Comic book artist Paul Azaceta and production designer Mark White are the creative minds behind the two “looks” of Outcast—on the page and on the screen. The two men were quizzed about their approach to creating the drawings and sets that make up the visuals of the comic and show—and about their thoughts on each other’s work. Their answers may surprise you.

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Paul Azaceta: When Robert Kirkman [the creator of the Outcast comic series and show] first came at me with the idea, he had the first pilot script written for the show, and the rest was an outline of an idea. All of the characters needed to be fleshed out. So my initial ideas were a collaboration between the both of us.

Mark White: I talked with Robert about the look of the show, for sure, and I had Paul’s visuals to go by.

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Paul Azaceta: I did a lot of research, between books that Kirkman gave me and online. I’ll go around streets on Google maps and just Frankenstein-it together. Kirkman will write “there’s a gas station,” so I’ll look up a gas station in West Virginia and see if I can pull some details from it that will make it feel like the area.

Mark White: What I normally do is start with the comic, and then I’d pull reference images of spaces and worlds and homes based on that character that I have in my head. And then we start pulling paint colors, fabrics—that kind of textural stuff—and have a board of that. Almost all of those boards have the comic images on them.

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Paul Azaceta: The first cover image that we did with the orange background and Kyle’s face really encapsulates what we’re trying to do in the comic. You have the drab colors on Kyle’s face, which are the bluish-greys, but with the orange popping behind him you get this eerie feeling.

Mark White: We veered off the color palette of the comic to a much more muted, darker world. And although the comic certainly is dark, we avoided brighter colors and kept an incredibly controlled color palette.

Paul Azaceta: I really wanted it to be something that stands out from other comic books. With the horror comic, I think the initial thought is to go drab and dark. But I was really trying to make an effort to bring some real color to it.

Mark White: Ultimately, I wanted this world to be very, very real. I think the horror element plays so much stronger on film against a real-world background.

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Paul Azaceta: For them to be a good comic book and a good TV show, I think they both have to separately be able to do what they need to do. Because they are two different mediums—two different approaches to storytelling.

Mark White: In the show, it has to be a very real, alive world, with layers and texture, taking a 2D drawing, and then suddenly it has to be a 360-degree environment.

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Mark White: There’s a bar in episode 4 and Julius Ramsay, the director, really wanted to recreate the bar from the comic. We had neon made that matched the neon in the drawing.

Paul Azaceta: The pilot episode and the first issue are very similar. So when I walked on to set, I felt like I was walking into my drawing. And then watching them actually film; some of the compositions of the action in the scene were exactly the way I had it in the book. It was surreal.

Mark White: There were times we would want to build off and away from the comic. The story tends to flow from the comics, but the characters and some storylines are different in the show, so we’d bring in details that you don’t always have in a drawing to develop the characters and tell the story.

Paul Azaceta: It’s interesting to see the differences; what they’ve done in making a real, live thing. Sometimes I even look at it and say, “Oh man, I wish I’d thought of that.”