Talkin Comics with Ryan Sook
Updated: Jan 24, 2020
Ryan Sook has been a favorite of mine since the Spectre series he drew. I've always loved the use of shadows in his art. He has drawn for all of the major publishers. He's worked on books like X-Factor, Furtures End, Ghost, Batman Beyond, and has an upcoming arc on Action Comics. He also does a ton of covers for DC. He's also one of the coolest creators I've ever spoke with. I wanted to ask him about his art and what else he had coming up so I reached out to him to find out more. I can't wait to see his Action Comics art and what else he's got coming out.
1. I first discovered your work on the Hal Jordan Spectre series, and I've been a fan ever since. What comic would you say was the comic that made you want to draw comics? Hmmm, this is a tricky question for me honestly. I think probably the first comic I saw made me want to draw, which I can’t remember what it was for sure, probably the Electric Company issues of Spidey, or an issue of Iron Man by Jim Mooney. I also remember having a HUGE DC coloring book, probably 300 pages. It had these great Neal Adams and Jim Aparo “rules” for drawing Superman and Batman and Wonder Woman… where Superman’s boots stop and how long his cape is and everything. I still remember the rules. And still follow them. With liberties. ;) 2. The majority of your work the past few years has been covers as opposed to interiors, do you plan on doing interiors again in the immediate future? I have been doing more interior work in the last year or two since DC did Rebirth. I drew the first issue of Batman Beyond. I’ve also done Action Comics and Kamandi Challenge, as well as Man of Steel #3 with Brian Bendis. Right now I’m drawing the second arc of his run on Action Comics, 1004-1006. It’s fantastic writing and a lot of fun to draw.
3. Are there any characters that you would love to work on? What would be your dream project? Some part of me still wants to do a really unique Batman book. I've drawn him here and there in issues over the years. And did an entire issue with Ed Brubaker and Mick Gray some years ago that never got published. But it would be fun to do a book that he was the star of and do it a little different artistically. Dream project…? Don’t know as I’ve dreamed that up yet. A lot of the characters I dreamed of working on when I was young I draw and have drawn so… What dreams may come? I can’t say just yet.
4. Are there any writers you haven't worked with before that you would like to work with? Tom King, Matt Kindt, Scott Snyder. 5. Have you ever thought of doing a creator owned project? I have half a dozen or so in the docket so… yes, I’d like to do that. 6. Do you prefer drawing traditionally or digital? I don’t do any drawing digitally YET. So, I’ll have to come back to that sometime when I can compare. I apply color digitally which I enjoy a lot because of the effects I can accomplish quickly and adjustments that can be made so rapidly. I enjoy drawing traditionally because, I enjoy drawing.
7. Are there any upcoming projects that you can talk about? Action is in the queue now and I am really excited to be working on it. I hope the readers will enjoy the issues as much as I am. And beyond that I do have something lined up but I can’t say what it is. But oh, man— if I COULD say what it was, you’d be like, No way. I’d be like yep, totally. You’d be like, No WAAAAAAAYYY! Awesome. Yeah, gonna be sweet. Wish I could say but it’s TOTALLY secret so… Man, it would be so cool if I could say what it is though because it is just… awesome. ;) 8. What advice would you give to an aspiring artist? Lately my advice would be, stop aspiring. You are an artist or you’re not. Being published or being paid aren’t requirements for being an artist. If you want to work, work. Draw, study, always learn, draw, draw, draw. And take advantage of all this social media and show your work. Now you’re a working artist and the more people see, the more they’re likely to want to see more, even if it’s a niche style or approach. You’ll get feedback that will help and challenge you, and maybe the right people will see it and you can get paid and published which is cool… for an artist. 9. Lastly, what is your favorite book of all time? Book, the Bible. Comic book, really hard to pick, V for Vendetta? Hellboy: Wake the Devil? Kirby’s Mister Miracle? JLA One Million? I could keep going but I’ll just stop. Too many to pick.