DECOMPRESSED 004: MATT FRACTION/DAVID AJA ON HAWKEYE #1

Decompressed goes international with our fourth podcast. I’m joined by David Aja and Matt Fraction to talk about their just-released pulp-infused take on that most human of avengers. Topics include Accents, who the use of “bro” is tributed and sadness over dogs. You can buy HAWKEYE from your local comic shop or digitally in places like Comixology, and you probably should, as it makes following this more fun.

You can download the podcast from here. Its webpage RSS page is here. And you can find it on Itunes here.

And for those who just like sitting on this page, clicking away, here’s the embed.

AND HERE’S OUR STUDY AIDS.

Firstly, and most importantly, here’s The Hawkeye Spotify Playlist.

Which consists of…

Dizzy Gillespie – Fire Dance
Dizzy Gillespie – Summertime
Fantomas – Page 26
The Detroit Guitar Band – Scorpio
Herbie Hancock – One Finger Snap – 1999 Digital Remaster;Rudy Van Gelder Edition
Fantomas – Page 6
Miles Davis – Ah-Leu-Cha
Herbie Hancock – Hang Up Your Hang Ups

Secondly, all page numbers are comic pages only, not including the title page.

PAGE 1

And here’s Matt’s script…

PAGE ONE

THREE WEEKS AGO: Classic HAWKEYE: Clint, in hero costume, falling away from us, firing an arrow. MANHATTAN lies below him as some threat tries to yet again blow the place sky-high. Aliens? The Wrecking Crew? Frost Giants? Army of Ultrons? Avenger-Sentinels? I dunno, man.

So we start with the most classic Hawkeye image that has been conceived of to date; so classic in fact it’s sort of the only shot poor Clint rated in the new AVENGERS trailer. Falling, face up, firing. Maybe he fired a couple arrows and reloads another. Whatever strobe effects you want to play with, David, are always welcome…

Anyway. Beneath him waits the STREET; some cars on fire, some crushed by the rubble strewn everywhere. People flee. Maybe we glimpse other AVENGERS in frame, flying through, swinging through, whatever… or maybe not. Maybe it’s just him. Maybe seeing Spider-Man or Iron Man in HAWKEYE spoils the conceit of HAWKEYE.

The scale of carnage below him registers.

The Title Page

Page 3, Panel 2.

Page 4

Last Panel of Page 4, First Panel of Page 5.

Which I’ve edited together as an example of the transitions.

Page 6

And we talk a little about how David did sketches to show the through-lines on a page. We can’t finds that. However, here’s me showing with a dirty white line what we were talking about…

Page 6, Panel 7

PAGE 7

PAGE SEVEN

CLINT approaches his building — a shitty old awning refers to it as THE SHERWOOD, or maybe, if that’s too on the nose (YES) then its address reads 187 SHERWOOD or something — and we see MEN– in BROWN VELOUR TRACK SUITS — dragging someone’s STUFF OUT OF THE BUILDING forcibly.

That SOMEONE, a YOUNG SINGLE MOTHER OF TWO, stands SCREAMING at a LANDLORD. She’s young, black, smart, pretty, and doing the best she can which ain’t all that great. She bounces one BABY on her hip as she rails. The LANDLORD looks like a NOUVEAU RICHE RUSSIAN-type. He, and his associates, all wear SHINY ADIDAS TRACKSUITS all the time, seemingly color coded by rank.

(These are the TRACKSUIT DRACULAS, as Clint will call them, and so I will to, and their ranks go like this:

• WHITE WITH BLACK STRIPES AND GOLD BLING: upper management. Bosses of bosses.

• BLACK WITH WHITE STRIPES, thin gold chain. Turtlenecks (some SALMON, some POWDER BLUE, some CANARY YELLOW. SALMON means they’re LEADERSHIP types; BLUE means they’re important businessmen to the gang, lawyers, sharks, moneymen, etc; CANARY means ops and maintenance, delivery, etc.: These guys are MIDDLE MANAGEMENT. The LANDLORD dresses like one of these guys, and has a SALMON TURTLENECK on. If we ever get a good look at his chain we see a GOLD UZI hangs there.

• BROWN VELOUR, gold rings, shades, mesh tank top underneath. Security. ALWAYS ARMED.

Okay I literally could sit here and figure out the hierarchical rankings and designations of Tracksuit Draculas all day. I’m not kidding, David. I want to do this all. Goddamn. Day. I won’t.)

So… so where were we. BROWNSUITS moving out stuff and MOM yelling at BLACKSUIT GUY, the LANDLORD, named IVAN. And he gives not a fuck for the MOM.

CLINT approaches the chaos. The MOM getting FORCIBLY EVICTED.

(Waitaminute… “Sherwood”? A shitty landlord named IVAN… and IVAN = JOHN… I JUST TOTALLY GOT WHAT I’M DOING HERE.)

Clint intervenes; turns out IVAN raised her rent 1000% between terms and, when she ignored it, Ivan’s now chosen to evict her. Clint wants to know how that happened.

IVAN waves a lease in CLINT’S FACE. It was always in the contract (he’ll say it in draconian English and reveal that everyone that signed a lease has a similar clause.)

(CONT’D)
PAGE SEVEN, CONTINUED:

As CLINT reads, IVAN says he’s doing it to all of them next. The MOM yells at him.

IVAN walks away, waving her off. “Welcome to New York,” or somesuch. What he’s doing is legal. Shitty — but legal.

The MOM asks if he can really do this. Clint says yeah. He’s clearing us all out, probably to convert the building to condos or something…

Page 7, Panel 3

I give Matt’s mistake about the UZI much love, bro.

Page 20

Guide Lines

This is from Issue 2, but Matt wanted to show the sort of page design “things” going on.

And finally, as mentioned in the podcast, here’s the first ever drawing of Hawkeye by a young David Aja.

Aww.

Hey, bros, this was great. Bro.

I am really loving these discussions, and thank you very much for doing them Kieron. I enjoy listening to these podcasts almost as much as I enjoy reading your comics (which is to say very much).

As a long-time reader who’s just starting to study comics with an eye toward writing my own soon, your podcast is really, really great. Thanks very much!

Three accents, great comics discussion, and random dog talk. Love it.

Seriously though, it was a great podcast. Fun and informative.

Bro, that was fantastic, bro.

This was an amazing podcast! I am so glad I stumbled upon it! Thank you so much for these discussions!