Artist Eduardo Risso is no stranger to dark crime stories. The Argentine comic artist best known for his work on the 100-issue run of 100 Bullets with writer Brian Azzarello has also drawn a number of Batman stories, as well as the Prohibition-era supernatural crime series Moonshine. Now Risso is bringing his talents to another medium, providing illustrations for writer Gerry Brown‘s latest novella, Hole, out today from NeoText.

Hole marks the first time that Risso has provided illustrations for a prose story, something the announcement for the story says he’s previously declined to do in the past. The Beat asked Risso about how he came to be involved with Hole, and what surprises he encountered while working on the project.

Joe Grunenwald: How did you get involved with providing illustrations for Hole? How familiar were you with Gerry Brown’s work beforehand?

Eduardo Risso: This project came to me after collaborating with Howard Chaykin on a short comic. To be honest, I asked to read the story before making a decision. I did it because I don’t recognize myself as a very good illustrator but delving into it I realized that it fit my path perfectly. I hadn’t read anything about Gerry before Hole.

Grunenwald: What about Hole made it the perfect project for you to work on?

Risso: I liked his way of telling a story with a strong argument behind it, which is something I need to motivate myself, and the promise of everyone involved to work with total freedom … Essential!!!!

Grunenwald: How did you go about choosing which scenes or moments in the story to illustrate?

Risso: I worked with absolute freedom even in choosing the moment to illustrate. My intention was to show most of the characters involved, whether to take into account whether the scene had more or less action.

Grunenwald: How does working on illustrations for a prose story differ from your sequential art process? Did you encounter any surprises or challenges along the way?

Risso: It is a different challenge. Making a comic is the closest thing to sequencing in a movie while here I try to get the reader to get an image that summarizes what he’s just read.

Grunenwald: Do you see yourself doing illustrations for more prose work in the future?

Risso: Not sure but…

Grunenwald: What are you excited for readers to see in your work on Hole?

Risso: I hope I can get to the idea that readers usually form after reading prose.

Published by NeoText, Hole by Gerry Brown, with illustrations by Eduardo Risso, is available now.