Tag: mike baron

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    Exclusive Interview: Artist Matt Haley

    artist matt haleyQ: When did you get interested in comics, and what’s the first comic book series you remember really liking?

    A: Neal Adams’ Batman reprints ruled my little world, loved when he had a thirty-foot long cape and a tiny Bat-sports-coupe. There’s something that hits me viscerally to read them even today.

    Q: First published work?

    A: “Star Trek: The Next Generation Annual #2”, reprinted in “The Best Of Star Trek:TNG” TPB from DC Comics. Bob Greeneberger got my samples in the mail when I was in college in New Mexico and hired me. I’ve apologized for the ulcer I gave him!

    Q: What other artists influenced and continue to influence you and your style?

    How much room have we got? Early on in comics, it was Gil Kane and James Sherman. Also Neal Adams and Michael Kaluta. Was a devourer of art books and museums as a kid, lots of representational artists in there. These days, it’s all over the map. Was recently introduced to Kehinde Wylie who is blowing my mind. Lots of inspirational artists I follow on Instagram.

    Q: Do you use computers, tablets and software, or are you old-school with pens and a scanner?

    Both – for commercial projects like “Gotham Stories” it’s digital, since the art had to be prepped for animation. For covers like Ninjak #13, it’s a combination of old-school art and digital coloring. Lately I pencil in Procreate on an iPad Pro!

    Matt Haley panel sketch

    Q: What are you reading nowadays?

    Right now, “Paper Girls” from Image. Also have enjoyed “Faith” from Valiant, and thankfully NEXUS by Mike Baron and Steve “Dude” Rude is back. Also “The Four Norsemen Of The Apocalypse” from Devil’s Due/First with art by John Lucas, terrifyingly good stuff. it’s a great time to be a comics fan!

    Q: Favorite comic book -> movie adaptation and TV show?

    It changes – still love the pilot for “The Incredible Hulk”. Bill Bixby’s acting made it such a great updating of the “Jekyll & a Hyde” story. Watch it on Netflix, it’s still scary good.

    tangent comics #2Q: What’s next for your career?

    Lots more writing and developing my own stories. Have directed a television pilot and am eagerly looking forward to more of that. Have two scripts out and writing has really grabbed me lately!

    Q: What’s one title you think is a good example of your art / writing here at TFAW?

    The Tangent Comics TPB Volume #2 from DC Comics. Loved and adored creating Tangent: Joker with Karl Kesel and Tom Simmons, would love to revisit her some day. Lots of leaping figures and weird high-tech environments!

    Q: Where were you born, what did you study in college, what are the names of your pets, if you have any, and where do you live now?

    From Texas, grew up in New Mexico. College was a way for me to escape and while I didn’t study hard, ENMU was a growth experience. My professor emeritus was Jack Williamson, grandmaster of science fiction!

    You can learn more about Matt Haley at MattHaley.com or on Instagram as @MattHaleyArt for random art giveaways and new sketches. And check out his art for Fox’s Gotham Stories too!

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    Interview with Comic Artist Mike Baron

    comic book artist Mike Baron, wearing a hatThis kicks off an interview series where you can get to know the artists, writers, inkers, letterers and other people involved in the creation and publication of your favorite comic book series and graphic novels. And we’re excited to start with Badger and Nexus artist Mike Baron. Here’s how our interview went…

    Q: When did you get interested in comics, and what’s the first comic book series you remember really liking?

    When I was a kid, growing up in Mitchell, SD, I latched onto Uncle Scrooge comics as the ne plus ultra. It just struck a chord with me. Those Carl Barks-written and drawn adventures were as instructive as they were entertaining. I probably learned more about economics from those early Scrooges as I did in school. I wrote a letter to Mr. Barks c/o Disney asking for a drawing, and he sent me an inked sketch of Uncle Scrooge. I have it somewhere.

    Q: First published work?

    “I Smoked Dope For the Government,” for The Boston Phoenix in 1972. This was later reprinted in Denis Kitchen’s Weird Tales. I just saw Denis last week at a convention in Denver. He was among my first publishers.

