Published December 13, 2016

Foolkiller: Portrait of a Fool

Artist Dalibor Talajic discusses drawing Greg Salinger’s offbeat adventures!

Image for Foolkiller: Portrait of a Fool

Balancing the personality of Greg Salinger with the reality of his Queens neighborhood in the pages of FOOLKILLER can be no easy task. Veracity collides with a warped view on the world in every page.

Difficult or not though, artist Dalibor Talajic finds himself equal to and excited about the task. We discussed the inherent conflicts of FOOLKILLER and the artist’s enthusiasm about his newest gig. Given how versatile the character and concept of Foolkiller can be from a tone standpoint, how did you approach the title? What kind of tone were you aiming for with your art?

Dalibor Talajic: Well, the first thing you need to know is I’ve never heard of the character before. At first I thought it was a brand new character, but after I read the script for #1 I’ve learned he has quite a history.

This puts me in a rough spot because there is always a very devoted fan base for these kinds of characters. They may be less known, but they are respected.

The script itself is a lot of fun and quite humorous. This is something that can be a slippery terrain. It may lead to parody. That would not be a good call, because there is just one character that can withstand this without being considered ridiculous: Deadpool.

I didn’t want to do a “Deadpool light” type of story. It would be just a gimmick and make it a one-month wonder. So I approached it from an angle of “ordinary man in extraordinary circumstances” point of view. Make Greg someone who is a troubled soul and just wants life to be what he wishes life was, but he just can’t stand the pressure and…well…you’ll need to read the rest.

In short, I decided to play with the light, almost comedic tones of the story and then just crush this illusion down with the grim aspect of Greg’s own personality. How would you describe the world you have drawn around Foolkiller? Where have you looked for inspiration to create it?

Dalibor Talajic: The world around Foolkiller is very well described in the script itself; maybe not fully described but strongly suggested.

It’s a bright hopeful world, but it’s clearly fake. It’s make-believe. So in the end I guess it’s a sad place.

And this is something you can’t really draw. So I try to convince you in other ways. My weapon of choice for that is Greg himself. He lives in a clean hopeful and bright world, but his face is quite melancholic.

We’ll see if I’ve succeeded. Any particular challenges or delights you have encountered in drawing the title so far?

Dalibor Talajic: I believe I’ve accidentally answered this already.

The greatest challenge for me is always is creating a convincing world. Everything else comes from that quite naturally. Luckily [writer] Max [Bemis] wrote a fluid, joyful script and at the moments I feel that I can lay back and ride along.

It was quite easy for me to “see” the story. The rest is just work. How is the collaboration with Max? How does his writing fit with your approach to the art?

Dalibor Talajic: As I’ve said, Max’s script is very fluid and very artist friendly. He doesn’t describe much but he uses just the right words to hit the right buttons with me. He leaves a lot of room for me to choose from this pool of information he suggests.

It’s a very comfortable position for an artist to be in.

And the rest of the gang are the people I know well and they know me well: Jose Marzan Jr. on inks and Miroslav Mrva on [colors].

So I hope we’ll all provide something you guys will enjoy for a long time.

Explore the depths of FOOLKILLER from Max Bemis and Dalibor Talajic this week with issue #2, and #3 coming January 11!