MARCIO TAKARA ANSWERS 15 QUESTIONS WITH JULINDA MORROW
Marcio Takara is a talented Brazilian comic book artist. He has worked for Marvel, DC and Image, and has drawn Spiderman, Blue Beetle and a range of other characters.
A gallery of Marcio’s valiant art follows this interview.
JM: What path led you to comics and sequential art?
Marcio Takara: The first Superman movie for sure. The first comic I remember reading was Justice League International – the Keith Giffen, J. M. DeMatteis, Kevin Maguire one. Awesome.
JM: What schooling or training did you receive?
MT: I have a Graphic Design Bachelor Degree and I worked a few years as a designer before I quit everything and decided to work with comic books. That was in 2006. I went to a few drawing courses here and there, but I can say that most of the hard work was done at home, just drawing every day.
JM: How do you define sequential art?
MT: A series of images put together in a way to tell a story, with lots of variables involved. You can literally write a book about the subject.
JM: Do you find that sequential art provides you with near-limitless possibilities for storytelling or do you experience it as constraining?
MT: I think you can tell any kind of story you want with sequential art and you can simulate all sorts of emotions and feelings. But I can see something like movies and video games being easier to swallow, especially to the younger audience. You can simulate movement and sound, for example. But it’s always going to be something static, which I love about it. Honestly, it’s not something for everybody, as much as I want it to be.
JM: What qualities or resources do you believe are most important for a sequential storyteller to have?
MT: Discipline; endurance; patience; politeness; good networking; and, of course, whatever technical knowledge you need to have to draw. Stuff like anatomy, picture composition, storytelling, shadows, colors, perspective, emotions, good use of reference for whatever you may need. I don’t know…Photoshop? I may be missing something. It’s complex.
JM: How do you approach your work process?
MT: I guess you mean comics. So, I read the script. Do the thumbnails. Do layouts. Scan. Send layouts to the editor. Wait for approvals. Grab as much reference pics as I can. Do the pencils. Scan it. Send it. Wait for approvals. Do the inks. Scan it. Wait for approvals. Save high res file. Upload high res file. Go to the next page. Sometimes I’ll move from one page to the other – just because I can get tired of drawing one page and the next one seems more interesting at the time.
JM: How many hours a day do you work? Are you uniformly productive on any given day or more productive on some days than others?
MT: When I’m drawing a monthly book I can work from ten to sixteen hours a day, but sixteen hours kills me. I don’t recommend it. I do pencils right when I wake up, because my mind is fresher in the morning, I think. Inks I usually leave for the end of the day, because I don’t have to think about it as much as I have to during the pencil stage. Inks take longer, by the way, and I try to leave the weekends to normal life outside of work, though it’s usually not the case. I never missed a deadline because of that.
JM: Was it a struggle, at the start of your career, to find work and make ends meet?
MT: Well, yeah, I basically told my family and girlfriend that it would take me a few years to make the money I was doing as a designer. It is a slow process and I still think I’m moving up. I do all right nowadays, but if you want to be in comics because of the money, I guess you should try something else. I mean, I know you can make money if you’re on top, but everything else pays better than comics. By “everything else” I mean: ad agencies, video games, animation and movies.
JM: What has been your most valuable professional experience?
MT: The chance to live in a big comic city like Toronto for years and meet tons of amazing talent. Making friends all over the industry, doing “cons” everywhere and talking to fans, that’s the best part, for sure.
JM: What inspires or informs you creatively?
MT: Comics. Movies. Animation.
JM: What is your position on digital comics? Are they a good thing or a bad thing?
MT: I love it. I only read my comics on my iPad because I stopped collecting the actual books a long time a go. I hope it’s here to stay and I hope the companies can make money out of it.
JM: If you were to make any changes to the industry or the market what changes would you make?
MT: I would make comics available everywhere, not only at comic shops. No idea how to make that happen.
JM: If you could apprentice under any artist at any time in history and anywhere in the world who would it be?
MT: Alex Toth. Anywhere. Anytime.
JM: What, in the future, would you like to accomplish creatively?
MT: I just want to be able to do the best work I can, be able to show it to as many people as I can and pay my bills.