s so easy because he delivers his part flawlessly.

2. Can you share insights into your process for designing the characters and setting of MARJORIE FINNEGAN? What research or inspirations did you draw upon?
Again, Garth already had a clear idea of the characters too, along with the story, so I just had to draw it. I proposed going with a more cartoony style and he not only accepted it, he encouraged me to do so. For that I drew inspiration from the comics I loved as a kid, mostly from Franco-Belgium artists, but also from legendary Italian artist Magnus and his cult classic Alan Ford. I have also leaned on 2000AD aesthetics because Garth’s story obviously draws from that source, too.

3. Were there any storytelling or artistic challenges you encountered while working on MARJORIE FINNEGAN, and how did you address them?
There were a lot of challenges with Marj – besides being hilarious and funny, it also requires some heavy referenced scenes throughout all the time periods. For some artists it can be a burden, but coming from a European school of comics, for me it was lots of fun. But one of the difficult parts for me was drawing authentic, referenced settings without slipping back into a more realistic style. Action scenes, on the other hand, were easy because action and comedy go together smoothly as one enhances the other. There were extreme cartoony moments (killing the Vikings) and some really dramatic moments (Marj And Harry on top of the White House) and it would have been difficult if it wasn’t for Garth’s spot on writing.

4. Were there any instances where feedback or dialogue with Garth Ennis led to significant changes or additions to the artwork? Can you describe that process?
My usual MO, not only when working with Garth, is to first draw rough layouts and send them to the editor and writer, so we can discuss any changes early in development. We’re talking here about the general composition of the pages and panels, angles, etc. After that I’ll do rather tight pencils and send them again both to the editor and writer. Here we can discuss details like facial expressions, body language or reference stuff. Once that’s sorted out, I’ll ink them without any need for further corrections. There weren’t many notes from Garth on Marj, but I remember one particular note that even Garth described as “the weirdest note in his whole career” — in the 2nd issue there’s a certain celebrity with a turd on his head. After I sent the penciled page, Garth asked for a change. I drew classic cartoony spiraled poop and Garth asked for an “elongated, realistic one, to make sure it’s a human turd, not dog poop.”

Marjorie Finnegan, Temporal Criminal Kickstarter Questions

1. What inspired your decision to take part in this extended edition for MARJORIE FINNEGAN? Was there a particular aspect of the story you felt needed expansion or a new perspective you were eager to explore?
I was simply happy for Marj to get a new edition with lots of backmatter, but when we agreed on doing an extra one-shot, I got really excited about drawing Marj again! When Garth sent in the script, I just flipped on my head! The original story we told is complete in itself, but obviously there can be so many more new stories with Marj that it would be a pity not to tell them.

2. Can you talk about the process behind the new story and anything you can hint at with this story? Also, touch on the ability to be drawn into the story.
The process is the same – layout, feedback, pencils, feedback, inks. Only this time I brought in Fran Strukan as an inker, so I can fully devote myself to drawing pencils. There is crazy stuff in this one-shot, including a visit to The Last Supper and ancient China and I wanted to make sure we do it in the best way possible. Me and my friends and colleagues from Croatia have a long tradition of drawing people we know as extras in our comics. We would usually draw each other somewhere in the crowd or sitting in a bar next to the main protagonists, sometimes even as side characters. So I embraced with both hands the idea of having some of our backers drawn into the story. I know I’m gonna have fun with it!

3. How do you think this new edition will enhance readers’ experience of the story?
I hope this edition introduces Marj to some new readers, but I’m also sure that the Marj fans who already bought/read the original story will enjoy this extended edition because it’s chock full of “the making of” material and this new one-shot which is exclusive to this edition is a must-read! Also, I hope this whole experience will spark new adventures with Marj and her crew.

Past Comics Work

1. Throughout your career, you’ve collaborated with a range of writers, each with their distinct storytelling styles. Can you discuss how these varied collaborations have influenced your approach to visual storytelling and your development as an artist?”
Yes, I was lucky and privileged to work with some of the best writers in the field, starting with my first US work — OUTLAW NATION with Jamie Delano. So right from the start I was used to a close working relationship with the writer, and this continued throughout my career. I always felt like my primary job is to bring their vision to paper, to transform their words into pictures. I was never asked to draw differently than I usually do, that would always come from me. They are not drastic changes, but obviously Y: THE LAST MAN and A WALK THROUGH HELL (or Wonder Woman and Daredevil) have a very different tone and I tried to reflect that in my art. Marj is an exception here because here I deliberately pushed myself into a cartoony style which I never used working on longer stories for the US market. And I discovered I love it!

Get your hands on original art from Goran Sudžuka on the campaign! Learn how!

For more information on Marjorie Finnegan, Temporal Criminal, visit AWA Studios on FacebookX, InstagramYouTube, and AWAStudios.com. You can follow the campaign on Kickstarter.

Latest News

Sign up for our weekly Insider Newsletter