While attending this year’s Emerald City Comicon I was able to sit down with David Marquez, the outstanding illustrator for Marvel‘s Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man.
UTF: How did you get involved with Marvel Comics and specifically with Brian Michael Bendis on Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man?
David Marquez: I’d done some indie work at Archaia [Entertainment] and them some work at Top Cow. I had gotten in touch with Marvel, actually my first gig was a fill-in job on Secret Warriors #24 with Jonathan Hickman. That led to doing another book under the same editor, Lauren Sankovitch, a graphic novel called Fantastic Four: Season One. A years worth of work or so, then based on that work, apparently, it was show to the ultimate comics editor and Brian Bendis. They liked the work so much they wanted to bring me in. It’s very similar style wise to what Sara [Pichelli] had been doing on Ultimate Spider-Man. Originally it was for a three issue fill-in. Everything worked out so well scheduling wise and they were happy with the work I was doing they brought me on as the rotating artist with Sara. When she went on to doing Guardians of the Galaxy I kept on as the artist on Ultimate Spider-Man.
UTF: That’s very awesome. Next I want to talk about your style. I know there are plenty of people out there who want to get into the comic industry, but they struggle finding their artistic voice, if you will. How did you come across yours?
David Marquez: I guess it always kind of boils down to who your influences are and what tools you like when you’re drawing. For me, when I got into comics as a reader back when I was in elementary or middle school, guys like Jim Lee were the biggest influence on me. I really liked the dynamic detailed, cartoonie but realistic-ish kind of style. Then after Jim Lee the next big influence was Travis Charest, who was known for being a very, very technical artist with a realistic art style. Those are probably my two biggest influences coming up.
As far as developing a style, it wanted to make my art look like what I found attractive in their work. As you’re drawing, other influences start to bleed in. I always wanted to have this kind of detailed, technical, dynamic style. Eventually instead of using traditional tools, pencil, pen, ink, paper, I started doing a lot of work digitally. While a lot of it still resembled my traditional work, I found that I got to use all of these really kind of crazy brushes that would do things that you really can’t do very easy on paper. It’s a combination of who your influences are and trying to draw on the aspects of their art that you really enjoy, then what tools you use and what they allow you to do.
UTF: That sounds great. The next question I want to ask is about your original graphic novel The Joyners in 3D coming from BOOM! Studios. Can you tell our audience a little bit about that, because to be honest, this is the first time I’m hearing about it and the concept sounds pretty rad?
David Marquez: Awesome, yeah. This is a book that I’ve been working on for the past three years with R.J. Ryan who was the writer on my first published work called Syndrome which was also through Archaia [Entertainment], which is now part of BOOM! Studios. We started working on this book about three years ago. It’s this crazy, Sci-Fi meets family drama story. It’s kind of like the Jetsons meet American Beauty. Or like what if George Jetson was an asshole is kind of another way of looking at it. It’s drawn in a very different style. It’s all done in anaglyph red blue 3D that myself and my artistic partner Tara Rhymes kind of co-developed. It’s set against this idealistic 1960’s influenced future: floating cities, and flying cars, and crazy technology. But it’s a very dark and edgy family drama .
It was a chance for me as an artist to go outside of what I normally do with my mainstream comic work. It isn’t like an action book, it’s very character focused. I’m drawing on a lot of different artistic styles , guys like Darwyn Cooke and Daniel Clothes and David Messa Kelly. It was a really good creative opportunity for me, just to spread my wings and see what I can do. Like I said, teaming up with Tara Rhymes for the 3D was a huge technical challenge. The point of doing it in 3D was to transcend the gimmick. It can be so gimmicky and a bunch of fists falling out at you, not that that’s inherently bad, but that’s all there is and it’s not a great experience. We’re trying to use 3D tastefully, to accent and emphasize the story. Our goal wad to do a really, really serious, intense, well-told character drama using 3D as an artistic and narrative tool. I think we’ve succeeded very well in doing that.
UTF: That sounds great. My final question is going to be very simple. If you had anything to say to comic book buyers out there, the fanboys and fangirls that frequent our site, any final words, what would they be and why?
David Marquez: Read what you love, not what you feel you should be reading. There’s a lot of good content out there, from the big two and also a lot of creator owned stuff. Read what you enjoy, don’t read books just because you feel as if you have to in order to kind of keep up with what’s going on.
I want to take the time to thank Mr. David Marquez for chatting with me. It was a pleasure, and I just want to say that this talent is absolutely gifted so by all means be on the look out for his uncanny work!
So what did you think of the interview my fellow fanboys and fangirls?
Sound off with your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below!