As one of the comics industry's top artists, Stuart Immonen has worked on everyone from Superman to his current work on All-New X-Men. Stuart talks to us about his current projects and how he got into comics.
Amazon.com: Your current run on All-New
X-Men has been very well-received. How has it been working with Brian
Stuart Immonen: Brian’s great, a
truly generous professional. While we don’t communicate directly very often, he
bends over backwards to play to my strengths in the scripts. But then we’ve had
lots of practice collaborating, having worked together previously on Ultimate
Spider-Man and New Avengers.
A: How did you decide to pursue a
career in comics?
SI: I’ve always drawn
and always liked comics, at least as far back as my memory permits. But I
didn’t put the two together until I was almost twenty; growing up in small-town
Ontario, Canada, the idea of working for a comic-book company in New York City
seemed as abstract and impossible as travelling to Mars. But in the late 80s,
when I moved to Toronto for university, there were comics being made and
published and distributed right there, and a career in the industry suddenly
appeared to be not only possible, but sensible. I started self-publishing, and
slowly worked up through tiers of publishers until DC and Marvel took notice.
A: What artists influenced you
when you were starting your career?
SI: The same ones as
now; John Singer Sargent, Edouard Manet, NC Wyeth, Andrew Loomis, Jon Whitcomb,
Al Parker, all incredible figure artists... a thorough laundry list would be
incredibly boring. I’m a sponge—I take as much in as I can manage, and
hopefully filter it into something of my own.
A: You’re very adept at tailoring
your artwork to the needs of the title you’re working on. How do you
approach what style and tone you’re going to bring when you begin work on a new
SI: Primarily, the
goal is to be of service to the tone of the story. It might demand a quiet
naturalism, as in Kurt Busiek’s script for Superman: Secret Identity, or a
wild, exaggerated cartoonish quality as in Warren Ellis’ Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. or a flat, almost geometric chiaroscuro as in Kathryn Immonen’s MOVING
PICTURES. I’m prone to experimentation in the first place, so any excuse to
stretch myself is an opportunity to learn something new.
A: You’ve worked on a huge cast of
characters in your career, from more fringe characters in Nextwave to the
entirety of the Marvel Universe in Fear Itself. Are there any Marvel
characters you’re eager to tackle in the future?
SI: I’ve been
fortunate enough to have worked on most of my 12-year-old self’s favourite
characters over the past couple of decades, from the Fantastic Four to
Spider-Man to my current assignment on All-New X-Men. More than trying my hand
at as many characters as possible, I’d much rather at this point in my career
settle into a good long stretch on a title and explore that universe for a
while. The creative and editorial teams on All-New X-Men are great people to
work with and I’d really like to have the chance to make a significant mark in
the characters’ continuity.
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