Steve McNiven interview (August 2005)

August 19, 2005 | Interviews

The Thing by Canadian artist Steve McNiven.

Halifax resident Steve McNiven is an artist on the rise in the comic book industry. After getting his start at CrossGen, he’s moved on to Marvel Comics where he’s worked on Marvel Knights 4 (the other Fantastic Four book), and Ultimate Secret and has now moved on to the red-hot New Avengers.
Before appearing as a guest at this weekend’s Canadian National Comic Book Expo in Toronto, the 36-year-old talked about his blooming career with JPK.

JPK: What does it mean to you to get high billing at the Canadian National Expo?
Steve McNiven: “It’s cool. I’m surprising to think anyone would want to meet you. It’s a big honour for me. I’m just glad [writer Brian] Bendis wanted me on New Avengers — it really ups your profile.”

JPK: Does it mean any more because you’ve lived in Toronto and you’re a Canadian at the Canadian Expo?
SM: “I lived in Toronto on and off for nine years, including a five-year stint right before I broke into comics.
I was busy practicing drawing and hanging out with other guys who wanted to break in. Pretty much all of them have actually.
“It’s fun for me to come back and hang out with all those guys.”

JPK: Who were your Toronto comic book compadres?
SM: “J. Torres (Teen Titans Go) and Francis Manapul (Witchblade) are two guys I really hung out with and they’re both doing some incredible stuff.”

JPK: So what are you working on next?
SM: “I’m working on issues 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 and 21 of New Avengers.”

JPK: That’s a healthy run.
SM: “It’s a big run. I just finished up a four-issue arc and the next one is six issues, so that must be good *laughs*
“I was originally supposed to jump onto Ultimate X-Men with (Hollywood director) Bryan Singer for a six-issue arc, but that has been moved to a summer 2006 release so I asked: ‘Can I do more Avengers?’
“It’s thrilling. Brian (Bendis) is an amazing writer.”

JPK: The arc of Avengers you’re working on right now isn’t coming out until mid-2006. You must know a lot of secrets?
SM: “I know everything that happens in House Of M, who the mystery Avenger is and everything. It’s pretty amazing.”

JPK: You get to do a bevy of characters on New Avengers — any characters or titles you’d like to work on in the future?
SM: “Spider-Man is one of my favourites and I’ve been putting the word out that I’d really like to do a run on Amazing Spider-Man at some point. Hopefully that’ll happen.”

JPK: How would you define your style?
SM: “My style is draw what I know and if I don’t know how to draw it — I don’t draw it.
“A lot of the time I draw for colour. I’ve had the same colourist for my whole career.
“A lot of guys work for contrast, for black and white with perditions of gray, but I tend to draw for the colourist. We have a really good rapport and we know what we want to get out of the art.
“I’m not really as interested in how I draw something as why I’m drawing it.
“I like to give each panel its moment. Some guys just choose their ‘money shot’ and then everything else is inconsequential.”

You must be logged in to post a comment.