Advance Interview: Greg Capullo Coming Back to FANeXpo Canada!!

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First and foremost, thanks so much for taking the time to talk to me 🙂

My pleasure. It’s not a problem!

I recall coming to your booth at FANeXpo Canada in Toronto in 2012 one year after the launch of the New 52. I won’t deny that I was intimidated by your massive build and not removing your sunglasses. Nevertheless, you were very gracious and an absolute gentleman.

Greg Capullo not-at-all shady[laughs] Toronto is a great town. Good Italian food. Toronto rocks!!

Toronto rainbow logoWhere exactly are your roots?

The blood comes from Catania, near Sicily.

Catania coastlineEver been to the homeland?

We got an invite. All the relatives are gone. Cool feeling. More than a year ago. My wife tells me 2015. My wife remembers every single thing!! God bless her for that!

It’s extremely unfortunate the earthquake that occurred earlier this week 🙁

Definitely sucks!! I was on the West Coast a couple of years ago. Feeling the ground move is unsettling.

I went through something similar back in ’98 while in the Azores. I was in Terceira and felt the aftershock of a 5.8 quake. It took place shortly after 6 a.m. It’s an unusual unsettling experience.

We’re small and insignificant. It’s pretty stupid! We march forward with wars killing each other. People hate each other’s guts hating for no apparent reason. Looking from a plane or satellite footage from space, we’re really teeny. We’re a-holes to each other.

I feel ashamed that after reading comics for 38 years and collecting them for 32, I didn’t really notice credits until the arrival of Image.

SPAWN #26My point is this: you worked on Quasar which is a title I have in its entire run!!

Thank you!! My first full-time gig. It was on the verge on cancellation. Sales jumped 20,000 copies a month!! The new guy jacked up the sales. They were gonna axe the title but I was able to keep it afloat.

Was that early on in the book?

I think around issue #18, 19. It was ages ago but those numbers pop into my head.

QUASAR #18QUASAR #19I had no idea your art extended outside comic books!!! Case in point: Korn’s album Follow the Leader and Disturbed’s Ten Thousand Fists. Aside from that you’ve illustrated for Iced Earth and Five Finger Death Punch. Are you a hardcore fan of heavy metal, alternative, nu metal??

Disturbed - Ten Thousand FistsFive Finger Death Punch - War is the AnswerIced Earth - Something Wicked This Way ComesKorn - Follow the LeaderAbsolutely!! Since I was a little guy, I was introduced to Judas Priest and Black Sabbath way back when. It’s been a part of me ever since. I’m always sporting Black Label. Any time I can do something, it’s pretty awesome.

Black Label logoI did a cover for Revolver magazine (July-Aug. 2012 issue). I got to do a bid for Corey Taylor. I met those guys and hung out a bit. Corey let my oldest stepson wear his mask. We drank in his dressing room. Metal and rock guys love comics!!

Revolver mag cover by GregRevolver mag logodrawing the cover for RevolverYou’re one of the privileged few to see one of the members of Slipknot unmasked!! :0

Corey Taylor maskedOn stage they seem intimidating!! Kerry (King) from Slayer works like a killer. I meet him: he’s quiet and nice. All these times you seemed like a homicidal maniac. [laughs]

Kerry King from SlayerAppearances are deceiving.

You can’t judge books by their covers.

Greg surrounded by Slayer & SlipknotOver the span of your career, what is your greatest feat aside from the obvious major works??

Getting into comics. It didn’t happen immediately. Breaking in. I gotta recognize how fans reacted to my latest run on Batman. I was at the top of the ladder for Spawn. I retired from comics for a decade. To come back and achieve this massive success, it’s unbelievable. Thanks for all the fan support.

SPAWN #250Fans will eat up anything.

God bless them! You should never mistreat them. Fans eat up everything. You hear horrible stories. Wizard Con was horrible in that respect. I will always pour as much love back to the fans. Without them, that 8-year-old boy would never move on. Fans are my life’s blood.

Any time for hobbies??

Not at all. I was in a band. I had to quit. I still have a lot of guitars. When I have 20 minutes, I strum to keep my fingers limber. No time for friends. Quick texts. It’s a lonely, isolated existence. Monthly books will do that. Deadlines are crucial. Work is like an assembly line.

How about for the family?

