I have been a long time fan of Todd Nauck, it all started with his run on Young Justice. Young Justice is a book that will always hold a special place in my heart. Meeting him 2 years ago at Wonder-Con was such an awesome experience. His art always puts me in a good mood, it's always filled with energy and joy. You can tell that he loves what he does, it shines through with every image he draws. Todd has worked some of the biggest characters in the industry like, Deadpool, Spider-Man, Nightcrawler, and Young Justice. He's also worked on his own creator owned title WildGuard which was another title of his I really enjoyed. He's got a new title coming out today from Dark Horse Comics, Mystery Science Theater 3000. So go check it out guys, I'm sure we won't be disappointed.
Comic Lounge: When did you first decide, that you wanted to be a comic book artist? Who were some of your influences?
Todd: It was my Freshman year of High School. A friend of mine pointed out that I was always drawing superheroes and reading comics. He asked if I’d ever tried drawing my own comic. I hadn’t! So that day when I got home from school, I took some printer paper, folded those sheets in half and wrote/drew an 8page comic in one night. It featured my creator-owned character and it was terrible! The art was bad and the story was worse! But it was so much fun to create, I knew right then this is what I wanted to do for a career. I began to study comics, practice my art, and continue to make my original character mini-comics.
I was influenced by a lot of artists. I refer to my main influences as my “Foundational Four”: Arthur Adams, Rick Leonardi, Walter Simonson, and Alan Davis. But I was also influenced by Mike Zeck, Marc Silvestri, George Perez, Jon Bogdanove, Bret Blevins, Jim Lee, Todd McFarlane, Rob Liefeld, Erik Larsen, Chris Sprouse and Mike Wieringo to name a few!
Comic Lounge: I've been a fan of yours since Young Justice, what was your favorite part about working on that
book ? Would you ever return to those characters?
Todd: I loved everything about that series. I’ve enjoyed reading teen superhero team books since I was a teen (Teen Titans, New Mutants, New Warriors, even Power Pack). So the chance to launch and draw a new teen super team series was a real honor. Impulse and his Waid/Ramos solo series was (and still is) one of my favorite runs in comics. Definitely a character I wanted to draw. So getting that chance with Young Justice plus getting to draw Superboy and Robin was a win/win/win for me. Working with Peter David was fantastic. He’s a great writer and, now, friend.
I’d jump at the chance to return to draw the adventures of those characters again if DC Comics approached me! I have so much love for that comic.
Comic Lounge: If you could pick one book to do a run on, what would it be?
Todd: I’d really enjoy drawing an X-Men book. My 12 issue run on Nightcrawler was a nice taste (since the X-Men would appear in there regularly). But I’d love a crack at an official X-Men title! Especially featuring Kitty Pryde!
Comic Lounge: Do you have any plans to do more Wildguard or any other creator owned books?
Todd: I am working on a new WildGuard short story whenever I have free time. (Which I haven’t had much of this year!) I’m drawing it completely digitally to practice my digital art skills. I want to finish that as soon as I can.
I do a comic strip about a pumpkin-headed ghoul called Jacko Manturn (again, when I have free time) that I post on Instagram (@jacko_manturn) and Twitter (@jackomanturn). This is also another chance to practice drawing digitally. I have 5-6 strips up now. I want to do more of that was well!
And I have another 2-3 creator-owned comic ideas I’d like to try as well.
It’s just finding the time amidst my regular comic work.
Comic Lounge: Will you ever return to a monthly book?
Todd: I’ve been doing monthly mini-series this year. First was the Spidey: School’s Out 6-issue mini for Marvel that ran bi-weekly this summer on ComiXology. The Trade Paperback coming out this November.
I am currently working on the Mystery Science Theater 3000 6-issue monthly mini series for Dark Horse debuting this month (September 12th).
I am also drawing the Infinity Wars: Sleepwalker 4-issue mini for Marvel debuting October 3rd!
I’d be open to doing a monthly ongoing again if the opportunity arises. But it’s been fun bouncing around with these mini-series and playing with all sorts of characters and stories!
Comic Lounge: What are your preferred tools to draw with?
Todd: I like working traditionally and digitally. So I use mechanical pencils, multiliner pens and a digital tablet to draw my comics. When I do color commissioned art, I enjoy working with Copic markers and watercolor.
Comic Lounge: Are there any upcoming books that you're currently working on, that you can talk about?
Todd: Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Infinity Wars: Sleepwalker are the books to keep an eye out for! Both series have been a lot of fun.
I’ve been a longtime fan of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 TV show (the Comedy Central/SyFy years as well as the current Netflix series), so its a dream project to draw the comic series that expands that world and those characters.
And Infinity Wars: Sleepwalker has been filled with weird, wild stuff for me to draw. It's tied in to the Infinity Wars event Marvel is doing with the character mash-ups. So have I gotten to design some really cool and fun mash-ups for this Sleepwalker series. Like Man-Thing mashed with Fin Fang Foom to make Man-Thing Thang Thoom! I’ve done about a dozen mash-ups that will appear in the Sleepwalker mini-series.
Comic Lounge: Lastly, what would you say has been the most rewarding of your career so far
Todd: There are so many rewarding aspects to working in comics! I get to contribute to the story/history of characters I care about: Young Justice, Spider-Man, Nightcrawler and more. I have been able to create all new characters/stories of my own. Having so many people enjoy and support the work I do.
This started as dream job after scribbling out a silly story on a few sheets of folded printer paper. I’ve now been living that dream for at least half my life! That’s been very rewarding!