Aspen Comics President Frank Mastromauro and Vice-President Peter Steigerwald recently opened the Publisher's doors for an in-depth Studio Tour. Launching in 2003, Aspen -- and their founder, the late Michael Turner -- set a new standard for excellence in comic book illustration, coloring and design, with titles such as Fathom, Soulfire, Lady Mechanika, among others. The studio has also provided art for such publishers as Marvel and DC Comics.
Mastromauro told MTV Geek how him and Turner came out with the idea for Aspen:
"At the time, Michael Turner -- who was pretty much one of my best friends in life -- he and I were doing a huge tour for Fathom -- we got to the point where, just as a hypothetical, we wondered, 'what if we started our own company?' A couple of weeks later, we were like: 'well, let's say we start our own company, what happens?' And then eventually it was like 'let's do this!' We were never ones not to try something."
Steigerwald also told us what it was like to work with Turner, and his legacy:
"Working with Michael was one of my greatest experiences -- life-changing experiences. As a person, I don't know many finer people. Artistically, we worked so well together."
Lady Mechanika's Joe Benitez also talked to us about Turner, and how he got his start at Aspen:
"I've known these guys forever -- we all started at Top Cow. They approached me if I was interested in finishing up Soulfire. And I was like -- of course I would, it would be an honor to finish up the tale Mike couldn't. And I came in, finished off books nine and ten, and have just been working with them ever since!"