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Interview with the comic book artist Art Thibert by Kevin Tanza

Art Thibert's Interview with Animated Apparel Company

 

The X-Men, Superman, Spider-Man, Cable… Art Thibert has done it all in the industry. As an artist, inker and writer, this veteran of the comic book industry has proven time and time that he is one of the most reliable talents in the medium while being one of the most positive and uplifting guys in the industry.

Nowadays, Art left the big two and he is currently promoting his independent comic book, Chrono Mechanics, which you can back here. I had the opportunity of doing an interview with him and we discussed multiple aspects of his career and the industry as a whole.

 

Kevin Tanza: "First of all, thank you for taking the time to do this, Art. It’s a pleasure."

Art Thibert: "No problem, Kevin; I appreciate the opportunity."

 

Black & White Cover Art by Art Thibert

Black & White by Art Thibert.

"I would like to start by discussing one of your current projects, Black & White. For those readers that are not familiar with the book, what is it about?"

"Black & White is the story of Reed Blackett (AKA Black), a British exMI-10 agent who leaves the life of a spy behind to become an importer/exporter of fine commodities. Reed meets Whitney Sung (AKA White), the heiress of Sung Brothers Brewery while negotiating a merger, and of course, he becomes captivated by her intelligence and beauty.  But when a dangerous man from Whitney’s past resurfaces and turns her world into a blazing inferno, Reed and Whitney must become a team that can crush the megalomaniac and his robotic empire. Things are never that easy, and there is so much chemistry between Reed and Whitney that there’s a bit of fire going on between them too.

The story is really full of action and adventure while making the characters seem like old friends."

 

"You actually started this book in the 90's. How did you come up with the concept and how did it come to be?"

"My wife, Pamela, and I had gone to a Bruce Lee auction and there were so many interesting stories about his life that were told that day. On the way home, we got to talking about his drive and determination. That led us to just start talking about creating a story with a female character that had those attributes. Reed just seemed to be waiting in the wings for her, and Black & White was created."

Black and White cover art by Art Thibert

 

Black & White in the 90s by Art Thibert.

"Compared to other works in your career, what makes this book special?"

"I’ve enjoyed my career and getting to play in the sand box with characters like Superman, the X-Men, Cable, Ultimate Spider-man, and the many other books I’ve worked on. I’m a very lucky person. But there is just something visceral about creating characters and then seeing those characters and their story’s come to life in a book. It’s a great feeling."

"You have been crowdfunding this book and that is a platform we have discussed here on our blog. What do you think of crowdfunding and its future in the comic book industry?"

"In many ways, crowdfunding does seem to be the way of the future. Because I’ve been in the comic book industry for over 35 years, I’ve seen the ups and downs of the industry.

I remember as a kid that I would collect bottles, sell lemons from the back of my wagon and mow lawns to get the money to go buy comics. At that time comics could be found at the local liquor stores, grocery stores and drug stores. Trust me, to my friends and me, those wire spinner racks were pure heaven!

The early 90's brought such a great resurgence for the industry when DC had the audacity to kill off Superman. Thank goodness it was a slow news day when they came out with that little nugget because the world responded with great appreciation. It was a great story with a great character, and it made the world sit up and take notice of comic books.

Of course, now things are different. So often, I have heard people in the industry say negative things about comics and its fans, and I believe those kinds of things can take a toll on an industry. So here we are now, and I again feel that people still want good stories with good characters and good artwork that grab your attention and put the reader in the middle of action. Comics are like movies for the mind!"

 

"And for those that want to do crowdfunding, what would be your advice?"

"Create characters you really like and want to spend time with – like old friends. Also, develop a large social media fan base."

Uncanny X-men #282 comic book cover by Art Thirbert

 Uncanny X-Men #282, inks by Art Thibert. Copyright by Marvel Comics.

 

"Let’s get back to your early days. How did you get into comics? Who were your biggest influences?"

"Good can come out of bad situations. I had been hit by a motorcycle and was in a cast for a long time, and while I was healing from that, I was diagnosed with scoliosis, and was put in a total body cast for an even longer time. So I could do nothing but draw. Because of that time period, I became focused on drawing because there were no other distractions."

 

"One of your first big breaks in the industry was inking Dan Jurgens’s The Adventures of Superman for DC in the late 80's. What can you tell us about the experience of working with Dan and DC as a whole?"

