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Monday, January 16, 2012


One of the newest fantastic creative talents to join Eva Ink Artist Group. We could not be happier to have Dennis Calero on board. Be sure to contact us regarding his signings, bookings, commissions and assignments.

Thanks to Richard Vasseur for the great interview!

--Renee Witterstaetter
Eva Ink Artist Group

Original Post Here: http://forums.jazmaonline.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=4029


Dennis Calero
Interviewed by: Richard Vasseur/Jazma VP
Posted: 16/01/2012

Rich: You worked on "X-Men Noir: Mark of Cain" which X-Men did you illustrate here, and which were the most enjoyable and why?

On both Xmen Noir (no hyphen) and the sequel, Fred Van Lente and I got the chance to reinvent some of our favorite X heroes as psychopathic criminals and had a lot of fun doing it. Gambit was particularly fun because our version is such a straight up bastard, sort of an extension of what's usually hinted at in the prime universe of books. My personal favorite though was Cyclops because no one caught on that he was using his supposedly glass eye (why he was called Cyclops in our world) to look through his sniper rifle scope!

Would you like to illustrate a X-title now and which one, and why?

Dennis: I seem to occasionally circle back to X-Factor, which is always fun and I have a special affinity with those characters, especially since I modeled all of them on me and my friends. Working with Peter David is always a fun challenge as well. I don't know if he counts in regards to the question, but I would love to do a Deadpool story.

Rich: You have written "Weapon X Noir" would you like to do more writing?

Dennis: Writing is such a distinct pleasure and Weapon X Noir was actually originally for someone else to draw (which is why there was so much detail in the circus scenes, which I was then mad at myself for!). But it was a real pleasure and I've written some material for entertainment and my own comics, and look forward to eventually doing more.

In the "JLA 80-Page Giant" which heroes and villains did you draw and did you have any favorites, and if so, why?

I drew Batman and Plastic man go to Dante's Hell, essentially and it was such a strange and engaging duo of characters in this odd environment so I still don't feel I've really drawn a Batman story, per s�. Batman, to me, is Gotham the way that Kirk is the Enterprise, so to speak, and you can't really tell the story of one without the other.

While working on "Doctor Solar" what characteristics did your art bring out in him?

I'm bummed that circumstances didn't allow me to draw more Solar and work with Jim Shooter more, but what little I did, especially that first alternate cover, was a straight up fan flare for Ivan Reis on Green Lantern and I hoped that with time that Dr. S could become the Dark Horse Green Lantern, but alas it wasn't to be. I've discovered reading about the careers of artists that I admire, as well as my own, there are always disappointments and missteps and things that just aren't to be.

I also wanted to slowly begin to bring out a sense of aloofness that I feel would be inevitable for a character like Solar, who really wasn't human anymore but maybe, for a little while, could fool others, and himself, into thinking he was. A little of Alan Moore's Miracleman there too.

You have worked on the "Darktower" comics based on Stephen King's books what look did you give to the story, and how did you decide on that look?

Dennis: I had the pleasure of drawing the illustrations for Robyn's backmatter, filling in the blanks on a lot of the world of Gilead and its history and thus privy to a lot of cool stuff like that, as a fan of the Dark Tower series, it was a thrill to find out a month ahead of the fans!

Are you a fan of Stephen King's writting, what are your options of the importance of his work, if so?

Dennis: I've read every published word he's written, and got to work on some cool BIG Dark Tower projects that I can't discuss. It was a thrill. I also may have an announcement soon further to this.

King is our Edgar Allen Poe, our mark Twain, and it's fascinating to me how public criticism of his work has evolved from simply dismissive, to aggressively negative to accepting to wildly positive. He is, with Jonathan Irving and others, one of the key voices of American literature right now. I'm reading 11/22/63 right now and really enjoying it. The DOME was also terrific and I highly recommend CELL.

Rich: How and why did you start Atomic Paintbrush?

Dennis: I started it because I was a young artist fresh out of college and needed a job! And computer color was then a new thing, just a few years old. In fact, I was the second person to computer color anything, an ad in my case, at Marvel. It was new and as a trained painter, I think I had an affinity to color. To my advantage, a lot of really talented colorists were poo-pooing the computer as a tool at the time, which opened the door for us young turks and our Mac's installed with Photoshop 3.0. As a (slightly) older artist now, it is a lesson that has stayed with me: always be ready to learn.

What is the "Devil Inside" and what is it about?

Dennis: "Devil Inside" is my webcomic that I created with Todd Stashwick of HEROES and The Riches fame. The short pitch is "The Devil Quits" but of course it's much more than that. Todd and I have worked hard to craft a world that is informed by a supernatural reality that is unlike anything you've ever scene. One part Sandman and one part Kerouac, it is also uniquely American.

Rich: How do you feel about being a comics professional, and why did you choose this profession?

I'm one of those lucky few that wake up every morning and does what he would do if I didn't HAVE to work. I make a nice living illustrating the characters and locales that I grew up with as a fan and get to create NEW worlds for people to explore.

Comics was, put simply, one of the only jobs in which I could draw for a living. It's my vocation and my art, and again, it's what I would do if I didn't HAVE to do anything.

If you could have one super power what would it be and why?

All my favorite heroes have MORE than one power so I don't know why I always have to narrow it down to one! But if I do, then I would want to fly, and fast. I would love the thrill of traveling through the air and also being able to go anywhere, anytime, fast, without the use of a car or plane or whatever.

How can someone contact you?

You can always reach me through my agent at Eva Ink Artist Group, Renee Witterstaetter at evaink@aol.com or through the company website at: www.evainkartistgroup.com; and check her blog for updates about my activities at: http://witterstaetterwrites.blogspot.com/

Any parting words for all your fans?

First, remember this stuff we all love doesn't come out of a machine. It's made by flesh and blood people trying really hard to make cool stuff for you! And I love doing it, so thank you!

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