Behind the Scenes with artist Mark Morales at Denver Comic Con
Here’s the truth: Mark Morales cannot hit a curve ball to save his life. Seriously, he just can’t do it. Go figure.
On the other hand, Mr. Morales can swing circles around just around just about anybody when it’s time to set comic book art into inks. In fact, he’s one of the very best, and his inks and artwork have appeared in everything from Superman to Guardians of the Galaxy to X-Men to Nick Fury and many, many, more.
So when a guy like this shows up at a Comic Con near you, what’re you gonna do? Make him sit still for an interview, that’s what!
He’s what he had to say.
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First, how did you discover comics? Tell us that story.
I discovered the newspaper comic strips first. Stuff like Peanuts and Hagar the Horrible. When I was about five, I got my first comic book (Marvel Premiere #23) and I was hooked.
What path did you take to become a professional inker in the comic book industry?
I always drew some comic book stuff throughout grammar school and high school. I attended the School of Visual Arts in NY and got to take classes with teachers like Will Eisner, Gene Colan and Harvey Kurtzman. Once I graduated, I did some work in animation and graphic design for a few years. I was very slow as a penciler, so I gravitated to doing inks.
How would you describe your job to someone who’s never heard of it? And what does a typical workday look like for you?
My job as an inker is to bring depth and clarity to the pencils using whatever tool I can (brushes, pens, markers). Each job is different, since sometimes the pencils are very loose and scratchy, and others are highly detailed and precise. It’s usually a 9-13 hour day, depending on deadlines.
What advice would you give to kids who want to pursue a career in comics?
Just draw, draw, draw. And not from just comics and cartoons. Draw from life too. A comic book artist is required to draw everything well.
What are some secrets you can tell us about the comic book industry?
There aren’t really many secrets. It’s a fun job. But there are lots of hours sitting down and trying to get good at it.
What’s been your most memorable experience at a Comic Con?
I got seated next to Stan Lee at an awards dinner at the Baltimore Comic Con a few years back. Was great to interact with him for a few minutes.
What’s the one question we didn’t ask, but should have asked? And how would you answer?
Favorite inkers? Klaus Janson, Kevin Nowlan, Terry Austin, Joe Rubinstein.
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Everything you need to know about Mark Morales in 60 seconds or less…
• Born where and when?
• Best book you’ve inked in the past year?
Probably All Star Batman #8 that was penciled by Giuseppe Camuncoli.
• Hidden talent?
None that I know of.
• Best compliment anyone could give you?
“I enjoy your work..”
• Best way for fans to contact you?
All product-related graphics in this article are standard publicity/promotional shots and are owned by their respective publisher. Mark Morales photo credit: Denver Comic Con.