David Marquez is a name you should know. He's a great artist as well as a super-nice guy. We interviewed him last April when he took on ten issues of ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN. Now he's getting ready for a three-issue run on Brian Michael Bendis' ALL-NEW X-MEN and also is working on THE JOYNERS iN 3D with R.J. Ryan at Archaia due later this year.
With his first issue of ALL-NEW X-MEN going on sale this week, we decided to ask him a few questions on both projects.
Comic Vine: When did you first find out you'd be drawing three issues of ALL-NEW X-MEN?
David Marquez: Back in September, not long before NYCC, I was speaking with Brian about some details in the issue of ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN I was drawing at the time. Towards the end of the conversation, he asked whether the people at Marvel had spoken to me. When I told him that no, they hadn't, at least not beyond the regular editorial back and forth, his response was simply a cryptic “I'll let them tell you.” A couple days later, I received a call from Nick Lowe offering me the gig. The plan on ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN was for Sara Pichelli to come back on with issue 19 for the Venom arc, and the timing just happened to work out perfectly for me to hop on over to the X-Office for an arc!== TEASER ==
CV: Because of the twice a month schedule and needing to get ahead, how much of the first five issues had you seen in order to do your issues?
DM: Once I signed on, my editors in the X-Office, Nick Lowe and Jordan White, were incredibly helpful in getting me on board. By the time I started drawing my first issue, was up to date on all the scripts Brian had written and saw Stuart's incredible art as it was coming in. It's daunting to follow such an incredible artist, but inspiring as well.
CV: Is it weird to draw a scene with the young and older versions like old Angel and young Angel?
DM: Not so much “weird” as challenging and remarkably rewarding. Having the Original 5 interact with their (surviving) modern counterparts is one of the most entertaining, and often disturbing and touching, opportunities in this book. But trying to draw the characters in a way that they resemble one another, but are still distinct, is a difficult feat! It's not enough to differentiate characters by hair color or style, you have to really sell the Original 5 as younger – both physically and emotionally.
CV: Are you only doing three issues or will you jump in again after Stuart's next round of issues?
DM: I guess we'll have to wait and see!
CV: What can you tell us about THE JOYNERS IN 3D?
DM: THE JOYNERS IN 3D is my current passion project. And by “current”, I mean it's the book I've been working on in my freetime for the last 3 years with writer R.J. Ryan. This is my first creator-owned project: a full length, all-3D graphic novel. I'm drawing in a very different, much more graphic and cartoony style, and really putting in an effort to push outside of my comfort zone artistically and creatively. I have a great interest in exploring comics as an artistic and storytelling medium, and this book is one more step on that journey.
CV: Is it really in 3D? Glasses included?
DM: Absolutely! Traditional anaglyph “red/blue” 3D with two pairs of 3D glasses included, designed by the amazing Jon Adams (of CityCyclops.com fame) who's come on board to help us with the design and lettering of the book. It's important to us that THE JOYNERS IN 3D is an immersive, beautifully packaged experience, and having a world-class designer like Jon is integral to achieving that goal.
Regarding the 3D itself, I decided very early on to do all the 3D conversion myself. As I mentioned before, this project is an exploration for me, and learning the 3D techniques that've been developed over the last 60 years is a huge part of telling this story. We're setting out to surpass the gimmick of 3D, which in and of itself can be used to incredible aesthetic effect, but also has huge potential for storytelling, composition, emphasis and tone. There have been very impressive and beautiful 3D comics done before, but this is the first time the technique has been used to tell an ambitious,long-form graphic narrative.
CV: Is there a release date for it yet?
DM: We're aiming for a Fall 2013 release.
CV: Will the story be self contained or is there room for a sequel?
DM: This story is completely self-contained. Our goal here is not to set up a franchise. It's a love letter to the comics, not only as a storytelling medium, but as a singular, physical art object.
CV: Do you feel more pressure working on a creator-owned book or a Marvel title?
DM: I don't know whether there's “more” or “less” pressure to the different projects, but there is a discernible, if difficult to articulate, difference between the two. I love working at Marvel, and I love getting to draw all these iconic characters that I grew up with and have a truly visceral, emotional attachment to. And I'm not alone in loving these characters. There's a built in audience for the characters and the universe. But, as I've heard other creators phrase it, I am playing with Marvel's toys, and with that comes certain responsibilities: to the company, to the readers, to the characters.
With THE JOYNERS IN 3D, as with any creator-owned project, you build everything from the ground up. There are still responsibilities one must attend to: to tell a gripping story, and to tell it as well and as beautifully as you can, and to work well with your partners in that telling. But there's no safety net. Ultimately, they're your toys to do with as you please, and there's a wonderful, if slightly terrifying, freedom to that.
CV: If a younger version of yourself suddenly showed up, would you listen to what they had to say or would you try to 'warn' them of things that would happen?
DM: Ha, that's the question isn't it? If you really want to dive into the philosophical implications of time travel, I guess it really comes down to how strongly attached you are to the present. Purely by interacting, you are affecting change. So if you interact at all, might as well go all in. Like anyone, I'm aware of the many missteps I've taken, and perhaps by telling my younger self to, say, pursue art at an earlier age, I might have broken into comics earlier. Or more easily achieved any number of goals. Or avoided some injury, physical or otherwise.
But let's face it with some degree of honesty, you may be able to warn a younger self of the mistakes you made, and with that knowledge they may avoid those mistakes. But they'll inevitably make new ones following whatever new course they follow. There is no “perfect” path. I'm very content with my life, mistakes and all, and I'm glad I'll never get the chance to change them.
Be sure to check out ALL-NEW X-MEN #6 on sale this Wednesday, January 16, and THE JOYNERS IN 3D this Fall.