Hi, Kathryn. I just wanted to drop you a line and thank you for the Avengers Annual that came out today. It was the single most fun I've ever had reading a comic, and I'm not being hyperbolic. It really, really was. It was funny and touching and honestly just a joy to read. It brightened my whole week, if you want to know the truth. I hope you'll be asked to write more Avengers stuff - your characterizations were absolutely wonderful and spot-on. Thank you again for the amazing experience.
Thank you. A whole bunch. David and I were thrilled to be able to tear it up once more and Jake Thomas steered that ship like nobody’s business.
Hi Mr. Immonen, you said previously that you do portfolio reviews and I was wondering if there are criterion you have while reviewing them. If so, what are they? I'm asking this because I'm putting together my own portfolio and I'd love some advice from an experienced artist like yourself.
I do portfolio reviews because people ask me to, but I’m not sure it’s good value for any of the participants involved. While I can certainly comment on technical aspects such as storytelling ability, gesture, anatomy, perspective, composition, dramatic lighting and page design, the bottom line is that I’m not in a position to hire and therefore my opinion has no practical worth. My recommendation is to quiz one of the many editors who frequent social media on what they are looking for, or look up the submission criteria for the various publishers for which you might be hoping to work.
Stuart, from previous postsI know you draw directly onto the page when working. I am curious as to what size you rule panel borders and what size you extend the bleed art.
Strictly speaking, panel borders are merely the width of the pencil line, while panel gutters are more variable. I usually space panels 1/8 inch apart, but sometimes more. Wade rules the borders with a tech pen; I have no idea what size, but it looks like it might be 1.5mm.
I draw on paper supplied by Marvel. The safe (copy) area on the board is 9 1/8” x 14 1/2”. The bleed area adds 9/16” on all sides. When printed, all measurements are reduced by about a third. I couldn’t comment on the digital specs.
What are your thoughts on all the current female led titles coming out? There has been tons of positive feedback but also some negativity saying the four women in particular keep gaining titles for them to fail and hold back other female characters from getting their chance. As someone who has written many female led series/mini's do you think there is truth to it? Do the failings of Black Widow, She-Hulk, Elektra and Captain Marvel hold back characters like Hellcat from solo star status?
Honestly, I have no idea. I’m not trying to be glib or dismissive but I don’t really spend any time thinking about it in these terms. I just want comics to be good but having said that, the vagaries of the market are such that that is often not relevant to their longevity or success. And having said that, who am I to say what’s good or not. I do know that I wish the first questions about books, as a measure of what’s relevant to someone’s reading interests, did often not include “how is it important to continuity?” but I get that, too. There’s little shelf room and it’s shrinking all the time so I would just like to see those books that are published be as good as they can possibly be. I think that’s what everyone wants. And frankly, people are voting with their dollars. It’s not the characters’ faults.
Kat! Do you mind if I call you Kat? If so, I apologize but I was just wondering if/when we would be hearing about any new Marvel titles from you. Is there anything waiting? Any particular pitches you have cooked up? And specific kind of books you'd like to write?
You can try. I used to catch shit from an English teacher in high school who insisted on calling me “Kathy” and then became irritated when I didn’t answer but the fact is he might as well have been calling me “Raoul”… which isn’t my name either. AT ANY RATE….
It seems very popular to talk up how busy you are and how high your email inbox count is and how little sleep you’re getting but the facts are that I was starting to cook something up with Lauren Sankovitch but she has now, and I am thrilled for her, left the building and I have nothing on the slate at the moment. I am doing the next pass on Russian Olive (which is now entirely pencilled. Hooray!) which is occupying my days although I’m a little stalled at the moment waiting on a book to be delivered.
As to what I’d like to write? I have to tell you, part of the real pleasure of work for hire for me is that you start out not having any clue as to why you (and by extension, the reader) should be at all interested in what’s in front of you >cough< Vampire Jubilee >hack< and the job is figuring that out. And then you do and It’s exciting and rewarding.
Hey Kathryn, just going back over some of the stories you've written(JiM, Hellcat, PSB) and I still thoroughly enjoy them all. Out all all the wonderful ladies(Pixie, Sif, Patsy, Psylocke, Emma, etc.) who were some of the ones you enjoyed writing the most? Who took you by surprise? Who would you be most excited to write again? And for PSB were the supporting characters mandated or did you choose them personally?
Thank you so much for saying so and I’m glad they hold up for you on a second go round. That’s gratifying to hear. I still have a major soft spot for Patsy and Sif but really, I’m surprised every time by the extent you can fall in love in unexpected places and I think the best example of that, for me, was Vampire Jubilee. I’d go back there in a heart beat. And it’s interesting to see where you were wrong; I really thought Monica and Patsy (in Heralds) would get along but I couldn’t make that happen for whatever reason and that’s a good time, too. As for PSB, it’s hard to remember, honestly, but I think I just compiled a list that made sense to me and Nick Lowe said okay. As always, when putting a group together, I tend to start first with what we (and I’m sure other people) refer to as the “Goonies Model” (See also Super8 etc.)
