Meet Stan Maksun

- an interview with the devious mind behind the artwork in Prime Cuts, Vol. 2!

How did you get involved with Prime Cuts?

I had previously completed art designs for Tim Sulka (co-author) on the musical The Most Miserable Christmas Tree. He was in need of an artist to pick up the reigns for vol. 2 of Prime Cuts. I accepted.


What did you think of the artwork approach in volume 1?

It's an interesting aesthetic approach, using a desaturation of the color palette. I think that this, combined with a raw/sketchy quality to the art gives the series its unique appeal. I sought to imitate this, to some degree, but also put my own signature on it.


What was the process like working with John Franklin and Tim Sulka, the creators of Prime Cuts?

They are pro. We inevitably had to do a great deal of back and forth because they wanted to make sure the art was a logical extension of vol.1... but they also allowed me a good deal of creativity as well. I think any artist requires that proper balance of freedom and limitation, whether self-imposed or otherwise.


What was your approach to illustrating volume 2 with respect to embracing the gritty elements of vol. 1 but putting your own stamp on it?

I've done a fairly decent range of styles in the past, depending on the specifics of a given project. For this one, I took their input, seasoned it with the art from Vol.1, threw it all in my mental blender, added a little madmanstan and voila! It seems to have come out palatable. I was less interested in imitation and more on evolution.


Can you talk a little bit about your approach to redefining characters?

The character sketches from Vol.1 were really good at conveying the look John & Tim were going for. I wanted these characters to be recognizable but I also shaped them with my own elements, whenever possible. I always like adding tiny details to my art. I especially enjoyed creating the new characters in this volume, like Leadbottom, Walter and our mystery man who Todd calls Poseidon.


What was your approach to the color palette for the world of Prime Cuts, vol. 2?

This was an idea we discussed throughout its development. The desaturation style continues from the first installment but, as we see, there are times when colors start revealing themselves a bit more, peeking around the corner in specific scenes. There's a method to the madness. Someone takes a bite of an unholy ingredient, their brain turns to erotic mashed potatoes and the colors get more vibrant.


How does the artwork enhance the story of volume 2?

I think Vol.1, being the introduction, was fairly subdued in its overall approach, which I think was necessary. The story really starts building now and I tried to incorporate a bolder look to go along with that but I also wanted to allow room for this process to develop over future installments.


How do you see the artwork developing in further volumes of Prime Cuts?

As we move forward, we've been talking about morphing the art parallel to the story line. In other words... the art will become progressively more insane! I don't want to give it all away. This idea, however, allows me to keep things interesting as I move the art into new and increasingly wilder frontiers.


What else should we know about Stan Maksun? Other projects, etc.

Without repeating my bio verbatim, I would just like to highlight another big project I've been working on, which will be a blend of sci-fantasy with some horrific elements to it. It's called 'The Dreaming Skin' and updates for that can be found on my website