To his fans, Cole Dennis is a heavyweight contender with a devastating right hook. To a city being held hostage to chaos and terror, Dennis has a grit and charisma that make him the shining hope for justice–until he is arrested for a brutal murder. Framed for a crime he did not commit, he finds himself captive in a foreboding high-tech superprison whose masters secretly conspire to turn inmates into tomorrow’s most terrifying bioweapons–with Cole Dennis as the intended prize specimen. But Dennis is nobody’s lab rat. Reborn as a towering engine of destruction, Dennis will prepare for the fight of his life. He will rename himself Ghostface Killah. And his cry of righteous rage will echo beyond the cold steel walls of Cell Block Z.
So we love art and we love music, but it was only within the past couple years we noticed that musicians, specifically hip hop MCs, are beginning to star in their own graphic novels. Good hip hop MCs have already created vivid images of themselves with their lyrics, music, videos, photos and so on. Now, these MCs that we’ve known and loved for years are exploding onto pages, or even LCD displays in digital form. Method Man was the first of the Wu-Tang Clan to release a graphic novel for Hachette Book Group, followed by members GZA and now the great Ghostface Killah.
When given the opportunity for an interview with Chris Walker, the illustrator behind Ghostface’s new graphic novel Cell Block Z, we couldn’t resist. Walker’s work has appeared in the pages of such substantial comics as Batman, Spider-Man, and Superman when he worked for Marvel, and he is currently producing and developing animated projects for Humouring the Fates animation studios, and creating communication solutions for companies through 5Rings Design.
How did you get into comic books and graphic novels when you were younger?
Chris Walker: Well, I was always into comics. Some of my first drawings as a kid, where you can tell what they are, are of Batman and Robin. I’ve always liked cartoons and comics so it was just one of those things.
Hipsterwave: Just made sense, huh?
Chris Walker: Yeah. I would save my money and buy comics at the drug store, and when I got older, I would go to the comic shop we had downtown.
Hipsterwave: They had a bigger/better selection, I’m guessing?
Chris Walker: :D Just a little. That’s when you get serious. At first it’s like Spider-Man is cool. Then you want to know what happened in the story and somehow you find out, “At the comic book store, they have all the back issues with all the story lines you’ve ever wanted to know!!” LOL! I’ve seen it happen old and young: like someone who has been away from comics for years discovers the comic book store and they are hooked at least for 2-3 years from that point.