Cary Nord had a critically acclaimed run as penciler of DD, and here he talks about his work on the title as well as his work on the Micronauts series which may never be published.
Kuljit Mithra: What got you interested in comics as a career and how difficult is it to work from Calgary?
Cary Nord: I've always loved to draw and ever since I saw comics,
I've loved to draw comics. When I was in grade 8, I made
up my mind that this was what I was going to do and I did my first
professional work for DC five years later.
It would be nice to live a little closer to the action, but in terms of difficulty, it's not hard at all. I work out of my house, set my own hours, I can watch TV whenever I want. I think it's great.
Mithra: I'll list off some of your credits. Tell me what I'm
missing from the list, and also, what has been your favourite of the list
Ghost Rider: Crossroads
Bruce Wayne: Agent of Shield
Nord: I did 3 issues of Marvel Comics Presents (156-158), drawing
Shang-Chi. [It was] my first work for Marvel.
My favourite title so far has been the Micronauts because it was the first time I've felt like a professional comic book illustrator in terms of layout and design, style and overall completeness.
Mithra: What comics and/or artists have influenced you the most?
Nord: My first big influence was Marc Silvestri and Dan Green on X-Men. Then I found artists like Frank Frazetta, Al Williamson and Angelo Torres and from them I learned to draw real anatomy and real things like cars and buildings and how to draw a suit on a guy. Lately I've been picking up bits and pieces from guys like Chris Bachalo and the Kubert brothers.
Mithra: Your first issues of Daredevil were fill-ins (348, 349). Was there any indication at that time that you may be getting the regular series job? How did the regular series job come about for you?
Nord: I did the 2 fill-ins then 2 months later they offered me DD which scared the hell out of me because I didn't think I could do it.
Mithra: Before you started drawing Daredevil, what had been your opinion of the character? After?
Nord: I liked him a lot more before I started drawing him. Now I find him a bit static. He only exists in two places, either as DD or as a lawyer. Not much in between.
Mithra: With #353, you started your critically acclaimed run with Karl Kesel. How was it to work with him? Did you have many face-to-face conversations or was it mostly by phone?
Nord: I met Karl a couple of times at conventions, but most times we talked over the phone.
Mithra: Are you more a fan of the Kesel 'humourous' DD, or the Miller 'serious' DD?
Nord: I think my style lends itself to a darker character. There's not much room for slapstick.
Mithra: On some of your issues, you had some help with layouts from other artists, or had others do some of the art. Was the series becoming too much to handle on a monthly basis? Or was it just due to lack of experience on your part?
Nord: Actually, it was a lack of experience AND too much to handle.
Mithra: What inking technique do you think is best for your pencils? Matt Ryan used a cleaner style for the 'civilian' scenes and then shadowing for others. Your fill-in issues had a heavier ink to it.
Nord: Most of the inkers have been a good reflection of how my art looked at the time. If it appears to change, it is more likely a result of something I've done rather than something the inker has done.
Mithra: What were your favourite scenes to draw in Daredevil? One of the best things you drew, in my opinion, were scenes where DD was 'flying', and you could see buildings in the background. Also, many of the 'non-action' sequences (courtroom, office, etc.) were great.
Nord: At the time I liked the non-action scenes, but since then I've developed a taste for action.
Mithra: Which issue do you think was your best? Why?
Nord: My best issue was when the Black Widow appeared. I had a very solid style.
Mithra: Kesel left the comic to concentrate on his other titles, and editor James Felder left before him. Did you want to stay on board when Joe Kelly began writing, or had the new editor decided on Gene Colan already?
Nord: I think when James left, everyone but me knew Colan would take over. Other than the insecurity of not having regular work, I was ready to move on.
Mithra: After DD, you did some guest issues of Silver Surfer, Wolverine, and the ST:TNG/X-Men book. How was the ST:TNG/X-Men book to do? Did you have to rely on references to get the ST characters 'right'? Overall, how do you think that turned out?
Nord: During the course of drawing that book, I began an artistic reawakening which gave the book a real awkward clumsy look because I was trying to find a style I was comfortable with.
Mithra: Your next project should have been The Micronauts. From what I've read, everyone involved is really excited to get this under way, but it's still has some kind of legal problems. If/when it comes out, will it be a series or a limited series?
Nord: If it comes out, it's supposed to be a series, but who knows.
Mithra: Who is your favourite Micronaut and why?
Nord: Rann, Mari and Bug because they all have nice chemistry together.
Mithra: Are there any other projects that you are looking into, or are you sticking with Micronauts?
Nord: Since The Micronauts are on permanent hiatus, I've been doing some guest issues here and there, notably Wolverine #131 and Mutant X.
(c) Kuljit Mithra 1998
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