MIKE DEODATO ANSWERS 15 QUESTIONS WITH JULINDA MORROW
Mike Deodato – Deodato Taumaturgo Borges Filho – is the Brazilian wonder who has brought his exciting artistic style to such characters as Wonder Woman, The Hulk, Thor and Spiderman.
Publishers, writers, retailers and comic books fans all love his work. This interviewer enjoys her brief glimpse of the sweet, smiling man behind the pencil.
A gallery of Mike’s striking art follows this interview.
Julinda Morrow: What path led you to comics and sequential art?
Mike Deodato: The RED brick road! Did you ever wonder where it would’ve led Dorothy?
JM: What schooling or training did you receive?
MD: The school of hard knocks. I had to learn by paying attention and actually learning how to draw well.
JM: Who, in your opinion, are the pioneers of sequential art?
MD: Aside from the cavemen who drew scenes on their walls? Jerry Siegel. Joe Shuster. Bob Kane. Jerry Robinson. Bill Finger. Sheldon Mayer. Will Eisner. Joe Simon. Jack Kirby. It was a long, great early list in comic books. In comic strips, it was a whole different gang of great talents.
JM: How do you define sequential art?
MD: Storytelling – in panels.
JM: Do you find that sequential art provides you with near-limitless possibilities for storytelling or do you experience it as constraining?
MD: The only limits are imagination.
JM: What qualities or resources do you believe are most important for a sequential storyteller to have?
MD: Imagination, and life. Live long enough to know how people behave and what motivates them, and creative enough to synthesize everything you’ve learned into stories that enlighten and entertain.
JM: How do you approach your work process?
MD: With a cup of coffee in my hand and the knowledge that I have to finish another page before bedtime!
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?
MD: I work as many hours as it takes to finish a page, but never past 9:00 p.m. Editors expect a book a month from me, so I can’t be late.
JM: Was it a struggle, at the start of your career, to find work and make ends meet?
MD: Of course! At one point, before I got into American comics, I worked three jobs including being a paste-up artist for a local newspaper. Even in the U.S. market, my first eight years I had a crazy-busy schedule. I was out to prove myself.
JM: What has been your most valuable professional experience?
MD: Working with some very smart editors and writers, which made my own work better.
JM: What inspires or informs you creatively?
MD: A well written script for characters that I love!
JM: What is your position on digital comics? Are they a good thing or a bad thing?
MD: How can ANYTHING that gets people to read more comics be a bad thing?
JM: If you were to make any changes to the industry or the market what changes would you make?
MD: Better distribution. [The existence of only] one distributor and a lack of enough comics shops has turned the industry into a very small niche market for the comics themselves. We need a genius to create a new distribution system to put comics back into every neighborhood and on every corner. I work hard enough drawing them. I don’t have time to bring them door-to-door, too…[Laughs.]