The artist of Daredevil #111 talks about working on the debut issue of Lady Bullseye!
Kuljit Mithra: Before we begin, I just wanted to say thanks for doing this interview before your first issue of the Lady Bullseye arc. There's been a lot of positive buzz on your preview art that's been released so far. Are you excited to have this issue come out? How did you get involved?
Clay Mann: Very excited. I was up at Marvel talking with my editor, Warren Simons, and I was looking at the Marko Djurdjevic cover for #111 and he offered me the chance to do it. It's pretty cool too because I was following the [Wizard World] Philly news on Lady Bullseye and I was like "Man, I wish I could have had a book with a ninja chick". I like that stuff.
Mithra: In the past, DD has had "fill-in" issues to help Michael Lark's deadlines... are you only on for this issue, or will you be contributing another issue in the arc? Would a regular run on the title interest you?
Mann: Just this issue, the rest is Michael's. If it ever came my way I wouldn't say no.
Mithra: For the Daredevil fans who may not have seen your work on Heroes For Hire or Iron Fist (and others), can you give a brief bio?
Mann: I started in Unlimited X-Men 13 with Warren. I moved on to a couple of Fantastic Four titles, then HFH. I started a new project I can't talk about, but I have been asked a few times to help out with things like Ultimate X-Men, Iron Fist, and then DD111.
Mithra: Who or what has influenced you the most with your artwork?
Mann: Early on anime and manga, and I still love that stuff. I've been influenced most, I think, by people like [Joe] Madureira, Jim Lee, J. Scott Campbell, Brian Bolland, Adam Hughes, Tim Sale, and a thousand more.... anyone who has an energy to their work, who can create a mood, a feeling, that kind of thing.
Mithra: What specific tools do you use?
Mann: You know, I need to find out what other artists use. All I use is a regular pencil from Wal-Mart.
Mithra: Are you also inking your own work?
Mann: No, never. I love the idea of having an inker. I always look forward to what they contribute.
Mithra: Have you been a fan of Daredevil before this? What's your take on the character? Any favourite runs or creators?
Mann: I have always liked DD and my take on him would probably be just what Ed is doing with him. I really love the Miller/Janson issues, Weeks', and JrJr's run.
Mithra: From what we've learned from Marvel's press releases, the Lady Bullseye costume was designed by Marko Djurdjevic. What do you think of it?
Mann: I think it's an awesome costume. When I first saw DD111 [cover] I wanted to draw it so bad.
Mithra: If you can talk about it, does your issue give the 'origin' of Lady Bullseye, or is it more of an introduction? Are you privy to what's coming up? If so, anything you can share?
Mann: Not too sure what I can say... how about a little of both. I know a little of what's coming and I got to know Ed and Michael a bit so if I wanted to know more I'm sure that I could, but I want to be a fan and wait for the issues on this one. Sorry.
Mithra: What's your take on the Robert Kirkman video on CBR? Does creator-owned work interest you at this time?
Mann: Overall I think it makes sense. I don't know all the in and outs of this business and I haven't been around long enough to give a real opinion. I often wonder why there aren't more creators doing what the Image founders did, or even later with Cliffhanger.... there has to be something behind that. If I had more of a name I'd go work with Kirkman, I have a few ideas in my head.
Mithra: What do you think of the 'instant feedback' you get from comics fans on the internet? I got in touch with you through a message board where you were commenting on posters' opinions of your Heroes For Hire work.
Mann: I enjoy it and look forward to it. I love being critiqed and will be looking for it once DD111 hits.
Mithra: And finally, can you reveal any forthcoming work?
Mann: Thor: Man of War in November, then I'll be continuing on an upcoming book that I can't name yet.
(c) Kuljit Mithra 2008
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