Here is the beginning of one of my favourite Zena Zarthos scenes, as she meets with her ailing father in prison.  The years may not had been kind to Zachary, but even in this state, his mind was still working up villainous plots, much to his daughter’s dismay.

This page is noteworthy for being the first one drawn by incoming co-artist Will Robson, who as you can see did a commendable job of keeping the style consistent with Jon Rector’s work on the series up until this point.  Will kindly took some time to join us for an interview about stepping into the series:

JOHN LEES: I remember first meeting you at New York Comic Con in 2012, and if I recall correctly, at that point you were already aware of THE STANDARD.  How did you first get introduced to the series?  

WILL ROBSON: I was aware, I had drawn my first ever “professional” comic that year and was in dire need to learn how to create comics at a higher level than I was producing. Before the book I did that year, I was drawing my own personal project DINO-ZOMBIES traditionally. When I say traditionally, I mean I was drawing on an 11 x 17 piece of Bristol board paper with pencils and inks. Since this new project required me to pencil, ink, colour and letter; I had to make the switch to digital as I knew it was a faster workflow. So I did some research online and stumbled upon Jon Rector’s YouTube page where he had a ton of videos working in Manga Studio. These vids really helped me pick up digital quickly and it was my first introduction to THE STANDARD. I didn’t get to actually read the book I had seen so much art for until that first NYCC. I read it in the hotel that night and loved it. To me, THE STANDARD has always been a play on Superman’s version of THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, and an evolution of your writing and Jon’s art from issue to issue. I think the same can be said for my art on the book, as I learned so much going from page to page and put my love of the series into each one.

JL: When it became clear Jon wouldn’t be able to finish drawing the series alone, we very quickly settled on you to step onboard as co-artist.  What was your initial reaction to the idea of joining the creative team of THE STANDARD to help finish the book?  

WR: It was awesome. I had just been through some really tough books that I was only doing for a paycheck with no love at all, so THE STANDARD couldn’t have come at a better time. Jon and I had become friendly as he could see my art was improving and we both chatted quite a bit, so the idea of me hopping on to help wrap up the book spawned from those conversations. It all happened pretty quickly, I quit the books that I was on and moved straight to drawing THE STANDARD. I remember drawing a sample image of the protagonist and sensing it to you, thinking “this looks shit, I can do way better than this” and that was the motto I’ve kept in my head every page since.

JL: Given that you were stepping onto a comic you were already familiar with and working on characters with already-established designs, what character did you most enjoy getting to draw?  

WR: Definitely the Dawn. You can’t really mess him up, he’s like Red Skull on steroids. The hardest I say was Alex, because his look changed quite a bit and I was afraid of confusing the audience. I tried my hardest to keep my art having that Jon Rector feel!

JL: Were there any particular challenges to drawing the final two issues alongside Jon Rector, with the two of you splitting art duties?  

WR: The challenge was certainly to keep my art at a similar level to Jon’s. His last pages on THE STANDARD are still in my opinion the best he’s ever done. It was extremely intimidating for me only being a comic artist for 2 years seeing a guy who’s been doing it for nearly 10 handing in these gorgeous inks. But, I kept my head in the game and Jon really helped me develop a better eye for rendering and form which I can’t thank him enough for. Also, I can’t thank you enough for being the nicest guy in the world. Your feedback for my pages would be longer than the script for that said page! In times of denial about my level of talent you certainly kept me afloat. Cheers for that, mate.

JL: Since THE STANDARD, you’ve been very active and in-demand with various art gigs.  Would you like to share with readers any upcoming projects they might want to look out for, and where they can find you online?  
WR: Right now I’m drawing a book for DEAD CANARY COMICS called THE MINISTRY OF NORMAL. basically, that book is on the level of crazy of the first page of Issue 6 of THE STANDARD. I’m on two issues of that which will be out in Late October. I’m also drawing a book which I love called T.O.D. or TIME OF DEATH about a guy who knows the exact moment when someone dies just by touching them. It’s a really interesting book, I’ve drawing the first two issues and the next two will be done for the new year. It’s not out yet though, we are doing the proven AND THEN EMILY WAS GONE method of releasing them monthly! Also, I’m drawing a book called META RISING. Issue 1 of that is out which you can buy online at I’m also doing other secret projects I can’t discuss… God I’m doing a lot of bloody work! As for keeping up with me and my art, I’m always posting on my Facebook and on Twitter @robsonink. I do use all social media with the tag robsonink so you can find me anywhere. Also, I post tutorial videos on YouTube at I’m always open for commissions too! Contact me on any social media for sketch covers and anything else.
A huge thanks to Will for taking the time to answer a few questions.  I’m sure you’ll enjoy his contribution to the series.  The rest of Chapter 5 is all him, with him and Jon splitting art duties 50/50 once we get into the final chapter.