You can't walk into a comic shop, a Hot Topic store or log into any comic-themed website nowadays without seeing the red-clad mercenary Deadpool, AKA Wade Wilson, on some piece of merch or in some news story. There's even a movie coming out based on the much-loved hired gun.
Recently, the cover to his wedding made it into the Guinness Book of World Records for having the most charters on one cover at one time.
At Long Beach Comic Con, I was privileged enough to sit down and interview that famed artist, Scott Koblish.
1. When and why did you decide to get into comics?
I was a little kid. I would read comics when I was about seven. I started drawing when I was four and then I started reading comics when I was about seven. I think my uncle had a friend who colored comics--Bob Sharon--who used to color all sorts of stuff for Marvel. And I think that it must’ve gotten through to my mother that that was a possibility; that you could be a comic artist. When I expressed an interest in it, I think that we kind of ran with it.
I drew as a kid. I wound up going to the Kubrick school as a little kid, so I wasprobably about ten. Joe Kubrick used to teach the classes. It was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed it. Joe is a great guy. He really showed me that you could make a living out of it.
2. Which artists inspired you to draw?
I was a really big fan of John Burn and George Perez. They are great artists: just brilliant. When I was ten I went to the Kubrick school and Joe taught the classes back then. Joe really was the person that sort of squared it away for me that it was a job that you could have. Joe really sat down and kind of showed me that, if you want this job, here’s what you have to do. Hers the time that you have to put into it. It takes a lot of time. Each page sometimes will take sixteen to twenty hours. And if you think, you know, you’ve got that many pages to do in a month, and only a certain amount of time.
So, yeah, Joe was great. I was really inspired by a lot of the art that I liked, but the real important things for me in my life was when Joe would show me stuff I didn’t know about, like Alex Raymond; stuff like LIttle Nemo--all the old 20’s comic strips that Joe really liked when he was a kid. There were things that I liked, but there were also things that that Joe steered me towards that were more influential to me in the end.
3. You made history with the Deadpool wedding cover for the most characters featured on a single comic book cover. Do you plan on topping yourself one day?
Yeah, sure! I mean, I didn't even know that they were going to dask the Guiness people to certify it. I mean, I would’ve put more characters in! Hit Monkey is not even in it, so, I would have loved to have done that. If I knew that they were going to go to the Guinness Book, I would've spent more time! I would've put at least 250! I think there's about 236 or so. It’s a weird amount.
[Here a fan came in and was shocked and excited that the cover got into the Guinness Book of World Records, as he hadn’t known and was actually getting Mr. Koblish to sign that exact cover at that exact moment!--KSR]
Someday, I’ll top myself. Why not? I’d love to. The way I look at it is the gauntlet is thrown down. Sergio Aragones or George Perez want to try and take if from me, they’re welcome to try and I’ll just get back on the horse and do 300!
4. I read on your website that you're a musician. What do you play and what type of music do you like?
Well, I play guitar and I sing. I write a lot of songs. I used to have a nad--I used to have a couple of bands--back when I lived in New York, but now that I’m out here in LA I just haven't found anybody to play with. Mostly I play songs on my own; stuff that I’ve written. Drawing is a very sedentary, solitary pursuit, so you wind up being along a lot during the day, so its nice to be able to get out and do things where there's other people involved. So I like to go out and play when I can.
I have a lot of songs that I've written, so I’d be a fool not to play them. If I don’t play them, nobody else will. [Laughs.]
5. What character or title have you not drawn yet that you’d like to some day?
I would love to draw the Legion of Superheroes. I don’t know that that’s gonna happen, but you hold out hope. Right now, I’m really happy with Deadpool. Deadpool has provided a lot of really neat stuff for me to sink my teeth into. Like in the deadpool mini series I’m working on now, The Art of War, it;s pretty much everybody is in the third and fourth issues. I get to draw some of the X-Men and Fantastic Four; the Avengers. Tremendous amount of trolls. It was a lot of fun.
I get to do all sorts of great stuff. I got to draw Taskmaster for the 27th issue of Deadpool, and that was great. I got to draw Sabertooth in the 34th issue, so Im always surprised and happy just to draw and sink my teeth into different characters. Like, Mole Man I got to draw in the Deadpool mini series. He was a lot of fun to do, just because his face was so crazy. It’s very interesting to me to draw different kind of faces than the traditional heroic Green Lantern jaw. I can dig into different things and features that are unusual.
6. I know you said on your blog that you don't like to pick favorites, but can you tell the reads what books you've reread the most, since my blog started out as being solely about novels?
I love a lot of John Irving novels. Irving's stuff is really great.I haven't read any of it lately. There was a period of time where I didn't have a TV so I’d plow through pretty much everything he’d written. Kurt Vonnegut is a favorite of mine. There are books that are important in your life and there are books that you kind of just read as a relief. Vonnegut's stuff I find I read as a relief. The same with John Irving. There are books out there that I read and are under the umbrella of important, you know? But a lot of the stuff I enjoy is kind of calm stuff. There are novelists that I thought I would enjoy more than I do, but I don’t.
7. There was something you had posted on your Facebook fan page that suggested you were into astronomy and science. Are you interested and would you ever incorporate that into the comics you draw?
I love astronomy and yeah, I’d love to have been a scientist working in astronomy, but that was the fallback position of comics didn't work out. [Laughs.] Fortunate;y comics have worked out okay. I love that kind of stuff: science, math and astronomy. I thought about putting it on, but the things that bug me most about science fiction is there are things that you really can't get around if youre serious about the science part. Like, you can’t get around the fact that if you leave for the Andromeda Galaxy, it’s going to be your relatives that get there. Not you. So they use a lot of things like warp speed and you know, wormholes and things like that to get around the fact that it would take you a generation or three to get from point A to point B. So I always get tripped up by that kinda stuff when I’m writing stories about science fiction. I should probably just ignore it. Everyone else ignores it!
8. Thank you for participating in the interview! Can you please leave the readers with three things that may surprise them about you?
I’m actually really an open book and can't think of anything. If you want to know anything, just ask me! [Here I suggested he leave an open invitation to ask him anything on his Twitter, which will be listed below.--KSR]
Find Mr. Koblish online via:
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