We've been treated to some pretty great art in Miles Morales' ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN. We've seen Sara Pichelli and Chris Samnee take on the art duties. Now there's another name to add to the list, David Marquez.
If you caught last week's ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #9 (or the recent FANTASTIC FOUR: SEASON ONE OGN), you have an idea what he's capable of. We decided to ask him a few questions about stepping into the spider-booties and working with Brian Michael Bendis.
Comic Vine: What was your reaction when you were offered art duties on ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN?
David Marquez: Complete surprise. So much so I had to reread the email a few times to be sure I wasn't just seeing things. I'd been reading the book on and off since the early 2000s, and had been caught hook, line and sinker with the Death of Spider-Man and the launch of the All-New UCSM featuring Miles as the new Spider-Man. I felt incredibly honored to be offered such a high-profile project relatively early in my career, and the fact that it is one of my favorite comics just puts me over the moon.
CV: How long are you signed up for?
DM: I'm not sure that I can give an exact issue count, but I'm on for a fairly substantial story arc - focusing largely on the education of Miles Morales as the new Spider-Man - and then I believe Sara and I will be rotating story arcs after that.== TEASER ==
CV: What was your approach in drawing Ultimate Prowler? Did you have your own idea for the design or was a description given?
DM: For Prowler I'm sticking closely to the design that Sara came up with for him in the earlier issues. Naturally Aaron, and his Prowler alter ego, will look a little different under my hand than when either she or Chris Samnee is drawing, but it's definitely the same character.
CV: Do you prefer panel-by-panel scripts or an overview of what should happen on each page?
DM: I've only ever really worked off of a full script - where each page is broken down into individual panel descriptions. I think it'd be really interesting to try Marvel style at some point - where the writer basically gives an overview like you said, leaving it up to the artist to break down the story beats into panels. But especially when you're working with a writer for the first time, and on a tight monthly schedule like we have on UCSM, it's nice to be able to dive right into the script, knowing that much of the work has already been done. Working with a writer as accomplished as Brian, I know that the foundation is strong and I can focus on making it sing visually.
CV: Have you started any other new redesigns for characters?
DM: I did a little bit of design work in issue 9, but it was mostly for little easter eggs like the armored costumes in the Tinkerer's warehouse. The vulture wings are another example from that same issue. Moving forward, I understand that we'll be ultimizing (that's a word, right?) some new characters, and I can't wait to sink my teeth into those designs.
CV: Do you have a different mindset when drawing Spider-Man scenes versus Miles Morales scenes? Does your intensity or excitement amp up when drawing Spidey in action?
DM: There's definitely a difference. At the most basic level, this deals with the nature of the scenes and how that relates to how I want to apply appropriate storytelling techniques. I come from a place artistically where I really like to stick to the "grid" - just basic rectangles for panel shapes. It's simple and it's incredibly effective in conveying story beats when used properly. But rules like these can be broken to really interesting effect.
When Miles puts on his costume and becomes Spider-Man, you want to see action and I really try to pump up the intensity for these scenes. I break away from the basic grid and start playing with more creative panel shapes - angled panels, jagged edges, having characters pop out of the panel. I also am playing a bunch with texture, speed lines and halftone/Zipatone patterns.
CV: What's the one thing you'd want to be remembered for on ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN?
DM: I suppose what I take the most pride in regarding my art is trying to balance really exciting action with a strong sense of characterization and "acting." I put a ton of work into these seemingly disparate, but fundamentally related, aspects of comic art, and hopefully readers enjoy it.
CV: Who does Mile's laundry? Will he be able to keep his costume clean and free from stinking? (It's not like he can get his mom to wash it).
DM: Haha. judging from his age, I bet his mom does his laundry mostly but makes him help at least half the time (and probably gets Jefferson to kick in as well) - so he knows not to bleach the colors. But now that he has the costume to deal with, I bet he hand washes that himself. Tough as the costume may seem, one of kind suits like that can't come cheap and heaven knows there's no room for shrinkage! Or, he's just a regular 13 year old boy and has never washed it. I bet it's getting REALLY stinky right about now.
ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN #9 is on sale now. Issue #10 is on sale May 2.