Only three months after drawing an issue of The Dreaming, Matías Bergara is making a return visit to The Sandman Universe with his 2-issue arc on the line’s newest title John Constantine: Hellblazer. The “Scrubbing Up” storyline reunites him with Si Spurrier and includes colors by Jordie Bellaire and covers from John Paul Leon.

In addition to getting to share an exclusive preview of John Constantine: Hellblazer #4, The Beat had the opportunity to ask Bergara a few questions about his upcoming stint on the title. Read what he had to say about the appeal of Constantine, adjusting his art based on the project, and what it means to him to draw in The Sandman Universe.

John Constantine Hellblazer cover
Cover by John Paul Leon

The Beat: How familiar were you with John Constantine/Hellblazer when you joined the series?

Matías Bergara: I’ve been reading John Constantine’s adventures for years, since I first discovered the Vertigo books, back in my teens. There’s a very irresistible charm to him, being the nuanced and morally gray character he is—not to mention the supernatural elements that go along with his extensive history. The Hellblazer comics are a feast of opportunities for most artists, I think, and it shows all along throughout the many storylines you’ve seen for the last 30 years plus.

The Beat: How does drawing for The Sandman Universe differ from being an artist on comics like Supergirl and Bombshells?

Bergara: I take every book from a different perspective since I like to avoid repetition and work out a specific vibe to better serve the story. I believe the best kind of work I can do for a book is determined by how well the art accompanies the narrative in the script. Sometimes that means contemplating visual options and possibilities that are not your first, second or even third ideas. If you see CODA, my earlier series with Simon Spurrier, the pages look completely different both in tone and composition.

The Beat: How do Jordie Bellaire’s colors compliment your work?

Bergara: She’s been incredible at coloring Aaron Campbell´s complex art in the series and understood perfectly how to approach my pages, which is of no surprise for anyone aware of the magnitude of her work. It’s just as beautiful and luminous as it is jarring when it’s meant to be.

The Beat: This is your third comic collaboration with Si Spurrier, after CODA and The Dreaming #14. What do you enjoy about collaborating with him?

Bergara: I don’t like to delve too deep into reasoning the mechanics behind the forces of creation and inspiration. I like the fact that most of it it’s just unexplained and invisible magic going on under the surface of decisions. That’s the case of Simon’s writing to me: I can repeat the general consensus that the man is a brilliant writer and a ceaseless spring of ideas, but more importantly—and most honestly—I should tell you that what he writes just launches me into full creative stimulation and joy. Also, even his darkest creations always shine with a faint echo of humour and irreverence. I love that deeply, and I know John Constantine’s fans do as well.

The Beat: Are you hoping to do more in The Sandman Universe?

Bergara: The Sandman Universe was what originally motivated me to make the decision to do comics seriously in the first place, when it wasn’t a clear option for my future at all. So of course I’d love to, and I consider myself a fantasy/genre artist first and foremost. This kind of story is my natural habitat to work in, so to speak.

John Constantine Hellblazer Matías Bergara page

John Constantine Hellblazer Matías Bergara splash

John Constantine: Hellblazer #4 hits stores on February 26, 2020. John Constantine: Hellblazer #5, the conclusion of the “Scrubbing Up” storyline, arrives on March 25.