If you've been reading Marvel's Ultimate Comics Spider-Man as religiously as we have, you were initially bummed about the news that Sara Pichelli wouldn't be drawing the title exclusively, instead alternating with relative newcomer David Marquez... Until you saw Marquez's art. The former animation artist perfectly captures Miles Morales' youthful intensity, and is a perfect companion to Pichelli and company. Even better news? As announced yesterday at SDCC 2012 by Marvel, Marquez is going exclusive with the company! We chatted with the artist about why he made the move, what it means for his career, and what dream character - or characters - he's gunning for:
MTV Geek: First of all, congrats on the Exclusive! When did you find out about it, and how long was it in the works?
David Marquez: Thanks so much! I couldn't be more excited about signing with Marvel. The conversation started earlier this year as I began my run on Ultimate Comics Spider-Man. Working on this book has been such an amazing opportunity and I just poured myself into the art. The folks at Marvel liked what I was doing, and approached me with the offer. A little time spent hashing out the details, and the deal was done!
Geek: Beyond that though, WHY go exclusive to Marvel?
DM: There are a whole host of reasons. First of all, I grew up as a Marvel kid - the X-Men, Fantastic Four and Spider-Man were some of my favorite characters. Working for Marvel has always been one of my biggest goals as a comic artist, and being asked to sign exclusively is a huge honor.
Marvel has been very good to me in the short time I've been working in the industry. I was first published in September 2010, and before that year was over I was offered my first fill-in assignment on Secret Warriors, working with Jonathan Hickman. That was followed by the Fantastic Four: Season One OGN with Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, and now Ultimate Comics Spider-Man with Brian Bendis. I never would have expected such high-profile projects - and with such amazing creators - so early in my career, much less the offer of exclusivity. Especially since I grew up as a Marvel kid, this is an amazing opportunity to establish a strong relationship with the company, the great editorial staff and the incredible stable of creators working on Marvel's books.
And, on the practical side, it offers security. Life as a freelancer can be incredibly stressful and unstable. Sure, you may have a gig for the next month or two, but after that? You honestly spend almost as much time trying to line up the next job as you do on your current one. Exclusivity means I have guaranteed work - a safe harbor.
Geek: So since you've only been doing this for two years, what’s the ride been like so far? And what would you say to anyone who thinks you’re limiting your opportunities by going exclusive with Marvel? Tell those Haters what’s what, David!
DM: It's been crazy. I've been very fortunate to have come so far in so short a time, and I'm incredibly grateful to everyone I've had the chance to work with over the last few years. But on the flip side - it's been exhausting. True, being an exclusive Marvel creator means I won't be taking on other work-for-hire assignments for the duration of the contract. But the trade is that I now have the chance to focus on my current projects and produce the best art I'm capable of, without the stress of tracking down the next job.
To the people out there who may say I am limiting my opportunity by signing exclusive I would say that Marvel is home to some of the brightest, most creative talent in the industry. By signing exclusively with Marvel, I get to collaborate with the best of the best, giving me ample opportunity to grow, both artistically and professionally.
Additionally, I've had a creator-owned property in development with a writing partner for over a year and, as part of my contract, I'll be free to finish work on that book. We're currently looking at a 2013 release.
Geek: Let’s talk about how your style has evolved a bit... What have you learned over these past two years since leaving animation? And what do you think your animation background brought to your art at Marvel?
DM: I only had a very brief tenure in animation, working on A SCANNER DARKLY back in 2005. But I learned a great deal on that project that helped me immensely as I made my way into into comics. Specifically, how to manage my time in order to hit deadlines and integrating digital tools into my workflow. Without those two things, I never would have been able make to where I am today.
Geek: We know you’ll be alternating arcs on Ultimate Comics Spider-Man with Sara Pichelli... Is that going to continue for the foreseeable future?
DM: Yup! The plan moving forward is for Sara to come back on UCSM once she's done with Spider-Men, and then we'll be rotating arcs!
DM: Probably the coolest thing to come along with the Exclusive was being invited up to the Marvel offices earlier this year to take part in the an artist workshop led by Klaus Janson and Howard Chaykin. I had heard amazing things about it from artists who had attended in years past and it exceeded all my expectations. One of the most informative and inspiring experiences of my professional life.
But other than that, with my monthly work on Ultimate Spider-Man, and my creator-owned work on the side, there isn't much time left for anything else! But there are always things on the horizon, pots on other burners.
Geek: Whenever I read about an artist going Exclusive, it’s almost always about the elusive “dream” character... Do you have one at Marvel you’d kill to draw at this point?
DM: Honestly, I love drawing Miles, and will stick around on this project for as long as they'll keep me. But if I had to pick any other property, I'd love to take a crack at the X-Men.
Geek: Any final thoughts? Anything to tease fans with about what’s coming up with Miles?
DM: I couldn't be happier than I currently am at Marvel, and look forward making some kick-ass comics! As far as Miles, there are some BIG developments coming up - new friends, new enemies and more excitement (and trouble) than he ever could have anticipated!
Stay tuned to MTV Geek for plenty more from San Diego Comic-Con!