"I loved it!  I had Mike Carlin (the Great Carliny) as an editor. He taught me so much about a good work ethic and meeting deadlines. How could I not enjoy working with Dan?  His layouts were always so interesting, and I learned a lot about drawing from working with him."

 

Black & White comic book art by Art Thibert

Black & White by Art Thibert.

 

"Later on, in the early 90's, you got to work with many of Marvel’s top X-books at the time, with many superstar writers and artists. Considering how big the X-books were at that time, how was the collaboration process to make those comics? Do you have any fun anecdotes about that time of your career at Marvel?"

"Those early days were some of the best days of my life. It was a great time to be in comics."

 

"You also had a period in the mid-90's where you worked at Image Comics, with the likes of Todd McFarlane, Rob Liefeld and such. Why did you decide to go to Image and how was the experience?"

"Things were fun back then. I had just come off a run on Cable and X-Men when some of the founders of Image got in touch with me. I decided to work out of Extreme Studios (which was Rob’s studio). Rob is actually the one who gave me the opportunity to bring Black & White to Image."

Chrono Mechanics Comic book artwork by Art Thibert

Chrono Mechanics by Art Thibert.

"Image back in those days got a lot of criticism from the industry’s writing sector. Looking back, what do you think about those days and what Image has become nowadays?"

"Truthfully, I haven’t read any in quite a while, so I can’t say. The industry has obviously changed a lot since then."

"As someone who has been around for almost three decades, what do you think of the current state of the industry?"

"There are many changes to the industry. My main thought is how to bring new people into the world of comics. There are great stories and great artwork out there.  We just need to generate interest."

 

"Why did you decide to leave DC?"

"Only one thing would make me leave DC – time. I wanted to bring Black & White back out to the people along with other creator-owned comics like Chrono Mechanics (which I’m funding now on Indiegogo, by the way).

I was always treated well at DC; the editors were good and the pencilers always top notch."

Superman Comic book art by Art Thibert

Superman by Art Thibert. Copyrights to DC Comics.

"Beyond Black and White, do you have any other project in mind?"

"As I said earlier, Chrono Mechanics is running on IGG right now. It’s a total departure from the Black & White book. Chrono lets me bring out the fun and crazy side of my personality. I like humor, and Chrono is a humorous action/adventure sci-fi book.

I think of it like this: What if The Looney Toons met H.G. Wells? I can just see in my mind the fantastic situations that would come out of that!

Chrono Mechanics is the story of the best team of knuckle-busting Joes to ever punch a timecard! If you can imagine that TIME is a big machine that was created at the very dawn of history, then you can imagine the funny situations that can come from this machine breaking down –a lot."

 

Chrono Mechanics comic book artwork by Art Thibert

Chrono Mechanics by Art Thibert.

"What are the biggest benefits and challenges of making your own comic?"

"Haha, time! There just aren’t enough hours in my day!"

 

"Compared to who you were in your early days, do you think you have improved? What do you think has changed in your art?"

"Yes, I think I’ve improved, and I think we all improve if we work hard on our individual crafts every day for over 35 years! I believe what has changed in my art is a desire to keep striving to make better art and better stories every day."

Chrono Mechanics Artwork by Art Thibert

Chrono Mechanics by Art Thibert.

 

"Any tip for an aspiring artist?"

"Don’t give up. If you love being creative, then keep at it.  Don’t listen to other people’s ideas of what you should do or be. Be you!"

 

"Thank you so much for this interview, Art! It’s been a pleasure. Where can we follow you on social media? Any last words for our readers?"

"I appreciated this time, Kevin; thank you.

People can subscribe to my YouTube site and find me on Twitter and Instagram.

Thank you to all who have taken the time to read this interview, and of course, go back Chrono Mechanics!"

 

 


Kevin Tanza

Kevin Tanza is a Venezuelan writer who fell in love with stories, music and soccer/football when he was a child and since then, he hasn’t stopped writing about them. He has been published in multiple websites in both Spanish and English. You'll find his work at MusikHolics, Good Comis to Read, Gemr, The Busby Babe, Chiesa di Totti, La Soledad del Nueve, Sail Away, Colgados por el Fútbol, Genre, United’s Red Rain, Mariskal Rock, Sugati Fashion, Indie Artists Go and Music Existence. He has also published a series of short stories. Feel free to use the links provided below to follow Kevin on social media. For business inquiries, please contact him via email.

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