Interview with Thony Silas
(February 2014)

Thony Silas has recently completed his arc on DAREDEVIL: DARK NIGHTS and here we talk about the series and his career. Many thanks to Mr. Silas for the opportunity!

Kuljit Mithra: Thank you for doing this interview for my site. The concluding issue of your arc with Jimmy Palmiotti in DAREDEVIL: DARK NIGHTS just came out, so I wanted to get some of your comments about the experience. How did you get involved with the project? Was it because of your work on AMAZING SPIDER-MAN and VENOM?

Thony Silas: Hello, Kuljit and hello to all the readers of your dear web site. First of all, it is a great pleasure to participate in this interview. I want to thank you for your invitation.

So, undoubtedly the invitation for DAREDEVIL: DARK NIGHTS came as a result of my work on AMAZING SPIDER-MAN and VENOM. More due to VENOM, because the editor Thomas Brennan, with whom I worked on VENOM, invited me. I was already working on BATMAN BEYOND, but Thomas gave me a great deadline, so I was able to juggle both jobs. I was very happy and honored, but I confess a little fearful too. DAREDEVIL is a great title, [DARK NIGHTS] had great artists like Lee Weeks and David Lapham and I, besides being a newcomer, my style escapes a lot of the classic line, containing a lot of hype, etc. But I love challenges and so I gave my best to try not to spoil the "tone" of the series or unbalance it. But, looking forward, do not think I succeeded. I do not like most of the things I've done, except for a few dialogue pages between Matt and Misty.

Mithra: For those unfamiliar with you, can you briefly describe your work for other companies and on BATMAN BEYOND, and what's it like for you to be a comics artist in Brazil working on American superhero comics?

Silas: So, I started my career working in the illustration market as a freelancer, in 2000. Began to devote myself to the American comic book market in 2003 and, four years later, I had my first opportunities under the "Contract", the publisher's First Salvo, "The Cheng Brothers", The Crystal Fractal Comics and "Rage: Bane of Demons" of Glyphs Productions. These works were forming me as a professional over time. Then, in 2012 I had my first work published by Marvel as you mentioned, with AMAZING SPIDER-MAN and VENOM.

The invitation to work with the BATMAN BEYOND came after VENOM. Until then I had only a vague memory of the animated series. After watching three seasons I was very excited to try to appreciate a little more the comics version of a so cool animated series. I am very glad with the results and have heard a good response from fans of the series.

As a Professional Comics artist, having come from a humble neighborhood where I came, I could not be more accomplished. It was a hard road, but today I can do what I like, keep my family, drawing seeing my little daughter (who is 19 months) growing up and motivate others in my town does not yet have any idea that there is this possibility.

Mithra: From speaking with you a few months ago, I know you are a big Daredevil fan. When did you first read a DD story and what writers and artists are your favourites?

Silas: Well, I can say that I love the character's concept but I cannot say I have read much more than the lovely partnership between Frank Miller and John Romita Jr. in "The Man Without Fear". Also I have just had a great admiration for the [DAREDEVIL: NINJA] series with Rob Haynes and [DAREDEVIL: REBORN] made by Davide Gianfelice. Both gave me an idea of what I like to do in Daredevil.

Mithra: Jimmy Palmiotti has mentioned on Twitter that he wanted this arc to be "fun". With Daredevil out of New York and his flirty dialogue with Misty Knight, it certainly was not the typical DD story we've seen in the past. What did you think of the story and its change of scenery for Matt?

Silas: I really want to make clear my respect for Jimmy Palmiotti and my gratefulness as he helped me to participate in Dark Nights... But I really didn't like the idea of doing something "fun", much less after a beginning so dense and tense that Lee Weeks did [in the first arc of DARK NIGHTS]. I have little experience, but I really expected a bad reaction from the public. The Dark Nights series lost its meaning with this final [arc]. It also makes no sense to me to see that Matt has a kidnapped client, an FBI agent who he was escorting was murdered and he is the whole time flirting with Misty... you know? This is unthinkable in my view. As my wife often says to me sometimes "- Is not a good time", hehe. However, I love the way he lead the events in #6 and #7 issues, with the exception that there was no space that I hoped to make the King great enough.

Mithra: I really liked your sketches you showed on your blog when issue #6 came out. Do you normally do these kinds of sketches before you start on a comic?

Silas: Yes, yes, I always do. It's my way to familiarize myself with the characters and start thinking about what I can do with them. Actually that's my favorite part.

Mithra: Which characters did you enjoy drawing and why?

Silas: Oh, no doubt Matt and Misty, but much more Misty. You know, I love curly and frizzy hair so I wanted to make a 'Brazilian' look to the hair making it looser than usual, and the face contour, full lips and facial expressions. For Matt I just tried to give a younger look. Particularly I like to see him more serious and grown up, but for something a little "fun" I thought I'd see him younger.

Mithra: Do you normally do layouts and then do full page artwork?

Silas: Yes, yes, most of times, I take more time thinking on layouts than making a page. First, I read the script once or twice as a reader would, without thinking on "page 1, panel 2", just to feel what happens in the story. Then I study the characters while I think about the story, and finally I go to them, now setting "page 1, panel 2". Once approved, I print on standard size and go to light table set the pencil.

Mithra: On this series Nelson DeCastro (and others) ink over your pencils, but do you enjoy inking your own work?

Silas: So, Nelson also inked my work in VENOM. I cannot say that's how I really like to see my trait. I enjoyed it more than Pallot, Wong and Cariello made. I like a style closer to Pascal Ferry and try to follow and Nelson has a more classic style, with a brush aspect, anyway. But I like the more human aspect of the final result.

As I'm wont to inking my own dash, my pencil is poor in details because I got used to adding things when I'm inking.

Mithra: You've mentioned some of your Daredevil favourites, but who would you say have been some of your influences for your artwork style?

Silas: Wow, are many, hehe. If you want to know my influences before comics I have to start by Disney cartoons, besides watching them all, I made copies in enlarged size and made panels for children's parties. Then came religious books with beautiful illustrations and soon after, at 12 years old, when I became a student and freelance assistant to my teacher and illustrator Wamberto Nicomedes, the illustrators Tony Wolf and Osney Furtado were essential for me.

In the comics, the first things I saw and become a reference for me were Joe Madureira, Roger Cruz, Chris Bachallo, Carlos Pacheco and Salvador Larroca, but soon lost some strength of influence when I met the art of Adam Hughes, Joshua Middleton, Stuart Immonen ... And as I have my traditional style of coloring in watercolor, Azpiri Afonso, Alex Ross, and more recently, Esad Ribic, also influenced me in the colors aspect.

Mithra: And last question, what projects are next for you, and what kind of projects would you like to be doing? Thanks again for your time!

Silas: So, I'm just studying new possibilities, but this is something about my own work. What I'd really like to be doing right now are my personal projects, but are still somewhat immature. Then I do not intend to set anything so soon, So until then, I'll keep doing my best in the Beyond Universe.

Until recently I intended to stay in the Batman Beyond for a long time. I love the Beyond Universe and what our team is doing is very rewarding, but I start to feel the need to extend me back and beyond of what I did before starting in the Marvel and DC. The greatest strength of my style is the traditional color work that I do and I'm studying the viability of this return in any market. I also have stopped personal projects and I'm thirsty for giving life to them.

The pleasure was all mine, Kuljit! Thank you and all the readers of your site.

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(c) 2014 Kuljit Mithra & Thony Silas
Daredevil:The Man Without Fear
http://www.manwithoutfear.com
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