Greg Capullo is best known for his work on Spawn, Quasat, X-Force, and Angela. He has much experience in comics as well as award winning work in CD cover design, and commercial advertising. Greg has graciously taken time out of his day to answer a few questions from our new writer Sherry McCarty. Please read on for an enlightening expose into the mind of one of Images, and horror comics, most fantastic minds.
Greg Capullo’s DA page
Creativend: I would like to thank you for taking time out of your busy day to answer a few questions for CreativEnd magazine.
Greg Capullo: You’re absolutely welcome. Thanks for having me as your guest.
CE: So, let’s start with the basics. What got you interested in art? Was it a desire you had since you were a child, or did it come along a bit later in life?
GC: The response I give to this question is always the same. My Mom has a drawing of Batman & Robin that I did when I was merely three years old. I guess you could say that I’ve ALWAYS bee n interested in producing art.
CE: When you were younger, did your parents support you in your desire to be in the art field?
GC: The answer is yes. When I made the decision to really pursue art as a career–you know, really take it seriously, my Mom got behind me. You see, I’d been wasting my time as a Bellhop–into smokin’ dope, chasin’ bitches and playing in bands… I asked her if she’d support me if I quit my job in order to hone my skill and assemble a portfolio. She committed to a year. After that, I was making money as an artist.
CE: I’ve read that John Buscerna is possibly your greatest influence, but do you have any other artists (or non-artists) who influence you? If so, who are they?
GC: Buscema is the name, and yeah, he was the shit. Unbeatable when it came to the human figure. I liked several artists that worked in comics, but as far as influencing me… Mort Drucker (did movie satires for Mad Magazine) was unbelievably great. Chuck Jones. His expressions–facial, body language.. Wow. What a Master. And of course, the late, great Frank Frazetta. I think he’s touched every artist who does the sort of art that I do.
CE: Growing up, what comics, novels, or artists were you into? Did they have a large impact on the works you are creating now?
GC: I guess you’d say that I was a Marvel man. I had the odd DC comic. But Marvel was it for me. I paid attention to artists more than the title. If it had a good artist, I bought it. Guys like Gil kane, Gene Colon, Walt Simonson… Too many to list or recall. Marvel had a very strong stable of artists and still do. It’s how I think of them, actually.
CE: What comics are you currently reading, or which artists are you into at the moment?
GC: I haven’t picked up a new comic in ages. I’m really out of the loop. as a matter of fact, I’ve been telling my woman that I must get to a shop–see what’s happening. However, I am aware of some of the more brilliant artists. …there are many. Apart from some of the big guns at Marvel, Top Cow always has strong artists. Marc (Silvestri) and I are cut from the same cloth. He gives work to the same caliber of artist that I would. High caliber.
CE: Your first project, Gore Shriek, was a horror comic. However the work you did at Marvel was not. Do you find horror comics to be of more interest to you?
GC: Gore Shriek just happened to be the first door that opened. I was really only interested in doing superheroes–which I did. I was on X-Force just before going over to Image to do work for Todd (Mcfarlane). I’ve been there a long time. It’s only natural to assume that I like doing horror. Really though, I’d have just as much fun doing the Fantastic Four or whatever. Hell, I could illustrate a Barbie comic and pull it off. Granted, I’d have to change my “Horror” style to pull that off. Less grit. Less shadows. Less blood. …A lot less blood. I like the Horrow stuff well enough. I’ve no interest, however, in doing gorefests. Haunt is the goriest thing I’ve done. That’s plenty for me. I’m more about shadow play.
CE: Every artist has something that helps them to work – for instance, listening to music. Do you have anything that helps you to work?
GC: Self discipline.
CE: Your women are beautiful, your men very rugged, and your animals and monsters look awesome. Which is your favorite to draw?
GC: I really like drawing big, muscly characters. Look at the Creech, for instance. I would LOVE to do the Hulk! The larger than life stuff is great fun.
CE: How is working for a smaller press company or independent comic book company different from working with the big guys? Which do you think suits you better?
GC: Money, really. as for what suits me; unless I’m doing creator owned work… Look, who would choose little money over lots of money? If you must dig a ditch, and one guy is offering you 10 bucks and the other a 100…
CE: What is the one project you would like to work on if you had the chance? Personally, I’d like to see you take a stab at Vamperilla.
GC: Apart form doing a third story arc of The Creech… I don’t know. I still love the Marvel Universe a lot. Maybe the FF or Hulk? I’d have to give this question a lot of thought.
CE: A lot of your work is on the hard, dark, and gritty side of the spectrum. Has this side of life always been of interest to you?
GC: No. As I said earlier, It just happens to be the road I ended up on. I love clean, open styles a great deal as well. It all depends on what you’ve been hired to illustrate. I certainly wouldn’t make Barbie look like that!
CE: Besides comics, you’ve also done commercial advertising work as well as a few CD covers. How do you approach working on these items? Is it different from when you are working on comics?
GC: Well, comics is closest to directing films. Single illustrations, like a CD jacket, are more like the movie posters or a comic book cover. So, yeah. They’re different animals.
CE: How did you feel when the cover you created for KORN won an award?
GC: It’s very nice. But, either way. I’m just thrilled to be doing what I’m doing and getting paid to boot.
CE: You had been a member of the band Machine Gun Eddie. Is music one of your hobbies? What other hobbies do you have?
GC: Right now, there isn’t the time. I used to practice my guitar for four hours a day. Apart from work keeping me busy, I’ve acquired a ready-made family. The woman I’m with has two boys. The little one is only eight and wants to play. You put those things together with the rest of life’s responsibilities and there’s little time for hobbies.
CE: What tools do you use to create your works?
GC: Pencils–4h (layouts) F (finishes), erasers, India Ink, Hunt 102 quills, Mac Pro with a Cintiq (hardware), Corel Painter.
CE: What are your feelings about the recent surge in comic images as well as books being done all digitally? Do you think you’d like to create works in this fashion as well?
GC: I really hate the look of digital inks. The lines lack personality. Penciling digitally isn’t bead if the pages will be outputted for an inker to work on. Coloring and painting digitally is fantastic. Recently, I’ve scanned in traditionally inked covers to add white out effect digitally. It’s sooo much easier. But, that works fine. However you get there; the finished product must have life. That’s the bottom line.
CE: You have a rather large portfolio and a wide range of work experience. What would you say is your greatest accomplishment?
GC: Having the good fortune of rising to the top in my field.
CE: Do you have any advice for potential artists in any field (non-comics as well as comics)?
GC: Study, practice, be persistent, be open to suggestions and criticism, have an unwavering belief in yourself, wash rinse and repeat.
CE: Do you have any desire or interest to go to other countries for portfolio reviews or for seminars?
GC: No. Not really. It’s not that I don’t think that I could benefit greatly. But, just visiting would be what I’m interested in. Exposure to other cultures is also a great teacher.
See full article at: Creative End.