Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Cream City Conversations with Marcus Muller

Hello all!

I'm back with the second of two 'interviews' with Marcus Muller. In addition to working with him in art studios situations (in the past), I've also had the distinct pleasure of publishing some of his work. Part Don Bluth-part Japanese block print, Marcus' work jumps of the page... or pulls you into in, and envelops you forever.

It's good to have him back.

1) For the uninitiated, your name and location?

Marcus Muller and I live just on the outskirts of the town Hebron in Harvard, Illinois. If you drive too fast you may miss it.

2) What have you been up to lately? What projects have you been attached to in the first 6 months of 2008?

I had a King of the Unknown short story in the Muscles and Fights Vol. 3 anthology, was going to do a full length King of the Unknown story for the horror themed Muscles and Frights but had to drop out because my brother didn't have time to tone it between work and school. You will see that comic some day, though. Other than that, I'm working on a mini-series with a writer that I can't really say too much about until it's closer to completion.

*Note: That's a drag about the lack of time to work out the Muscles & Frights story... glad to have you contribute some vintage monster images for us, though. You, fine reader, can view one of said images on www.musclesandfights.com -AR

3) When and where can people pick up and/or see these works?

The Muscles and Fights vol.3 anthology is out now so check out their website for more info (www.musclesandfights.com) and just check my blog for updates on anything else I'm working on www.marcusmuller.blogspot.com

Although I should warn you, I'm a huge slacker when it comes to updating my blog. I have tons of stuff I could put on there it's just a royal pain to get my scanner to work right, and putz around with everything. So whenever the planets align correctly and there's a full moon expect stuff on there.

4) What projects and events are on the horizon? Do you have release dates in-mind at present? If so, indulge us.

Again, the big project I'm working on is the mini-series I've been trying like crazy to get done. It should, hopefully, be released by this time next year at which time I can talk more about it.

*Note: I'm looking forward to it already. -AR

5) Have you been working in any new mediums or experimenting with your known style and tools, at all?

I've been doing some motorcycle decal designs for some people at my brothers work for some extra scratch, and for those I'm using a different style. Also, for one of them I inked it with some pretty ghetto materials: bic pen, Sharpie, and a magic marker. You could probably get a contact high just by standing too close to that piece of paper but whatever gets the job done I say.

*Note: That's one of many benefits in working on art old school style. -AR

6) If you've been trying new things, share a bit of your thoughts on that process.

Well, I think from time to time it's always good to change things up just so you're work doesn't stay the same and can evolve a bit. An artist should never be content with their work because that's the day they're done. Of course, this is coming from someone who wants to tear his artwork in half the moment he's done working on it so (of course) I want to improve.

*Note: The old 'rip it up once it's done' syndrome. I, too, suffer from that illness. -AR

7) Do you keep a sketchbook? If so, what do you get out of this process? Do you think it's a good thing, in general, for an artist to do?

I do keep a sketchbook but I don't use them as much as I used to. Loose leaf and scrap paper has pretty much taken its place for me, and most of the time it's either just doodles or I'm trying to work an image out on it for a comic page.

8) Do you ever use these sketchbook drawings for your printed works? If so, please explain how the sketchbook art informs your finished work.

Like I mentioned, I use it a lot to work stuff out for a comic. Or, sometimes, I may draw something in there and think it may work for a colored pin-up image... so I'll scan it in, print it out, and light table a clean version of it.

9) With convention season in full swing, where can the comic book reading public expect to see you and purchase your merchadise [personally]?

This year I'm not really attending to many conventions, and if I am it's as a spectator and not behind a table. Over the past couple of years I've gotten really burned out on cons.

10) The big convention this year has got to be Fallcon 2008. If you plan to be there, will you have anything special for that particular show?

That's the one convention I actually wish I was going to. But most likely won't be able to make it to... next year for sure, though.

*Note: It'll be cool to hang out with you there and see your reaction to being treated like an 'artist'... even though you aren't necessarily making the big bucks. -AR

11) Now we're caught up on what you're doing and where we can see this year. What are you reading and watching these days? Is there any particular book or film you'd like to make sure people are looking for?

Hmm... well I don't watch too much television, and if I'm reading anything it's usually probably not anything written within the past couple of decades. But, like most everyone you've already interviewed, I do watch Lost.. and also my brother just got me hooked on Flight of the Conchords which is great.. oh yeah, and I watch House too. Oh yeah, and I'm eagerly awaiting for the third season of Venture Bros. to finish so they come out with the DVD because I don't have cable (I know, I think I'm one of the few people in the world who doesn't have cable). As for comics, I read most of the stuff I've been getting is for the artwork like Eric Canete's stuff on Iron Man: Enter the Mandarin and Gabriel Ba on Umbrella Acadamy. Great lookin' stuff.

*Note: That's a lot of... erm... non-television, there, Marcus. Great taste in comics creators. -AR

12) Anything already in the works for 2009?

Just the mini-series and hopefully some more King of the Unknown which is always incredibly fun to do. Other than that, who knows?

13) Do you have any other thoughts you'd like to share?

Um, nope.

Thanks, Marcus!