Get Graphic: Navigating 'Nature's Labyrinth' with Bayleigh Underwood
Nov 01, 2022
Interview by Troy-Jeffrey Allen
A terrifying island. An ever-changing landscape. A handful of criminals. A fight for survival! It's all-out mayhem inside Nature's Labyrinth from Mad Cave Studios.
In the following interview, artist Bayleigh Underwood takes us beyond the mazes and death traps, and shows you how to navigate the intricate artistic process of this new series!
Firstly, who are you and where do you hail from?
Hi! I’m Bayleigh Underwood and I’m from Wilson, NC, US.
How did you get into comic books as a fan?
I got into comics in my first year of college by discovering and following Original Character Tournaments (OCTs) on Deviantart. They’re this very weird, but fun collaborative comic thing that always turns more into people doing crazy stories with people’s characters than a tournament. But that's part of the appeal. It's as much an improv storytelling competition as an OC fight. The first one I found was The Cure OCT. Particularly Ben Fleuter’s run.
How did you get into comics as a professional?
I made a few pages of a skateboard comic in 2019 and a lot of people liked it. A few people approached me for some indie projects and I jumped at them. I think I really started getting more visibility after the Kickstarter for It Took Luke got very popular.
What can you tell us about the story behind Nature's Labyrinth?
Mad Cave approached me to see if I was interested in a brutal battle royal with Zac and yeah that stuff is right up my alley. He pretty much had the first few issues done so I went in and tried to give it a really fun look and match the vibe Zac was going for.
What tools do you use to draw?
I pencil with mechanical pencils with blue or red lead. That way I can easily key out the pencils after I scan in the inks, which are done with a combination of Micron pens and Copic Multiliner SP pens. From there I scan it all in with a big Epson printer and do the final edits to lines in Photoshop.
What’s next for you?
I’m doing a big, two-book graphic novel with Emily Reisbeck that was just announced called Lucky 555! It's super exciting since we put together the pitch pages wayyy back in 2019.
Troy-Jeffrey Allen is the producer and co-host of PREVIEWSworld Weekly. His comics work includes MF DOOM: All Caps, Public Enemy's Apocalpyse '91, Fight of the Century, the Harvey Award-nominated District Comics, and the Ringo Award-nominated Magic Bullet.