My wife doesn’t work. She’s home all day with me. I love her like nobody’s business. I’m mad about her. I’ve been crushing on her since I was 8. She unearthed a photo of me, her, her brother & her sister from 1970. I have a younger son who’s 14. I gotta feed my family.

What is the amount of hours?

Todd (McFarlane) would give me the outline, what pages, etc. I would blast that stuff out. After doing it for a while, I was pumping 2-3 pages a day, 8 hours a day when I hit my peak. Weekends off.

SPAWN #100My style is different, paying attention to detail. Scott (Snyder) is more meticulous. 12-16 hrs/day, 7 days/wk. I have a grandma who’s a terminator!! She worked until age 76, scrubbed floors in courthouse. After that, she’d clean the house, garden, cook, even after a stroke and hip replacements. She said “You gotta do what you gotta do.” She’s killer. She’s the ultimate example. My grandma is where I get the discipline. When I feel a bit unmotivated or overwhelmed, I think of her and get right back to it!

Like any other artist, you list several influences. By now, it’s indubitable that you’ve become one for the next generation!! Any idea who might be inspired by you?

Geez, I got fans telling me on Twitter I’m the best artist. It’s hard to wrap my mind around it. I’m just the stupid kid from Foster Ave. The biggest compliment you can pay to me. John Buscema was my inspiration. It’s beyond flattering. I can’t believe I’ve been doing comics this long. Anyone who picks up a pencil is worthy of talent.

John BuscemaJohn Buscema - Marvel UniverseYou started relatively small and unknown with untraditional ideas. Afterwards, you made it big but circled back to more morbid pieces like Spawn, Haunt, and Creech. Any possibility of returning to the obscure?

CREECH - OUT for BLOOD #1HAUNT #4Before Batman, I did a large chunk on the third part of Creech. A lot of personal stuff happened between me and the wife. There was a turnaround. Happiness yet again. I want Scott to review my work. I want him to help me shape it. I’m not a writer. I’d like to bring that back. Scott is a layered, complex writer.

CREECH - OUT for BLOOD #2Your seminal run on Batman has guaranteed a permanent place in the annals of the Digital Age of Comics. What I take from that is your begrudging then blooming bromance with Scott Snyder!! That’s as equally notable as your collaboration if not more so!!!

BATMAN {2nd Series} #0[laughs] We’re really close friends now, as are our wives. We look forward to every opportunity to hang out. Man, I wish we were neighbours. We started out pretty rocky. He relied pretty heavily on me due to anxiety and self-doubt. I’m his good buddy bringing him down to earth and reassuring him. We’re tight. I’m big bro, he’s little bro. I’m his mentor. What started out as not-so-good grew into a wonderful thing.

It didn’t start off too well between you and him? How come??

Because of him, to be honest. When I started at Marvel, it was the Marvel method: I was given the synopsis of the story or script with key bits of dialogue to hit the emotional mark. It was all up to the artist.

Marvel Comics logo - 90'sWhen I worked with Todd, it was even looser. Todd would call and say “Give me 3 pages of Sam & Twitch, etc.” He didn’t care what I did. I handled everything.

SPAWN #193When I met Scott, Christ!! The 24-page story came out to 40 pages!! Every bit of dialogue, where the camera should be, the panels. I told him: move out of my way. Give me the important words. He retorted “They’re all important!!” He sent me his résumé through e-mail and wondered how I should respond. I was sarcastic regarding his mother’s pride. He didn’t realize that I kicked him in the nuts. He was so sweet-natured. He’s young. He doesn’t know my strengths. He thinks I’ll drown his baby. Once he sees the end result, he’ll chill out. That’s exactly what happened!! It’s not fair for us to change each other’s strengths. Scott still gives me all the dialogue. It’s beneficial because you can really nuance character. He provides story beats so I can determines the panels per page. I can do whatever I see fit. He’ll make suggestions but give me leeway. There’s an enormous level of trust. I have enough freedom and he does whatever is necessary. That’s the lay of the land, how things run. I’m so used to it. Elbow room doesn’t lead to any complaining.

Will you collaborate again?

BATMAN {2nd Series} #51Definitely!! After Reborn, I have plans to lock in with Scott. I can’t talk about it too much but it’ll be freaking awesome, unexpected.

Are you active on social media?

