SDCC '08 - Danny Miki Signs Marvel Exclusive

SDCC 08: Miki Signs Marvel Exclusive

As announced at San Diego Comic-Con, Danny Miki is a new Marvel exclusive artist.

After more than 17 years working as an inker, Miki is one of the most respected inkers in comics (particularly if this year's Inkwell Awards are any indication). Announced at Comic-Con by Joe Quesada himself -- with the E-i-C being one of the artists for whom Miki is the inker of choice -- the artist's three-year contract means fans will continue to see his inking on a wide variety of Marvel projects, including the high-profile, universe-changing Ultimatum mini-series by Jeph Loeb and David Finch that's due hit later this year.

Newsarama talked to Miki about his contract to find out more about his career as an inker, why he loves the craft, and what he's got coming up as a new Marvel exclusive.

Newsarama: Danny, how did you get started as an inker?

Danny Miki: It all started when I walked into a comic shop and answered an ad looking for an assistant. I found out later the books I was to be assisting on were X-Men (Jim Lee) and Uncanny X-Men (Whilce Portacio) doing blacks and learning to do background inks. At the same time I was working for Geoffreys Comics in Gardena, Calif., where I met Rob Liefeld. He invited me to Extreme Studios to check it out and the rest is history.

NRAMA: Looking back on your career, what have been some projects that were your favorite or that stand out to you?

DM: I'd say the most favorite and stand out project was taking part in the Brush Off in Wizard #48. I along with a few other inkers were given a piece drawn by Greg Capullo. We all had to ink it in our own styles and on vellum. No bluelines back then. Greg's art took me to a new level. It brought something out of me that I didn't even know I had. It was then I realized that depending on who the penciler is and the different energies they all have, it can bring out a different inking style. Inking 95 credited issues of Spawn in a row pretty much stands out.

My most current stand-out projects are getting to work with Joe Quesada and eventually becoming his inker. Much honor there. Working on Daredevil: Father opened up new doors in my inking style and led to some of the new techniques I use today. It made me use a brush more. Also, finally getting to ink such icons as the Kuberts, John Romita Jr. and hooking up with David Finch. Working on New Avengers and Avengers was a thrill because they were my favorite team growing up.

NRAMA: What books are you inking now? And what are you inking in the near future?

DM: I'm currently on Ultimatum with David Finch and Ultimate X-Men / Ultimate Fantastic Four with Dan Panosian. Also, usually whenever and whatever Joe Quesada needs inked, I'm there for him.

And the Crime Lab Studios current projects are Mighty Avengers with Khoi Pham and Ghost Rider Annual: Mercy with Mark Robinson. Allen Martinez, my honorable partner in crime, is the most valuable player in all the Crime Lab Studio books as Victor Olazaba now has his books of his own, but is always there to help. What I'm inking in the near future is yet to be known. Although I did hear something about getting to ink Marko Djurdevic again on some cool projects.

NRAMA: What is it about inking that keeps you interested as an artist?

DM: Even before I knew exactly what it was in comic terms I was pretty useful with ink pens, Rapidographs, etc. When I was introduced to the quill it changed everything. I used to see inks here and there in comics and thought, man, it's all scratchy. I was pretty much a perfectionist and couldn't stand even the slightest line protruding out from anything where it didn't belong. Now I can respect and appreciate all different styles of inking and understand.

To get back to your question, I actually love inking. I love the fact that you get to actually touch and see each different artists at the pencil stage. People that buy the books 85 percent of the time will never see the pencils. I feel lucky to see the "behind the scenes" part of the book. But truly, the best thing that keeps me interested as an artist is getting to ink all the top-notch illustrators I've been blessed to work with and see the different styles and have a library of pencils as reference of great art.

NRAMA: What's the advantage of signing an exclusive as an inker?

DM: I used to hate paying to get my butt examined (the old prostate check-ups). Now that Marvel pays for my health insurance, it makes it just a tad better to go get my physicals.

NRAMA: It's not common to hear about inkers getting exclusives. What do you think it is about your work that landed you this contract?

DM: Probably because I can be an ass that inks well?

NRAMA: Why Marvel over any other company?

DM: I've had a relationship with Marvel for a long time. Joe Quesada has been very loyal to me. They have kept me busy and also have let me still be part of TMP [Todd McFarlane Productions] if or when Todd needs something done. Plus, I just love Marvel characters. I grew up on them and getting to work on some of my favorites is dream come true.

NRAMA: Was this contract attached to a particular project? If so, why is this project attractive to you as an artist and is there anything you can say about it?

DM: No, at least not that I'm aware of. Although I think I mentioned that as long as I get to stay on Finch and get to ink Marko Djurdevic it would make it a little easier to sign.

NRAMA: Anything else you want to say about your exclusive?

DM: 'Nuff said. Make mine Marvel!

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