Hello Stuart!! When you draw a central African American character like the new Captain America, do you reference his facial features from someone you know or do you use your considerable cartooning skills (please don't say your skills aren't considerable, they are) to cobble together something you can work with? Your "people" all look very individual and I appreciate your efforts there.
Hello to you. I use photo reference in all aspects of my work, primarily to help with body language, lighting effects and various complex details of the real world. However, I don’t have a particular person in mind when drawing Sam Wilson or any other character. Indeed, I’m most often the model, regardless of race, gender or species.
Mr Immonen, I'm extremely curious to know how you determine the overall page composition. There are some classical rules how to properly compose single illustration but making the whole page filled with panels looking good seems to be much more complicated. I'm totally in love with your sequentials and I wonder if you could share any advice.
Thank you for your question and for your kind words.
At this point, I— to plagiarise a crazy old wizard— mostly act on instinct. There is no one right way to compose a panel or a page; I let the story inform the choice. The decision-making process, as I said yesterday, happens very quickly for me. These FEAR ITSELF thumbnails are more than the usual amount of work when I “prepare.”
Stuart, how much structure drawing do you do? Do the images just "fall out of the pencil", or do you do a lot of draw-erase-clarify-erase-swear profusely-draw? Adding to that, do you have a clear vision of the image before putting pencil to paper, and you are "tracing" that thought, or does the image evolve organically?
Usually, the thumbnail sketch has all the elements in place and takes about a minute to conceive. The rest of the day is spent trying not to cock it up completely at full size. I don’t think too hard about how I get there.
I feel awkward asking this but I know Stuart doesn't look at any other current comics (I'm guessing Kathryn has to as part of her Marvel research), but with all the new talent emerging in Image books & elsewhere as well as colorists experimenting in new books, does he not think that by not visiting the comic shop he's missing out on some enjoyable and maybe inspirational work?
It’s a fair question; here’s my answer. I suppose that, by definition, not encountering something means one misses out on that thing. However, I look at other people’s work as a matter of course during the workday, and examine it critically, since looking carefully is part of my job, but this is not the same as reading for pleasure, which in my case, since I spend 6-10 hours a day immersed in comics, takes other forms. As for inspiration, I have never looked to comics exclusively to call up the muse, and indeed, find that looking elsewhere is often more beneficial anyway. Telling a story with pictures is mostly about problem-solving; regardless of the quality and quantity of the work of my peers, I need to know how I need to solve those problems, not how someone else did.
Kady O’Malley shares the latest on the fallout from a leaked cabinet document on a possible copyright exemption for political parties, as Heritage Minister Shelly Glover tells the House of Commons that television networks shouldn’t be able to ‘censor’ political ads.
I like to think there’s a world where Kathryn Immonen’s still writing awesome Sif comics, with Sif on some crazy queer Asgardian road trip with the new female Thor. It’s a world where Ant-Man, Medusa, She-Hulk and Ms. Thing are still a team.
Are you trying to make me weepy? Because it’s been a week, let me tell you.
“Oh really, he was a genius, Helen’s a genius and Dennis is a genius. You know a lot of geniuses, y’know. You should meet some stupid people once in a while, y’know, you could learn something.”—Isaac Davis
“I don’t believe that paperbacks will ever destroy hardbound publishing… The paperback has actually benefited publishing in more ways than one. Selling reprint and other subsidiary rights is now what keeps a lot of hardbound publishers from going bankrupt, because without a paperback sale, a book doesn’t make expenses most of the time. Also, paperbacks encourage the reading habit; people start with them, and a small percentage will graduate to hardbound books. So new readers are created and books are provided for people who can’t afford the hardbound ones—and that’s the greatest advantage of all… I think the hardbound publisher’s got to be in on this some way or another, and the one who hasn’t buttressed himself with an interest in a paperback house has been very short-sighted.”—
Bennett Cerf, on the emergence of paperback books in the 1930s.
For laffs, substitute “ebook” for “paperback” and “print” for “hardbound”.
Need a holiday present? 104 PAGES OF PEG! This December.
Image: Ramon Perez
CAPTAIN AMERICA: PEGGY CARTER, AGENT OF S.H.I.E.L.D.
KATHRYN IMMONEN, ED BRUBAKER, STAN LEE
& STEVE ENGLEHART (W)
RAMON PEREZ, STEVE MCNIVEN, JACK KIRBY,
JOHN ROMITA SR. & FRANK ROBBINS (A)
• Marvel’s Agent Carter makes the leap from the movies to the small screen this winter — and Marvel has you covered with this essential look at Peggy’s espionage career!
• In the dark days of World War II, Peggy Carter — aka Agent 13 — works with the French Resistance to liberate Nazi-occupied Paris. When she meets Captain America, will their mutual missions blossom into romance?
• And in the modern day, Peggy Carter, now an Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., faces down the Red Skull!
• Collecting CAPTAIN AMERICA AND THE FIRST THIRTEEN, CAPTAIN AMERICA (1968) #184-186, and material from CAPTAIN AMERICA (2011) #1-2 and TALES OF SUSPENSE (1959) #77.
