That Texas Interview - Chris Condon & Jacob Phillips

by Wes Greer on June 03, 2022

The hit Image Comics series, That Texas Blood, returns for its third arc with issue number fourteen hitting stands Wednesday, June 8th so we wanted to catch up with series creators, Cris Condon and Jacob Phillips, and talk about wha we can expect in this new arc, as well as what the experience has been like for them as new creatirs going into their third arc.

Wes Greer - What has the experience been like for you guys going from "newbie" comic creators and releasing issue #1, to now having had a pretty successful run and releasing your third arc?

Chris Condon - I still think of us as newbies, to be honest. Issue one feels like it came out yesterday and yet, somehow, we're about to release issue fourteen. It's very surreal. As for the experience, it's been quite nice to be welcomed into the community of creators and treated as an equal by some of the biggest names in the industry. It's funny though, regarding the "newbie" thing... We keep hearing from people that this is the first they've heard of our book so I really do feel like we'll be newbies until we're 75 and the public finally catches on to us.

Jacob Phillips - Day to day I’m still sat in the same studio making pictures of the same people in the same town so in terms of how far we’ve come, it doesn’t really cross my mind when I’m working. Then you meet a fan or talk to somebody like yourself who want to know things about us, who like our book. Just the fact that anyone has read the book we’ve made is kind of mind-bogging. Does that feeling ever go away? I hope not, forever a newbie please!

WG - The first time we talked was right before issue #1 launched and the world was going through a pandemic. How has the creative process changed for you guys from then to now, with everything coming back to kind of normal-ish?

CC: Our process hasn't changed much because we're still long distance collaborators. But there are personal changes. I'm no longer confined to the apartment so there's that change - in terms of availability and distractions.  

JP: The main change has been that we can actually see each other IN PERSON. A few weeks ago we were able to hang out together in Texas. True, most of that was spent chilling by the pool but we spoke about work sometimes too!

WG - Each arc of That Texas Blood takes us to a different period in time in Ambrose County. Was this something you had originally planned to do with the series and why did you decide to write it this way?

CC: Yeah, if you look at our pitch deck, you'll see mention of Eversaul '81 and all that. The plan was always to jump around and explore different time periods and how that affects the present. I don't really have a reason for it aside from that's the kind of thing I like. They do it in The X-Files, Stephen King does it in It. It just feels like the right thing to do in my mind.

WG -Most artists draw a pretty consistent character design throughout a comic series, but you have had to draw characters like Joe Bob at various points in their lives. How do you design the various ages of these characters and what has that experience been like?

JP: Oh it’s honestly a blast. It makes everything feel so fresh for me when I’m drawing it and it’s always fun to think, hey I wonder if Joe Bob had a brief time in the 00’s where he didn’t have a moustache? Y’know, the big questions.

WG - As the series goes on, we've seen various new creative elements brought to the series with you guys finding your groove as you go. What kind of new elements can we expect to see in this new third arc?

CC: In terms of new creative elements, I can't really think of anything specific for my part. I think I've just fallen into the groove of writing it. I hope I'm getting better but maybe I'm getting worse. Who knows? Jake won't tell me.

JP: Oh he’s WAY worse now. ME on the other hand am constantly trying to mix things up art wise. Each new arc lets me reinvent my style a little to suit the story being told so this time around I’m trying to channel that 90s look of fax and copy machines through the way I’m handling the inking.

WG - Overall, what can readers look forward to in this new arc?

CC: Readers can look forward to a heaping helping of suspense and heartbreak. Our specialty. 

JP: Plus… The face of our very own Wes Greer!

WG -What artists (that you can share) have you brought in to do variant covers for this new arc and what has that experience been like?

CC: I think we can share them all as long as we're not revealing the actual work... Jake, correct me if I'm wrong on that. But we've been lucky to get a lot of great artists. Variants for this arc will be by Greg Smallwood, Matt Taylor, Charlie Adlard, Dani, Tonci Zonjic, Declan Shalvey, and Zi Xu. 

Adam Janis asks, "How many arcs are currently planned for That Texas Blood?"

CC: I guess there's two more that are central to Joe Bob after 'Snow Falls'. There's a few spinoff ideas we want to play with too. And if it goes beyond those two planned arcs, I can't say. There's a chance for it but I guess we'll just have to see how we're feeling about the characters we're playing with and the world they're in. 

Daniel Cabral asked, "What writers or artists have played a role in your creative lives and what is one comic you feel everyone should read?"

CC: I feel like everyone should read New Frontier or Parker. In terms of creatives that inspired me, I'd say Darwyn Cooke, Denny O'Neil, Stephen King, Alan Moore, Mike Mignola, Bruce Timm, Brubaker, The Coen brothers, Cormac McCarthy, Jim Thompson, Charles Portis, Raymond Chandler, and Dashiell Hammett. 

JP: A recent book everyone should read is The Many Death of Laila Starr. If there’s anyone left who hasn’t read this book that is - it’s incredible.
In terms of artists that have influenced me creatively there’s honestly too many to list so I will say Adrian Tomine and Jaime Hernandez, the cartoonists that got me back into reading comics as a teenager.

WG - Any other projects either of you guys have coming up that you can share?

CC: I cannot share much but there's something I wrote that is being announced in late June. So stay tuned! 

JP: Nope. I’m still just working away on Newburn and Reckless, honestly I have no time to think about the future! 

WG -Anything either of you want to share with readers?

CC: I just want to say thanks for reading our book and caring about what we have to say. Not everyone gets a chance to have their stuff published, let alone by a publisher like Image Comics. So, thanks for sticking around. 


JP: What he said.

Below is the official sneak peek of issue That Texas Blood #14 and you can pick up the full issue when its released in shops next Wednesday, June 8th!