Interview - Hulk Artist, Gabriel Hardman

Today I have the honour of speaking with Mr Gabriel Hardman, fan-favourite Marvel exclusive artist and long time collaborator with Mr Jeff Parker. A great artist, a very nice chap and a damn cool cat.

Ryan: I don't want to bang on fanboy style but suffice it to say that, no offence to Mr Loeb and Mr McGuiness, but Hulk has really hit it's stride.

Gabriel Hardman: Thank you.

I always feel at a loss when speaking with comic book artists, what title would be most preferred? Comic book artist, illustrator, penciller or just artist?

Artist will do. Penciller doesn't really apply since I pencil and ink all my work. Illustrator has a non-storytelling connotation to it and I feel like storytelling is my main job. 

So far we have solicitations up to January, the release of Hulk #29. In this issue we'll see the finale to the Scorched Earth storyline and the long awaited Hulk/Rulk team up. What else do you have in store for us with Hulk?

I can't really talk about details. But there will be more smashing. 

You recently illustrated an epic battle between Red Hulk and Thor and pretty much everyone else in Avengers vs Atlas. Which characters are on your illustration "bucket list"?

I'd love to draw an entire Spider-Man story. Particularly a good story, not mired in continuity. Otherwise, I always love drawing obscure characters. I'd also like to take a shot at Fantastic Four or less likely, Devil Dinosaur. Same story rules apply. 

For DC I'd like to draw Batman, Green Arrow or The Question.

For whoever ends up with the rights, I'd love to draw The Shadow.  

Many superhero comics are defined by huge battle scenes and bold visuals. As an artist, was it in any way a challenge interpreting Mr Parker's words? Being that he's so highly regarded as being such a talented dialogue writer?

Jeff and I have been working together for over two years now and our styles gelled pretty well from the start.  The big action is always fun to draw but my favorite stuff is the character interaction. On Hulk I'm happiest with the scenes between Banner and Ross. 

What else do you have in the works for us fans (please say Spider-Man or something with Paul Tobin)?

I'm working on two creator owned projects but all I have on my plate at Marvel is more HULK. But I'm thinking me and Paul Tobin should do an arc on Amazing Spider-Man!

Agents of Atlas and Atlas were received very well by critics. Do you think we can expect the line being resurrected?

You never know, but I doubt it. I'd still love to draw those characters again.  

Can you pinpoint the moment when little Mr Hardman realised that he wanted to be an artist full time?

Some of my earliest memories involve drawing. For me it was always a forgone conclusion that I'd be an artist. 

Who are your artistic references?

In comics Noel Sickles, Alex Toth, Gene Colan, Bruno Premiani and Jorge Zaffino are all influences. But I think Edgar Degas is the greatest draftsman of all time. I'm always seeking out museums where I can see more of his drawings or pastels. I think it's hugely important to look beyond comics for inspiration.

What did you do before breaking into comics?

I've been working as a storyboard artist on feature films since the mid-nineties. Films I've worked on include INCEPTION, X-MEN 2, TROPIC THUNDER and many more. After I burnt out from working on SPIDER-MAN 3, my wife Corinna Bechko and I decided to collaborate on an original graphic novel called HEATENTOWN which she wrote and I drew. It was published last year by Image/Shadowline. I hadn't intended to become a freelance comic artist but when Marvel started offering me work I was enjoying it too much to turn down. For the last year I've primarily drawn comics.

Do you have any advice for those people out there who want to make it in the field?

Do good work and get it done on time. It really is that simple.

Aside from comic books what occupies your time?

I love movies and music. I love seeing live music. My favorite movie this year was TRUE GRIT.  Favorite live show was The Walkmen at Beauty Bar in Las Vegas.

What music do you draw to?

I like to listen to 50's-60's Jazz vinyl LP's while I work. Thelonious Monk, Coltrane, Miles Davis, Yusef Lateef, Hank Mobley, Ornette Coleman. I also listen to podcasts. My favorites are Sound Opinions, The Pod F. Tompkast, Doug Loves Movies, 11 O'Clock Comics and Comedy Death Ray.

What is in your read pile at the moment?

Right now I'm reading Madwoman of the Sacred Heart by Jodorowsky and Moebius. I'm not far enough in to have an opinion but I'm in awe of the expressive characters Moebius draws.

Thanks so much to Gabe for taking the time to speak with me.

Thank you!


Popular posts from this blog

Home Again review

Interview - The Deep creators, Tom Taylor & James Brouwer