Go to any comic book convention and you learn that if an artist is a particularly hot property at the moment, the line for his or her table will be among the longest in the building.Nowadays, David Finch is one of those artists. His table always has a line -- a big line, filled with Marvel fans who have loyally followed his work on the top comics at the publisher, from the launch of New Avengers with Brian Michael Bendis in 2004 to last year's universe-altering Ultimatum with Jeph Loeb.
But at this summer's conventions, the artist will probably have some new fans in line thanks to his upcoming gig doing covers for a DC property -- the much-anticipated Brightest Day by Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi. Finch became a DC exclusive artist this year, signing a contract that will allow him to bring his talents to the characters of the DC Universe, beginning with covers for the bi-weekly series.
It's a job that fits the artist's style well. Finch is known for drawing dynamic-looking characters and larger-than-life superheroes. He admitted to Newsarama in 2007 that he tries to make his characters "look cool" and "exciting," because that's what was always most enjoyable to him as a reader.
"I never want to forget what it is as a fan that I liked," he said (see our extensive profile interview with the artist here. "I got in because I liked the kind of work that was exciting. My tastes have changed over the years, but I try as hard as I can not to let that affect the way that I draw. I like a lot of the more so-called, you know, 'intellectual' comics. The non-superhero stuff. But I remember what I liked when I first got in. I never want to forget that."
Now that Finch is a DC exclusive artist, Newsarama talked to him to find out more about why he took the new job and what he wants to do now that he's got the whole DCU in front of him.
Newsarama: Dave, we've talked a lot before about how you got into the business, but for DC fans who might not be familiar with your work, you came through Top Cow, right? Starting on Cyberforce under the direction of Marc Silvestri. How did you get started in comics there?David Finch: I went to New York with some samples and showed them to David Wohl. He liked them enough to suggest I draw a pin-up and turn it in to Top Cow. They liked the pin-up enough to take me on as an intern and I learned on the job. That lead to seven years with Top Cow. Nrama: Who were some of your influences as you began your comics career? Do you think they still influence your art, or has your style evolved?
Finch: My biggest influences when I started drawing were Marc Silvestri, Dale Keown, Jim Lee, Adam Kubert and Alan Davis and I would have to say that they still influence my art very heavily. Since then I’ve taken on a lot of other influences and gone in different directions, but the core of what I do has always stayed the same. I was attracted to comics because of the powerful artwork that I saw at that time, and that type of work is always going to be central to what I do.Nrama: How would you describe your artistic style?
Finch: I would describe it as my very best attempt to draw like all of my favorite artists. It’s dark and edgy. I like larger-than-life superheroes, and cool looking shots. I like storytelling too, and I do put a lot of thought into it, but it’s always the payoff that’s the most fun.Nrama: What do you think are your artistic strengths?
Finch: I think that drawing aggressive, action-packed stories is my strength.Nrama: Looking back at your work at Marvel, what were some of your favorite projects?
Finch: My absolute favorite project at Marvel was definitely Moon Knight. I loved how dark the character was. I also really enjoyed working on Ultimate X-men with Brian Bendis. He is such an amazing writer and he really made the characters come to life for me.Nrama: During your Marvel work, was there a project that really challenged you as an artist?
Finch: The Call of Duty was a very big challenge for me because it was dealing with real world imagery, and it was my first experience working with in full script style. I felt that it really exposed a lot of weaknesses for me that I needed to work on.Nrama: Last year, you said on a panel, "There are a lot of things, visually, that I think I would be very comfortable with at DC." What do you think the differences are between those universes, and what interests you about the visual world of the DCU? Finch: The Marvel universe is much more visually grounded in reality. I'm really looking forward to getting the chance to be creative with my scenes and settings. It’s something that I was able to do at Top Cow and I’ve really missed the creative opportunities that provides.
Nrama: What creators and characters seem like a good fit for your art as you look to continue your career at DC?
Finch: I think that all of the major characters at DC represent a different artistic challenge that I'm looking forward to taking on. I'm really looking forward to having the opportunity to work with Scott Williams. He's the best inker there is and I’d love to get the opportunity to work with him. I’d also love to be able to work with Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Peter Tomasi, Gail Simone, Judd Winnick, Paul Dini, Keith Giffen…. DC has such a great stable of writers that it would be hard to choose my favorite.Nrama: As you were deciding where you hang your artistic hat, was it an easy choice, or one that was tough for you?
Finch: It was a very difficult decision for me to make the move to DC. Marvel has always been very good to me and I have such a long history and so many friendships there. I was very excited about what DC had to offer, and I was ready to take on the challenge of a new cast of characters and universe.Nrama: It seems like most creators jump around a bit between comic book publishers. In this day and age, do you think it's important for an artist to have experience drawing characters in more than one universe? Or do you think it's just a matter of what you feel like doing?
Finch: I think it's totally a matter of what you feel like doing and where you feel creatively interested.Nrama: Pretending you're in a room filled with DC readers who aren't as familiar with your work as your fans at Marvel, what would you say to them about what you hope to bring to DC comics?
Finch: Of course I hope that I am able to bring a fresh take to the DCU, while at the same time staying true to the integrity of all of the characters, and what makes them so special to the DC fans.Nrama: Anything else you'd like to say about the move from Marvel to this new DC exclusive?
Finch: I’m really looking forward to the change, but my time at Marvel will always have a special place in my heart.