    Q: What other artists influenced and continue to influence you and your style?

    Steranko and Neal Adams blew me away. And later, Barry Smith and Berni Wrightson. But it was mostly about the art in those days. As for telling stories, my heroes are John D. MacDonald, Carl Barks, and Philip Jose Farmer. I have also learned a great deal from the Western writer Pete Brandvold.

    second issue of "badger"
    Issue #2 of “Badger”, art by Mike Baron

    Q: Do you use computers, tablets and software, or are you old-school with pens and a scanner?

    I start with notebook and pad, making notes while I lie in supine splendor gazing out on my vast holdings. Then I work up an outline on my computer. I always have that notebook with me. You never know when you’re going to get an idea. I used to just wing it, but now I plan and scribble, and build that outline. The outline has to be as exciting and entertaining as anything it describes. I need to be able to show that outline to anyone, and for them to get excited about the story.

    Q: What are you reading nowadays?

    Lots of history preparatory to me writing a historical novel. I just finished Cortes, by Richard Lee Marks. Man, those Aztecs were gruesome! Conn Iggulden’s Genghis Kahn saga is the greatest thing I’ve ever read. I recently read Robert Crais’ The Promise. Meh! I liked Dan Simmons’ Hard Case, but hated his Winter Haunting. Currently reading Paul Bishop’s Lie Catchers. Kevin J. Anderson’s Dan Shamble, Private Eye series, about a zombie detective, is very droll.

    Q: Favorite comic book -> movie adaptation and TV show?

    I have lots of favorite comic books. Stray Bullets by David Lapham, The Watchmen, Chuck Dixon’s Way of the Rat, Don Rosa’s Uncle Scrooge. I consider Captain America: Winter Soldier the best superhero movie to date. Man, I tried to watch some of those TV superhero shows but they just don’t work for me. I have to believe the story could actually occur. Right now my favorite TV shows are Better Call Saul, Vikings, and Vinyl.

    First page of the new Nexus Series by Mike Baron
    First page of the new Nexus Series by Mike Baron

    Q: Share some of your work: A first pencil sketch to a finished panel. Do you do all your own inking, coloring, and lettering?

    I used to write comics by drawing each page out by hand. I’m good enough to get my ideas across, but it hurt my back and now I work full script. I’ll still do convention sketches, but they’re amateurish, believe me. I supply copious photo reference to my artists.

    Q: What’s next for your career?

    Chicken sexing! Liberty Island Press will release all my Josh Pratt novels beginning with Biker in the fall. Josh Pratt is a reformed motorcycle hoodlum turned PI. These stories are pretty gruesome. I like grim. I’m turning the first Biker into a graphic novel with Val Mayerik, with whom I’ve done Conan, Bruce Lee, Ninjak, and of course Badger, which is coming out right now.

    Q: What’s one title you think is a good example of your art here at TFAW?

    I think Skorpio is my best novel. It’s about a ghost who only appears under a blazing sun, but I have four novels in the pipeline that are explosive. Wordfire Press is publishing Banshees next month. It’s about a satanic rock band that comes back from the dead. Here at TFAW I like Badger, of course, and my Nexus series.

    Q: Where were you born, what did you study in college, what are the names of your pets, if you have any, and where do you live now?

    Born Madison, WI, grew up Mitchell, SD, returned to Madison, graduated UW ‘71, moved to Boston, started writing for Boston Phoenix, The Real Paper, Creem, Fusion, Oui, Boston Globe. Moved back to Madison in ‘77, met Steve Rude in ‘81, created Nexus, created Badger in ‘82. Took me a long time to learn how to write novels. I’m a slow learner. But when I get it, I get it. Got some stuff in the hopper that will blow men’s minds! I now live in Fort Collins, CO, with my wife Anne, and my three dogs, Mack, Freddie, and Bob. You can learn more about me at my Web site: Bloody Red Baron.net.

    Are you a creative professional in the comic book or graphic novel industry? We’d like to interview you! Please send an email inquiry to davetaylor@tfaw.com as the first step.

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