Hello Stuart! Have you had any occasion to draw the Silver Surfer and if so, in what story? Are you keen to work on any lesser characters or do you avoid a "wish list" of heroes to draw and thus stick to what's required for the stories you're working on? Also, I love the naturalistic poses you use in your work, what's your secret?
I don’t recall ever having drawn the Silver Surfer. I’ll draw to the best of my ability whichever characters and situations are in the script at hand. I don’t actively avoid a wish list; I suppose I feel saving myself for the opportunity to draw Asbestos Lady only does a disservice to the reader of whichever book I’ve been actually hired to do.
Natural-looking figure work is hard at first and stays hard. There’s no secret; it’s just a matter of doing something for a long, long, long, long time. I’m still working on it.
Hello, Mr Immonen. I'm a huge Kitty Pryde fan, like the biggest, and I've enjoyed your renditions of her from way back when she was in Ultimate X-Men to Ultimate Spider-Man and now in All-New X-Men. And I'm also a huge fan of your designs as well. With the All-New X-Men getting new threads, is there any chance that you'll design a new costume for their flawless professor as well?
Thank you for the kind comments. As far as I can say, Kitty will keep her current costume, but I tend to find these things out only on a need-to-know basis.
Hiya, Immonens! This question is actually for the two of you. Do you, being involved in comic books, collect comic books? If so, what drives you to collect them? For Kathryn, is it the writing since you write? For Stuart, is it the art since you draw? And is the world of comics competitive? Is the work you get based upon the work you have done, what you are expected to do, or a combination? Or something else entirely?
Right off the bat, it’s a no for both of us. We read comics as a matter of course during working hours, but for information rather than inspiration. Off the clock, not at all.
And competitive? Sure. At most there are a couple of hundred work-for-hire jobs available at any given time in the North American comic market. And yes, the successful completion of a job does tend to lead to more of the same, as the failure to complete tends to eliminate potential offers, just like any other entrepreneurial field.
Hey Stuart, I'm sure you get tired of answering equipment questions, but I was curious what you use to get that nice dead line in your Snipe inking. Are you using a particular nib or a pigment felt tip marker? Thanks! I've always been a fan of your graceful artwork.
It’s absolutely no problem. The most recent Snipe thing, which I assume is what you are referring to, was done using the ultra fine end of the Sharpie Twin Tip. But I do also like the Uniball Deluxe Micro. When I post work from the sketchbook, I usually try to remember to say what it was done with, so I appreciate knowing that people notice or wonder about that information.
Hi Ms. Immonem, I really loved and enjoyed your take on Journey Into Mystery with Sif, I wonder if one day might be more to see from your work and your vision of Asgard, maybe with characters like Amora the Enchantress (especially her), Lorelei, the Valkyrie, Sygin, Karnilla, Hela ...?
Hey, thank you. Sincerely.
I would hope! that you’ll see more from me at some point.( Perhaps I can shove you in the direction of the Avengers Christmas Annual coming out in December. ) I fell so hard for Sif and the gang that I would happily revisit any corner of Asgard with little or no convincing. And I love insane head gear almost as much as I love talking animals but on your list, Lorelei is the one that has long been a real soft spot for me.
Oh, regarding the "comics in movies" Ask, how do you find or capture the image you post? Thanks! =)
We are huge fans of our local public library system. We watch a lot of movies, most come from the library. Having said that, there are probably a handful of the, what are we at now… 135? or so?, that have been found online. There’s one thread somewhere that had a couple three examples from British films. It’s not our favourite way to do it.
What's the story behind your "comics in movies" tag? And what qualifies as a legit find? Spotting a comic book or comic strip in the environment? A comic belonging to a character? A character actually reading the comic? (I've only browsed a the most recent dozen or so in your tumbl so far.) Are you seeking suggestions/finds from readers/followers?
Many moons ago, and it’s ongoing, I started a ‘knitting in movies’ screen cap project. The ‘comics in movies’ came out of that. The best examples are characters actively reading comics. However, we will also take comics that you can reasonably expect that a character has read. See Daniel Day Lewis in My Beautiful Laundrette and the comics on the back of the apartment door. So something on a bulletin board in a bedroom or a cubicle divider? Counts. Steve McQueen doing the crossword puzzle in The Great St, Louis Bank Robbery can be happily extrapolated to have read the strip that is on the same page. People standing and talking in front of a newstand that has a spinner rack? Doesn’t count. Comic shown on a coffee table but we never see a character in a scene with it? Doesn’t count.
I should also add that at some point we decided that the trifecta was knitting, comics and someone holding a chicken (we would also take a duck or some other barnyard fowl). And they all had to be clearly accounted for. That film has been found. I won’t tell you what it is.
And yes! we have had ‘donations’ from the likes of Alejandro Arbona and Jamie S Rich. Finds are gratefully accepted.