Get Graphic: Viking Metal Meets 90s Image in 'Bloodrik'
Nov 27, 2023
Art by Andrew Krahnke
Interview by Troy-Jeffrey Allen
If you're a fan of metal, 90s comics, and spilled barbarian blood, then you definitely should check out Bloodrik. Created by Andrew Krahnke, Bloodrik originally started as an ashcan that Krahanke sold at cons. Now, it is a three-part series from Image Comics!
In the following interview, Andrew explains what exactly is Bloodrik, and why he's embarking on a journey of madness, violence, fire, and BLOOD!
Firstly, who are you and where do hail from?
I'm Andrew Krahnke, an illustrator and comic artist originally from Michigan's Upper Peninsula [and] currently living on Long Island.
What is Bloodrik?
Bloodrik is a three-issue miniseries that tells the story of a hungry, desperate woodsman whose confidence is shaken when he can't find food in his usual hunting grounds. It's about the lengths he'll go to in order to fill his stomach and heal his wounded ego. The issues are around 40 pages and they feature all-new backup stories in each issue.
How did you go about designing the main character in Bloodrik? What inspired the look?
I got really into Viking metal a while ago and started sketching barbarians and Viking stuff just for fun. Bloodrik kind of came out of that. I wanted to draw a Viking metal/power metal-inspired comic with a huge guy trudging across a frozen wasteland, so I built the story of the comic around that visual idea. Bloodrik was also fairly heavily inspired by the Rob Liefeld and Stephen Platt comics I loved growing up.
How did you get into comic books as a fan?
I grew up reading my dad's old comics and MAD magazines at my grandparent's house, and we always had Far Side and Calvin and Hobbes books around. I'd read those every morning while eating cereal. My older brother is a huge comics reader so I was constantly exposed to his collection, mostly Spider-Man, X-Men, and other late 80s/early 90s Marvel stuff. Also, [1989's] Batman had come out not too long before that which I loved and my folks bought me some Batman comics. Then when the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles hit I was obsessed with them and that was the first comic I ever sought out and collected - the Archie ones, actually (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures). That was also around the time Image was starting and I got really into Rob Liefeld's stuff. Honestly, if you were 10-years-old in 1990-91 I don't know how you didn't get into comics.
How did you get into art as a professional?
I was always “the kid who drew a lot” in high school, and drawing was always something I wanted to do. I attended the Kubert school and graduated from there in 2002. Not long after that, a friend got me a job at a design company drawing everything from candy packaging and coloring books to toy designs and company logos. It was great because it really made me work and stretch my drawing skills, which was perfect for a young illustrator. And actually, the bulk of my daily work is still from clients I worked with at that job.
I was always working on comic ideas though, and I'd post sketches and stuff online. From that, I was lucky enough to meet and have the opportunity to work with some great writers on some fun comic projects including The Outrunners with Jonathan Gelatt and the second arc of Tartarus with Johnnie Christmas. In between those two projects I wrote, drew, and self-published a Bloodrik ashcan that I sold online and at the Small Press Expo. It got a decent response and eventually, I was given the opportunity to have the whole story published through Image, which has been awesome.
What tools do you use to draw?
Most of the time I'm using an old-school 0.5 Pentel Twist-Erase, the original version before they added the garbage padded grip to them. It's the pencil I got used to using in high school and I've never gotten away from it. I also use a 0.3 Pentel 120 A3 quite a bit. When I'm inking I usually use Microns or Prismacolor fine liners. And I usually color everything in Photoshop.
I didn't actually ink anything for Bloodrik. I just tightly penciled the pages, darkened and cleaned them up in Photoshop, and then colored them. I drew the pages on cheap, 11x17 store-brand typing paper since it was easier to keep clean and get a sharp line on it as opposed to a higher-quality bristol board.
Troy-Jeffrey Allen is the producer and co-host of PREVIEWSworld Weekly. His comics work includes MF DOOM: All Caps, Public Enemy's Apocalypse '91, Fight of the Century, the Harvey Award-nominated District Comics, and the Ringo Awards-nominated Magic Bullet.