The former inker on DD talks about collaborating with Ron Wagner on the title and also discusses his current work.
Kuljit Mithra: Can you give a brief bio on yourself and how you made comics a career?
Bill Reinhold: I was born in Chicago in 1955. Always liked to draw, but not necessarily superheroes. A lot of cartoon
characters on T.V., and an
occasional Batman and Superman. It was at the age of 13 in early 1968 that I
discovered Marvel Comics. Soon I was trying to create my own characters and
drawing stories on notebook paper.
Years later, in 1979 (after giving up the idea of being a professional drummer), I went to the American Academy of Art in Chicago. There I learned the skills to be an artist and illustrator. A couple of years later I did my first professional comic-book work as a penciler.
Mithra: Your stint as inker on DD began with the team of J.M. DeMatteis and Ron Wagner. How did that job come about for you? What were you working on prior to this?
Reinhold: Before DD, at Marvel I was inking Spirits of Vengeance on Adam Kubert and finishing up drawing the Epic limited series Spyke, that I co-created with Mike Baron. Around that time I had met Ron at a convention (Chicago-Con?), and I guess he remembered my work. Plus Marie Javins was my editor on Spyke, and Ron is friends with Adam Kubert.
Mithra: I've heard that Klaus Janson was originally going to be the inker, but he declined the job and eventually it came to you. Any truth to that?
Reinhold: I don't know if that's true or not. I do know that Klaus had inked a promotional piece of Ron's for DD before I started.
Mithra: Having interviewed Ron Wagner, he said your collaboration on DD was an enjoyable experience because you complemented his art. What was it about your 'team-up' that worked, and led to other comics work together?
Reinhold: Well, first, Ron is a very good artist and a pleasure to ink. As with
any artist I work with I try to understand their own style and influences, so
that when I embellish I might bring in the same kind of sensibilities they
would. Although my own style comes into play also, I try not to overwhelm
After a while we got comfortable with each other so that he felt free to leave his pencils a little more open for my interpretation. Also we had become good friends.
Mithra: How was it to work with J.M. DeMatteis? Any contact at all?
Reinhold: No, unfortunately not. I'm a big fan of his work. I like the metaphysical and spiritual aspects he brings to his stories.
Mithra: What did you think of the Jack Batlin identity storyline?
Reinhold: Can't say I could relate to it.
Mithra: What about your opinion on Sir, the female character who pretended to be a man?
Reinhold: That was a pretty wild character. Brought attention to those dual aspects that all superhero stories have to deal with. And she was a lot of fun to ink.
Mithra: I think you got to ink all the DD costumes (yellow, red, armoured). What did you think of the armoured costume? Was that Daredevil to you? How about the yellow?
Reinhold: Didn't care for the armoured costume at all. The yellow I got a kick out of because it made me fondly remember Wally Wood's work on DD. But the red I liked the best. Mostly because my favorite stories were drawn by Gene Colan and Frank Miller.
Mithra: Did you want to stay on DD when the new team of Kesel and Nord started?
Reinhold: Well, I was interested with continuing work with Ron. He wasn't staying so I followed him over to DC.
Mithra: Overall, how was the DD work for you creatively when compared to your other work at the time?
Reinhold: Creatively, I'd have to say it was when I was really getting comfortable as an inker on another artist. I think we made a great team.
Mithra: DD fans may not know that you've also done some penciling work in the Predator's Smile novel by Christopher Golden. How did that job come about for you?
Reinhold: I got that job through a process of elimination. Matt Wagner, who did the cover, was supposed to do the interiors, but I guess couldn't fit it in his schedule. Then they asked Ron and he couldn't either. But they still hoped to get someone who was currently working on DD, so I fortunately was asked.
Mithra: Any special requirements for the art? Were you given plot details and had to create chapter pics for those?
Reinhold: I got the full manuscript to read. Then I had to come up with an illustration for each chapter.
Mithra: Do you prefer penciling or inking?
Reinhold: As an artist I of course prefer my own work. Which for me includes drawing in pencil and ink. But I really enjoy inking other artists that I admire. It's sort of like musicians jamming.
Mithra: You are currently involved with the massive Earth X, Universe X, Paradise X trilogy, by Alex Ross and Jim Krueger. For Earth X, you inked over J.P. Leon, who has a distinctive style. Was inking his work a challenge for you? What's involved with inking his work when compared to Doug Braithwaite, the artist on Universe X and Paradise X?
Reinhold: John Paul and Dougie are very good artists and I've been fortunate to work with them. I find, as I do with others I've inked, that their work pulls on different interests of my own. With John it's artists like Alex Toth and Jorge Zaffino, and Dougie, it's Al Williamson and Tom Palmer. So I can find different styles interesting.
Mithra: Are there any hints you can give on what DD's role (both DD's) will be in Paradise X?
Reinhold: Not really. That's for Jim Krueger and Alex Ross to answer.
Mithra: And finally, any other projects coming up for you besides the Paradise X work?
Reinhold: Yes, finally I finished two issues of Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight, issues #154 and #155. I did the pencils and inks. I started them some time ago, fitting the work between inking gigs. It was a thrill to work on.
(c) Kuljit Mithra 2002
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