What made you become part of the Oathbound team?
Well, there are two sides to this story.
First, Kevin Cuffe is an excellent salesman and he was able to convince to work with him. And second, I didn’t have much of a choice, because I co-created it!
I knew Kevin was good people the very first time we spoke. He and I became fast friends after that and are now much like brothers. As for Oathbound, I knew we had something special when I Kevin said: “…think The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly meets Willow.” We’ve grown quite a bit as artists together, and since we are practically family at this point, the question to me is more like this…”Why wouldn’t I want to become part of the OathBound Family?”
What was your first experience with comic books?
HA! David Munoz is the main reason. My oldest sister dated this cat back in the 80’s when she was in high school and I idolized this guy. I have two sisters and always wished I’d had a big brother. So, when this guy walked on the scene it was like my prayers were answered. I’m serious. This guy was, by far, the coolest dude ever!! I still talk to him from time to time, even though he is a hot-shot lawyer out of Whittier, CA. Even after all these years I’m still proud to call him my friend.
Anyways one day he showed up at our house and he had a ton of comics with him. He was like “Look, Paul, I have some books here that I don’t have room for. I need you to help me out. I need you to watch over them for a while.”
I remember it like it was yesterday. Uncanny X-men issues 211 – 213 (Yeah… I know), Secret Wars, and many others. Then I saw it, the greatest cover of all time. And, to this very day, I stand by that statement. John Bryne’s Fantastic Four #243 cover, his artwork showcasing Thor, Cap, Iron Man, The Wasp, Reed, Sue, Ben, Johnny, my man Dr. Strange…all taking on Galactus. I knew when I saw that cover, I was hooked forever!
This led me to Bryne’s X-men run, then so much more. I was a huge Marvel fanboy, and I still am. But I love comics for so many reasons and on so many levels. Most of you know exactly what I’m talking about!!
Can you tell the folks at home what a Penciler/Inker does and why it’s so important to a comic?
So, okay here it goes. You ready? I draw stuff and then ink it.
Well, to be honest, I simply help Kevin tell the story the best way possible through art. Though, ‘simply’ might be understating it just a bit. My job is to transform Kevin’s vision from words on a page into a fully functioning and believable world. I rough out the pages, doing my best to create and engaging experience for the reader. If your eyes are easily following the action from panel to panel, then I did my job properly.
The roughs are reviewed, and once they are ‘green lighted,’ (sometimes requiring changes or adjustments before I move on) the final pencils are completed. I then take those finished pencils and do the inking. Inking is where much of a book’s style is determined. A book inked with clean, smooth lines has a much different feel or vibe than one inked with choppy or harsh line work.
Once the inking is done, I scan everything and clean it up digitally with the help of my clean up guys, Photoshop, and RamDOG!!
When all that is done, I send the finished pages to Paula so she can work her flatter magic. From there, it’s up to Hedwin and Micah to finish what I started.
What are some of your favorite comics? What comics (if any) do you currently read and what comics would you suggest to others?
Well, obviously Fantastic Four, Uncanny X-men and Phantom Guard is the shizz, Also, any Frank Miller Batman. I’m currently reading Saga, The Sixth Gun, Strangers in Paradise, oh and I just got Rumble.
Whenever someone asks for suggestions on comics to read, the first thing I say is The Watchmen. It is hands down, the best on so many levels.
What other (if any) comic book series/projects are you involved with and at what capacity?
I am currently penciling and inking Astropunk, written by Kenneth Centers and Rob Farinholt. I’m also penciling/inking The Emergents, written by my good friend Anthony Davis. I am proud to say that I just started work on Pyscho Path by Stefani Mannard, again doing both pencils and inks. I have a few other things coming up in the next year or so with a few other people, but I can’t really discuss details at this point.
I also have a poetry collaboration with Michelle Gallagher in the works. She has mad skills and I wanted in on that experience as an artist.
So yeah…there ya go.