I went to Heroes Con this past weekend and was lucky enough to get a chance to interview Matteo Scalera, the upcoming artist on the Indestructible Hulk comic book. Matteo lives in Parma, Italy and flew over for the convention. He will be on the book for six issues and I am looking forward to it. I got a chance to see the penciled and inked pages for the first two issues that he worked on and I really liked them. The pages definitely had a darker look and tone to them and I think it will be good change for the book. I would actually like to see they print the book in black and white with the word bubbles. Matteo was doing commissions while he was there and I had him do an amazing Planet Hulk bust in my sketch book. Read on and enjoy!
1. You were on the Secret Avengers before, were you looking for a change or did the opportunity just come up?
MS: It just came. When you start working on a new book, they ask you if it is fine with you to work on that series for X number of issues and you say yes. They already know when your run is going to stop so when the time is coming they ask you that they want to put you on this other series for like 6 issues for example and if you are up for it. They show you a hypothetical schedule for it and if you agree with it, you are in.
2. How is the Hulk different from other comic characters you have drawn:
It is different because he has this destructive aspect that other characters I worked on don’t have. He is totally out of control and you have to manage the scene. You are working on a character that is totally out of control and is there to destroy everything basically. It is fun but at the same time it is sometimes hard to manage.
3. It is there any interaction between yourself and Mark on the storyline
In the beginning, you get in contact with the editors and they send you the script and usually after the first issue, they start getting you in contact with the writers. Right now every time I do something, I send it to editor and Mark and usually 50% of the time Mark gives me direct approval.
4. Your artwork has a darker tone, what do you think it brings to the book?
Right now, it has been working because the first two issues are with Daredevil which usually moves in very dark situations and we had to play with the darkness thing especially in the first issue because there is a fight in a cargo ship so there are a lot of scenes that happen in the dark. So far it has worked pretty well. I feel the pages work well, I just need to manage that usually the Hulk stories are usually bright, even the character is green. So far it is working, Val Staples is coloring and is keeping the tones a little bit down to make the hints pop out. It is different from the other artists that have worked on the book. You will find some different colors that are matching with the ink style.
5. Any classic villains you would want Mark to put in just so you can drawn them?
To be honest, so far he has had the Hulk fighting against a bunch of guys which is really exciting because you can have him in the center destroying everything and having people flying around. I think that is the best way to have Hulk fighting because you can tell he is doing real damage. One enemy is not enough for him. Every time it is a Hydra soldier or another group of people like Sons of the Serpent in the second part of the story and every time he has to fight a bunch of guys. It is so fun because you can draw people flying here and there and things get destroyed and things that explode and it is a mess everytime. I really have fun with those types of sequences.
6. Which character, Marvel or otherwise, that you have not gotten a chance to draw but would want to draw.
For Marvel, I would love to work on the Punisher because it is darker and dark feelings, the violence of the story which is on another level. Or a character that is a little off is Lobo. He is a very dark character but he is also a mad character and you never know where the story is going to end. Getting even darker than I am already am now.
7. What would you be doing right now if you were not a comic book artist.
I have done a lot of different jobs before getting into comics that I would consider bad jobs like working in factories and being a waiter. Honestly I would love to be a drummer since I play drums and at a certain point, I had to decide what I wanted to be: a drummer or a comic book artist. In the past, I would say I would like to be is a baseball player because I played baseball for 13 years in a B-league in Italy which is not that much. Right now, I have a huge passion for basketball so I would love to play basketball. I am ambitious! If not, another job I would love to do is build up stages for concerts. Doing other jobs, I have met a lot of those guys that are touring around for import concernts that just do the service. It is a fun job, you get to travel a lot and they usually build up some pretty fun group. Some young people working hard.
8. what artist influenced you when you were first becoming an artist?
A couple of artists from the past which are not alive anymore which really I really admired. Alberto Breccia is a Argentinean artist working in the 60’s and 70’s. He was a huge influence on me. Another one, probably my favorite, is Jorge Zaffino who is another Argentinean artist who was working just recently and just died a few years back. Used to work in late 80’s on some Punisher and Conan stuff, he is probably my favorite. Speaking of recent days, I really love Sean Gordon Murphy and Eric Canete which are some of my best friends in the business. I admire them as a person and artists and they are a huge influence on me and a huge inspiration on my work.