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Shannon Eric Denton Talks about his career and the New X-Files Annual

SHANNON ERIC DENTON is a veteran storyteller and artist with credits at Cartoon Network, Warner Bros., Jerry Bruckheimer Films, NBC, Disney, Sony, ToyBiz, Marvel Entertainment, FoxKids, Paramount, CBS, Dimension Films, DC Comics, and Nickelodeon.

When a man returns from the dead with a warning for his wife, the agents investigate and cross paths with a very peculiar priest.
IDW Comics
When a man returns from the dead with a warning for his wife, the agents investigate and cross paths with a very peculiar priest.
IDW Comics

He was a storyboard artist on the OSCAR-NOMINATED feature "Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius" and directed the original commercial animations for the movie. He has written for Cartoon Network and worked in live action on shows such as LAS VEGAS, and his projects have been featured in ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY and PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.

Shannon is featured in a section of the book Toon Art: The Graphic Art of Digital Cartooning and contributed to the cover art. In 2001, he won Comic Shop News's Readers Choice Red Kryptonite Award for Favorite New Creator.

Shannon is co-founder of the online website KOMIKWERKS, which has partnered with AOL and comics legend Stan Lee. Komikwerks has also launched a new line of illustrated children's action books under the ACTIONOPOLIS imprint.

In addition to having worked for publishers TOKYOPOP, Desperado Publishing, AiT/Planet Lar, IDW, BOOM Studios, Dynamite and Image Comics on his creator-owned titles, Shannon is the Senior Editor for Lion Forge Comics.

Shannon was also nominated for the 27th, 28th, & 29th Annual ComicBuyersGuide Fan Awards for Favorite Editor.

His book GRAVESLINGER was nominated for a 2010 Harvey Award. Shannon won the 2011 Shel Dorf Award for Editor Of The Year and was again nominated in 2012. I had the great pleasure of interviewing Shannon via email about his career and the X-Files annual he co-wrote.

Michael Garone: Nice to meet you. Who or what inspired you to become an artist and writer? How did this affect you to get to where you are now?

Shannon Eric Denton: Spider-Man on the Electric Company! This led to my first comics purchase, Marvel Team-Up #47! This is the issue that started it all! I had planned to be an astronaut for most of my life and midway through college I switched gears and really started to pursue comics. Luckily, Image Comics was getting started and Rob Liefeld and Marat Mychaels took a chance on me. I’ve been working ever since in comics, animation, live action, and video games. http://clzimages.com/comic/large/00/00_70024_0_MarvelTeamUpVol147SpiderM...

MG: First job as an artist? What was the experience like?

SED: Outside of painting murals for grocery stores, my first real comics work was at Extreme Studios as an artist. I met a ton of talented folks there and it’s led to lifelong friendships. We were all very lucky to have wound up with such a great group of folks.

MG: Do you relate any character development based on your own life experiences?

SED: I think all of our life experiences come into play when creating. My dad’s job as a Naval Aviator led us to live all over these United States. I’ve been lucky enough to see how different we can be as well as all the stuff that makes us all the same at the end of the day. I try and utilize all of that and hopefully that comes across in the final product.

MG: Who is the one character you have written stories about or drawn that you connected with the most? How is this character so important to you and the stories you write about him\her?

SED: I’d like to say its Doc Savage because he’s so good at everything, but I think I connected the most with Adam Strange. The Adam Strange story I wrote for DC Comics was really about a guy trying to hurry up and get off of work to be home with his family. That’s basically what drives me, so that one was like writing myself into the story... if I had a jetpack and went to alien worlds.

MG: Who of all the characters you have written or drawn about is your favorite? Why? What's so amazing about them that they wow you no matter who else you work on?

SED: Wow. There have been some great characters I’ve been fortunate enough to play with from the X-Men to Spider-Man to Star Wars to G.I. Joe to He-Man to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to The X-Files to the Justice League, etc. so my favorites tend to change. I can say that making my own books through my Actionopolis.com is extremely rewarding and that I’m having a ton of fun as the senior editor for Lion Forge on awesome properties like Airwolf, Miami Vice, and Knight Rider! So track me down this con season and I’ll fill you in on my current favorite. And please keep up with my projects at ShannonDenton.com or on Twitter @ShannonDenton Thanks again!

MG: Please tell us what you can about THE X-FILES Annual. Mulder & Scully are true Sci-Fi Icons. What's in store for them this time if you are allowed to spill anything that is?

SED: Gabe Rotter and Frank Spotnitz and I all worked together previously when I edited THE X-FILES comic for DC Comics, so it was fun for all of us to collaborate again. Editor Denton J. Tipton at IDW basically just got the band back together, and with the addition of Stuart Sayger on art, it was so much fun to be working in the X-verse again! Plus we have a sweet Dave Sim story in the book as well!

MG: How does this issue tie into the regular series or TV show?

SED: The Annual is a stand-alone story, but set in the continuity of the original TV series. It’s sort of a lost episode between episodes that actually aired. That gave us the freedom to do something new, but at the same time, with Frank and Gabe on board, to make sure it was canon.

MG: Do you have any current or future projects you can tell us about?

SED: Outside of this X-FILES Annual, I have an upcoming DOC SAVAGE Annual I wrote for Dynamite. Our season of the Ultimate Spider-Man TV series I storyboarded on is coming up, and then there are all the sweet Lion Forge books I’m editing like Airwolf, Miami Vice, Knight Rider, Rampage Jackson and more!

Here is the synopsis for the X-FILES Annual from IDW:

When a man returns from the dead with a warning for his wife, the agents investigate and cross paths with a very peculiar priest.

For more on The X-FILES ANNUAL and all your IDW updates please check out www.idwpublishing.com and @IDWPublishing on Twitter.

For more on Shannon please check at www.ShannonDenton.com or on Twitter @ShannonDenton

"I would never lie. I willfully participate in a campaign of misinformation.” - Fox Mulder

Till next time Folks......