Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Profile Antics (& interview): Axel Medellin, artist on 50-Girls-50

Boys & girls, here is a genuine, spiffy, hot-off-the-presses kind of interview with the just announced winner of Image Comics "50-Girls-50" talent search, Axel Medellin.

I emailed this interview request immediately upon reading the announcement on Newsarama and am just tickled pink to have received such a speedy reply. I would like to thank Axel publicly and once again, extend my congratulations to him for being selected out of a very tough field of potential candidates for this plum assignment working with Frank Cho & Doug Murray.


Hi, Axel! I saw your winning tryout pages for 50-Girls-50 on Newsarama this morning and they looked terrific. I buy few new comics series these days, preferring to focus on back issues from decades past, but I must admit that your artwork intrigued me enough to say that I will be buying your Image series.

I maintain a comics blog called "The Comic Book Catacombs" and would love to do a quick profile on you, similar to ones that I've done in the past on artists Colleen Doran, Stephanie Gladden, Michael T. Gilbert, Guy Davis, and others. If you can take a moment to answer a few questions, I would appreciate it.

Q) How does it feel to be declared the winner of such an obviously high profile comics project?

It's overwhelming, to tell the truth... before this year I hadn't won a single contest, ever, not even second round or anything. In March, I was part of the team winner of the Zuda competition (Earthbuilders, updated at each Tuesday, shameless plug), and now comes this contest which I absolutely devoted myself to... I doubt there's been a time in my life that I wanted to win something so badly... and to be sincere, it feels great! Also, it's a bit daunting, of course... I mean, you saw the art at the competition, any one of the finalists was a good choice for the book. I really appreciate the confidence set upon my shoulders, now I have to live up to it.

Q) What are your thoughts on working so closely with Frank Cho?

Man, Frank Cho! If you could see my library, you'd find every one of Frank Cho's books in an honored place. He's been one of my heroes since I discovered Liberty Meadows. So, I'm trying really hard to not get all fanboy-ish here... but seriously, this idea of Frank and Doug, the contest and the comic book was amazing. I'm so honored, and I hope to deliver work worthy of the project. And, honestly, 50 gorgeous girls, aliens, monsters, spaceships... these are just the lyrics of "my favourite things"!

Q) Do you follow any other Image Comics series? or What are your favorite "reads" at the moment?

I love Elephantmen, and Chew fascinates me in a morbid way. I'm patiently waiting for the next Fell and Casanova. Even if I don't get 7 out of 10 references, the art in Phonogram just blew me away. Other than that, I'm a strict devotee of all things Hellboy-related.

Q) What type of tools do you prefer to use to create your artwork?

I'm old-fashioned when it comes to pencils and inks... good old paper, mechanical pencil and India ink, with technical pens, brushes or crow quills (and everything from cotton balls to toothbrush), depending on the subject. When I do my coloring it's all in the computer. I'm just recently learning to ink digitally, maybe it will speed up things in the future...

Q) If 50-Girls-50 is a success, what would your next goals be within the industry?

Well... I honestly hope it will be! At least, I'll try to deliver damn good art... and if it succeeds, I hope it will be a right step to a solid career. Make creator-owned stuff as well as some regular gig to pay the bills in the meantime. Who can say, I've been more than ten years trying to get into the business, and publishing regularly for the past two... I hope it will go up from here. Fingers crossed.

Q) Do you have any particular artists whose work inspired you to draw?

Oh, yes. John Buscema was my first role model. Meeting him at his last Con was a defining moment for me. Frank Frazetta. Mike Mignola. Kevin Nowlan. Travis Charest. Juan Gimenez. Dean Yeagle. Syd Mead. And Frank, of course. I could go on and on with the list, I'm a child in a candy store when it comes to favourite artists.

Q) I look forward to picking up 50-Girls-50, so again, congratulations on being selected and best of luck on the book. Thanks for allowing me to do this mini-interview, and if you have a link to a web page where you post artwork, please include it.

Here's my art page: [here]. And our weekly web comic Earthbuilders, written by RG Llarena and Abraham Martinez, drawn by yours truly, colored and lettered by Felipe Sobreiro [here].

Thanks so much!

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