OMG, I live on Twitter!!

Twitter bird

Greg Capullo Twitter imageYou were known to be aggressive on Twitter. I see that your Facebook page hasn’t been accessed in the last 3 years.

I rarely go on Facebook. I’m not even diligent about friends’ pages. Facebook is too limited. Twitter is quick with its interaction. It’s easy given the busy-ness. Christ, if I sit on the can, I’m able to log on. When I’m working, I’ll take a snap. There’s always an instantaneous response!! I don’t mess with Instagram. You can’t expand the images unlike Twitter. Twitter is my choice. Scott harped on me for the site. I can’t get enough.

Everyone gets exposure whether you’re a pro or average Joe.

I can communicate with anyone. If so-and-so lived closer to me, we’d be buddies!!

You’re a quintuple killer covering the entire range of creativity. What advice can you pass on to the next gen?

Change the lingo. You want to be a paid illustrator. What if comics disappeared? Now, do you no longer want to draw? You probably still want to express yourself with art and draw. That way, hone your draftsmanship, get the skills together. Any door that opens: book jacket, album cover, etc. You can walk through because you got chops. Comic books is a dog bowl. A lot of dogs want that food. It’s extremely different. You gotta be hungry, stronger, more determined. Don’t take no for an answer. That’s my advice!! Once you’re in it, it’s five times as hard!!! Have the attitude. How will I win over all other dogs? That’s the mindset. That applies to life in general. This is your one kick in the can. You can’t be lazy!!

What is one specific thing you have yet to draw? For example, you had Jim Gordon Batman evading sharks, you illustrated the Bat-blimp, and got to go all monster truck!!

shark attackBat-truck[laughs] Those are definitely the coolest scenes. Maybe Batman will ride a Harley with a Battleaxe.

Those your ideas?

I had some things. Nothing dramatic. The Riddler story with the lions. I was getting my taxes done. Scott had this idea that Batman does some move and catches the leash in the car door. No, my idea is better. They go both in the car. You think Bats will be ripped to shreds. He ties up the lion in the car. I knew that was cooler and I did it. Scott’s accepting and that was it. I add little flourishes, some motifs that he picks up on. Some sexy stuff.

let lions looselion wrestlingBruce Wayne shirtless!!

[laughs] That was Scott retaliating that Nightwing was getting all the attention with his booty.

Bruce Wayne shower sceneWOW!! This was an extremely enjoyable and enlightening interview. I truly appreciate the time you have put aside. On behalf of Comix Asylum, I want to extend the gratitude. I look forward to approaching your booth at FANeXpo Canada.

You’re most welcome, Paul. Be well.

Greg Capullo imitating Scott Synder

 

Check out Greg’s official page here!!

***Notable Works***

QUASAR #18-25, 27-29, 31-32, 35-38

QUASAR #29

SPAWN #20, 23-24, 26-37, 39, 41, 43, 45, 47, 49-75, 78-100, 196, 200 [interiors]

SPAWN #200SPAWN #26-37, 39, 41, 43, 45, 47, 51-54, 57-70, 72, 74-75, 77, 88-99, 102-137, 143, 145, 190-191, 194-196, 198, 201  [covers w/ Todd McFarlane]

SPAWN #49, 71, 73, 76, 78-87, 98, 142, 148-149 [covers w/ Danny Miki]

SPAWN 55-56, 100, 138-141, 144, 146-147, 150, 158-159, 163-168, 172-175, 177, 180, 199-200, 250 [covers]

CREECH #1-3 [writer & artist]

CREECH #2CREECH #3CREECH: OUT for BLOOD #1-3 [writer & artist]

CREECH - OUT for BLOOD #3CREECH - OUT for BLOOD #1 

HAUNT #1-6 [co-penciler], 7-11 [solo], 12-18 [w/ Todd McFarlane]

HAUNT #1HAUNT #1 variant, #4 variant, #7 variant + 2nd printing, 8-15, 17-18 [covers]

HAUNT #7HAUNT #14HAUNT #16 [cover w/ Todd McFarlane]

 BATMAN {2nd Series} #0, 1-11, 13-17, 19-27, 29-33, 35-43,45-48, 50-51 [C&A]

BATMAN {2nd Series} #12, 18, 52 [covers only]

BATMAN {2nd Series} #52