Danny Kim Takes Us to the Future in Garbage Factory

Garbage Factory

In a distant future, the earth has been devastated by war and epidemics. Garbage Factory Anthology tells five tales depicting the chaotic coexistence of cyborg, human and A.I. in a huge city.

A new anthology series, Garbage Factory is part of Heavy Metal‘s Virus imprint. The initial volume is varied in styles and stories but all coming together under one theme. The comic features the talent of writer Jakofire and art by Danny Kim who also pens a story as well.

We got a chance to talk to Kim about his impressive varied art style, that’s so varied you wouldn’t know it was the same artist!

Graphic Policy: How did you get involved with Garbage Factory?

Danny Kim: Garbage Factory is a group of artists formed by Jakofire, a film director and writer, and formed in 2009. But the group had no apparent activities in the past few years, so it was a pretty blank slate as what we can do. When I was thinking about ideas for some comics 5 years ago and met Jakofire by accident. We shared ideas of each with her and it became an idea for a new revival of Garbage Factory.

Garbage Factory

GP: The anthology has numerous styles of art. What was the collaboration like to determine what style of art for each story?

DK: Style of art was determined before we added more stories and my opinions were fully reflected. The mood of each story was somewhat considered, but everyone thought that my opinions on the style of art were interesting.

GP: Did you know what each story would be before you started the art and think through the look for each?

DK: Before we drew up the story, we decided the main genre of each story first. We recognized visual features of each story such as noir, comedy in cartoon style, action, hard-boiled, drama, etc. and then we put our world on it. The style of art which was deliberate shows a clear difference in stories and was drawn up with the direct intention beyond merely emphasizing the mood.

GP: Did you find it challenging at all to switch up the art? Some are so varied.

DK: My strength is to create various styles. I didn’t have particular difficulties in switch up the style.

GP: Is there a particular style within the comic you enjoy more? Without looking at the credits I wouldn’t have known it was the same person.

Garbage Factory

DK: Many people don’t recognize that the art is from the same artist. Of course,  that is what we intended. We considered a collaboration with many artists, but we decided to not do that.

I enjoyed all the styles I created, but if you want me to choose one, it surely would be the Job interview. I wanted to put feeling like old comic books in this work. Printing with large halftone, printing expression with slightly missing target, faded paper, or rough ink expression provided me a special interest.

GP: You also got to write one of the entries along with doing the art. Do you find it easier to do both?

DK: Creating both art and story was a good challenge for me. It wasn’t easy at all, but I think it was possible with a lot of help from Jakofire.

GP: There’s so much science fiction out there having to do with the similar subject matter as Garbage Factory. Were there any influences on the looks of the various stories?

DK: We both are big movie fans. We were greatly inspired by lots of movies from masterpieces like Blade Runner and Brazil to movies like love death + robot which was released recently.

We analyzed not only external factors but also the big themes that cover the factors from the great and pioneering SF movies. As a tribute for great pioneers, Garbage Factory Anthology reveals our own view on this great theme.

Garbage Factory

GP: The storytelling style changes through the comic as well. The first one is much more poetic using heavy narrative/thought bubbles while some have a more traditional dialogue. How much does that factor into the art of the comic?

DK: We didn’t want each story to be expressed with just different art styles. Since each subject, theme, and sub-genre were different, we wanted to direct them in different ways. For the first story, we wanted to convey the feeling that people were watching a scene of remembrance in the movie by making scenes shift according to the narration provided by the main character. For the successive stories, we followed a more traditional way. But we paid more attention to revealing the emotions and thoughts of characters by using the different placement of texts or completely different languages. These factors were the means to effectively express the mood and plot of each story we intended.

GP: How did the comic come to Heavy Metal and Virus?

DK: It was very lucky. I was doing other work I was requested and I didn’t know that it was related to Heavy Metal. COVID-19 made a mess of everything and this work also was stopped. At that time, Matthew Medney suggested me to consider publishing, and that moment I had Garbage Factory Anthology in my hand.

GP: Thanks so much for chatting!