So Stuart... All-New Cap. I am very much excite. What was the process like moving from X-Men to this? Did you leave/get pulled off it to make room for Cap or did you have a break in between to figure out what you wanted to do next? How many issues will you be on for? A lot of questions I know. Just any All-New Cap behind the scenes info would be sweet.
I finished my last issue of ANXM in early June and began my first issue of ANCA in late July. In between, I worked on Russian Olive to Red King.
There is no set number of issues regarding my commitment to Captain America.
Thanks for your enthusiasm; I’m pleased with the work so far.
What prep work do you do when starting a new comic? You seem to do a lot of teams/ensemble casts at least in your mainstream comics work. How do you keep all that together and keep each character distinctive?
I’m not sure what you mean by prep work. I wake up and start drawing; the task at hand is always changing (scene by scene, page by page, issue by issue, covers, interiors) and I’m usually juggling a few projects at once, so each day is different from the previous one regardless of the assignment.
As to my ability to draw distinctive characters, many thanks, but I feel it falls short much of the time.
Is this the ask box? That’s not my question. This is my question —> What’s a Thing that once annoyed you about your partner that you maybe kind of adore now? And/or vice versa, if you’re willing to go there. =)
Yow. I’ll go first. Stuart is doing part of the corporate taxes at the moment, so you should probably take that into account when he answers.
We’ve been together a long time and I’d say that we’re both worse in some ways that don’t matter and better in a lot of ways that do. I don’t think there’s anything that I’ve ever found adorable about Stuart. He’s not really an adorable sort of person. He’s kind of spikey. It sometimes drives me nuts how stubborn and unwilling to ask for help he is but both of these things are foundational strengths of his character, not faults. Having said that, though, we’re both aware of how you can let small inconsequentials build up. So if something is irritating enough that the other person feels compelled to mention it, then we both try not to do that thing. I almost always remember to clean my hair out of the shower drain (he cleans the bathrooms), he almost always remembers to not leave repulsive sweaty work clothes turned inside out (I do the laundry). Does it ultimately matter? no. Does it make it easier to live together? yes.
Too serious? whatever. Stuart?
The better Buddhist in each of us accepts instead of resisting and everyone is happier. Except when we don’t and we’re not.
And except for these bloody taxes. But that’s why we have an accountant.
How jealous would Stuart be if Kathryn was told by Marvel to write a new NEXTWAVE series?... Sorry, I wanted to ask something relating more to art and process and workflow and inspiration, but those seem to have been covered at one point or another... Neither of you really have to answer this if you don't want to... Keep up the great work, huge fan =)
OK, since I didn’t write NEXTWAVE, I wouldn’t be jealous in the least. If she has been asked (not told, see previous) to draw NEXTWAVE, that would also be fine… but very unusual. If she had been asked to work on NEXTWAVE and I wasn’t, well, I have a job.
Anyway, I sent this to editor Nick Lowe last week and he liked it, so holy synchronicity.
Stuart, It seems like you and Wade are pretty tight. It's been ages since I've seen either of you credited without the other. Tbh, I'm not 100% sure he's not your pen name for when you ink yourself, like Soderbergh and "Peter Andrews". How does this affect how you choose projects? Is it like a married couple deciding whether to take a job in a new city, ie you can't say yes without checking with him? If he'd wanted to stay on X-men, would he have been able to, and you get a new inker for Cap?
Yeah, we’ve been around the block a few times together.
So far, decisions made regarding which long-term projects to take on have been left to me, from INFERNO on up to ALL-NEW CAP, though we have both taken on other jobs without the other during the last twenty-some years. Most recently, I told him I was leaving ANXM for new horizons and asked if he was interested in coming along and he said yes, thank goodness. I’ve tried working with other inkers and it’s never as good. Of course, if Wade had preferred to stay on board, that’s his prerogative (despite popular opinion, freelancers do not own other freelancers or have any say in their work choices— ie: Writer X does not “steal” Artist Y nor does Artist Y “belong to” Writer X but I digress) and we would have found other collaborators.
As artists, there's always a time where one feel discouraged about drawing. Do you ever feel like this? personally, I absolutely love your work. I really like how you draw lips and noses
I feel this way all the time. Every day. Several times a day. But other people are depending on my completing the job of drawing so I do my best to sweep those negative feelings aside; if I can turn depression into anger and turn anger into getting over myself, then that’s a good day. I wrote more about this previously.
Thanks for making great work together. I pick up most projects you each work on with other creators, and I never miss out on your collaborations. Looking forward to Russian Olive.
We seriously can’t thank you enough for your support. We both are aware that we don’t stump as hard for this work (or any of it really) in the way that many others do so it’s enormously gratifying when we hear these kinds of things. We’re getting fairly close on Russian Olive although it has no publisher, we don’t necessarily expect that anyone’s going to be interested and you may just have to come over and we’ll show you a stack of photocopies.