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Interview Paolo Rivera

What is your opinion on American comics culture? Are comics part of the mainstream or rather a niche?

The characters are mainstream. The comics are niche. The movies might be giving a small boost to the comics, but I think diversity of subject matter is the only things that grow and sustain a larger readership. That, and consistently good and accessible content for kids.

Do you prefer painting, penciling, inking or coloring?

I love them all for different reasons. Painting wears me out, though, mainly because I have to stare at the same idea for weeks at a time. When it comes to penciling, inking, and coloring, I like changing it up because each step feels fresh, even if I've already been working nonstop.

Superhero comics have been called an American kind of mythology. What are the differences/similarities between ancient and American mythology?

I don't really see them as being too different. It's always the same stories, you just trade in magic for "science." And in many cases, they're a direct interpretation of the classics.

You have an art blog 'The self absorbing man.' What is your main goal with this blog?

The blog started out as a way to let people know that I hadn't disappeared. At the beginning of my career, I think I was only averaging 2 books per year, but not because I wasn't working diligently. By posting regularly, it allowed me to build a small following of readers who would pick up my work, sparse as it was. I also just like talking about tools and process, so it was a good fit.

Do you have advice for artists and writers who want to 'break in' in American comics?

Get as good as your favorite artists, then get better. Sculpting is the best way to learn anatomy. Draw every day, and challenge yourself with multiple figures interacting in the same space. It's a tough road, but it's worth it if you can make it.

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