In the first arc of Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn’s Deadpool series they had him fighting dead U.S. Presidents…. And now he’s chasing them. The Merc with the Mouth has apparently been stiffed by S.H.I.E.L.D. in terms of payment for the recent mission he’s done for them, and instead of calling in the collection agency he’s going in himself. We’ve seen Luke Cage chase down Doctor Doom for some cash he borrowed, but what will Deadpool do when there’s money owed and S.H.I.E.L.D. is the one to blame? And what does Agent Coulson have to say about it?
It all starts this January in Deadpool #22, and Duggan and Posehn are being rejoined by artist Mike Hawthorne. Hawthorne’s irreverent and explosive art style is tailor-made for Deadpool, and the writers are taking full advantage of that. Hawthorne is jugglingbeing one of the rotating artists of Deadpool along with doing a French graphic novel series and teaching classes at a Pennsylvania art school. What does he have to say about drawing Deadpool, and what do his students think of their teacher drawing the wise-acre that is Wade Wilson? Find out in our interview!
Newsarama: Mike, let’s start with an easy one. What are you working on today?
Mike Hawthorne: Hey, Chris! How are you? Good to talk with you.
Earlier today I was wrapping up a big double page spread for Deadpool #23, as well as some layouts from my French book Oms En Série. I also hit a figure drawing session about an hour ago, where I churned out some figure studies.
Nrama:I’ve got you here today to talk about your return to Deadpool in January with issue 22. What brought you back, and what do you and Gerry and Brian have planned for this new arc?
Hawthorne: The plan was for me to stay on from the start, but with the bi-weekly schedule they wanted three rotating artists. Tony Moore couldn't stay on, so Declan Shalvey stepped in. Then back to me, with Scott Koblish in the middle. Editor Jordan White and Gerry have said they'd like me to stay on as long as I like, and I like so I stay!
As far as plans, man this arc is so intensely insane. Deadpool is still reeling from the events of “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly,” so he's a little off kilter. More so than normal. He does some stuff in this arc that makes me feel... unclean. I need to go to confession after some of these pages. But it's making for some amazing stories!
I think Gerry and Brian are really on fire here. Fans who were worried that Deadpool would just be one big joke should see that Gerry and Brian have no intention of downplaying Deadpool's badassed-ness. Between Declan's arc, and this one, fans wanting to see Deadpool show off his wet-work abilities will not be disappointed.
We see Deadpool fighting like hell, not just the bad guys here in our world, but with the ones in his head. I mean that literally. Deadpool is a messed up character, and we're going to get to see that in this arc.
Nrama:I’ve seen Luke Cage track Dr. Doom to the edges of the earth to get some money he loaned him – what will Deadpool do to get the paycheck he deserves from S.H.I.E.L.D.?
Hawthorne: Not quite the ends of the earth, but he goes pretty far. Actually, that's not right. It's really about what he'll do to get his dough. And he'll do some ugly, uuuugggly stuff. But you get the sense it really more about getting some payback than getting some greenbacks. Dude is pissed.
Nrama: According to the solicits, we’ll be seeing a famous agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. – Agent Coulson. I know you’ve got a great knack for likenesses, so what’s it like taking Coulson on in this series?
Hawthorne: Thanks, man! I was pretty damned excited when I read he was in it! My kids flipped too, because they've grown to love him from the various movies and shorts. It was funny, they were more excited to hear he was in Deadpool than I expected! More so than when I got to draw Spider-Man in Deadpool. Coulson's got some juice with the kids!
At first I was going to really try and have our Coulson look as much like Clark Gregg as possible, but then decided to not hit it on the nose too much. I wanted to push his coolness up even more, in that way you can only do in comics, but still keep Gregg's charm in there. Hopefully I got it right.
Nrama: And since Agent Coulson is showing up in your Deadpool run, how do you think Marvel’s Merc with a Mouth would make out if he got a guest-starring role on ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. television show?
Hawthorne: How great would that be!? I would flip the hell out if they did that! And, with the story we're doing, it would really work!
Nrama: From now until Deadpool #22 comes out in January you’re doing a unique giveaway on your Twitter. Can you tell us about that?
Hawthorne: HA! Yeah, I'm giving away a sketch card every day till the Deadpool #22 ships on January 8th. It's not just on Twitter though. Some days I may pick someone from Facebook, other days from my blog. It all depends. Today I hung out at a playground with my kids, drew a bit, then stashed a card in the park for someone to find. Most of the time I will be picking random Twitter followers to get a card.
It's all for fun, and honestly more for me than anyone else. I get a kick out of surprising people and it's cool to see how happy something as simple as a small sketch card can make someone.
I decided to start it earlier this month on November 4th because it was 66 days till 22 shipped. It happens to be coming up on the holiday season, a perfect time for gift giving, but I also giggle to myself when I think of the three 6's in there. I'm a big kid in that way.
Nrama: You’ve always been known for your raucous comics storytelling, so it might surprise people to know you keep a day job as a college instructor at the Pennsylvania College of Art and Design. What can you tell us about that?
Hawthorne: Oh, man! Yeah, I teach Concept Art at Pennsylvania College of Art and Design. I'd do more if I could, but my schedule just doesn't allow for it. Honestly, giving up time in the studio is tough and leads to some deadline crunches that usually result in all-nighters. But I love the school and the students, so I'm making the time.
Nrama: And how do the students reach when they find their esteemed instructor is slinging ink on one of comics’ wackiest heroes, Deadpool?
Hawthorne: They've been really cool. They are usually more curious to know about how I work than anything else, but they're definitely aware of my other job. One student showed up to class in a Deadpool shirt, so obviously I gave her extra credit points!
The funniest thing was a few weeks back I cracked this terrible joke and one student said "Your Deadpool is showing", which made me laugh. They are a cool bunch of artists and I enjoy getting to work with them.