Newsarama note: At press time, interior Silver Surfer art by Stephen Segovia was not available. The cover for Silver Surfer #1, seen above, is by Carlo Pagulayan. When art by Segovia is available from Marvel Comics, we’ll update this story with new images.
Stephen Segovia’s Marvel Comics work thus far has been highlighted by illustrated some of the publisher’s biggest badasses in comics like Dark Wolverine and this month’s Chaos War: Ares, but starting in February 2011 he’s teaming with writer Greg Pak for a five-issue miniseries starring a character more known for calm reserve, Silver Surfer.
Last month, Pak told Newsarama that Segovia was “unleashing the cosmic like you won't believe.” Newsarama caught up with Filipino artist Segovia via e-mail to talk to him about working with Pak, getting the Surfer’s shininess right, and following in the footsteps of artistic legends like Jack Kirby and Moebius.
Newsarama: The Silver Surfer is definitely one of Marvel's most beloved cult favorite characters. Were you a fan of the character before starting work on this series?
Stephen Segovia: Since I was a kid, I’ve been a fan of Silver Surfer. First because he is a unique and, of course, very powerful character.
Nrama: Your Marvel work has been primarily illustrating grim, gritty, tough guy characters like Wolverine, Daken, and Ares — Silver Surfer is often characterized as the opposite of that, filled with calm and reserve. What's it like working on that type of character?
Segovia: It’s very challenging because this is actually my first time professionally drawing him. The last time I draw him is when I was 11 yrs old. [Laughs.] He actually looks easy to draw, but not in my case. For me it’s kinda hard to draw a character that’s always shinning but I love my work and I really enjoy drawing him.
Nrama: It's also a bit of a change of pace for you to be working in a cosmic setting — how are you adjusting to that role? Are you a fan of the sci-fi, spacefaring genre?
Segovia: I am a big fan of the sci-fi genre. Been looking forward in this kind of gig, and now here it is! The good thing in this genre is actually a combination of the fantasy and sci-fi type of art. You can draw anything you what in this genre because you can draw something that was not actually existing in reality.
Most of the time you create new sci-fi designs like backgrounds, armor and other stuff. So I think this is more enjoyable to draw
Nrama: From being created by Jack Kirby to iconic interpretations by artists like Moebius, the Silver Surfer definitely has a lofty artistic legacy. Is there a bit of pressure to live up to that, and are there any artists that are directly inspiring your interpretation of the Silver Surfer?
Segovia: These superstar artists are actually my inspiration of drawing Silver Surfer. I love what Jack Kirby did on the black lines around Surfer’s eye, plus the rendering by Moebius. I actually did some designs combining Kirby, Moebius and my interpretation of Surfer and I think it came out pretty well and hopefully readers will like it.
Nrama: On that note, the Surfer seems like he might be a tricky character to illustrate, given that he's somewhat expressionless by nature. Has that presented a challenge at all for you?
Segovia: Not actually that hard. The only tricky thing to draw with Surfer is his chrome textures. He always shines, so most of the time I draw him in double-lighting rendering. It’s challenging, but really fun to do.
Nrama: To whatever extent you can share at this point, what type of settings are you working in from the series? With the Surfer we expect outer space, but he also has a long history of interacting with people on Earth — do we see that in the book?
Segovia: I can’t tell everything, but expect a love story in these issues.
Nrama: From what we know already, the comic also features Galactus of the High Evolutionary, two of Marvel's most larger-than-life characters. What's your approach been in illustrating them?
Segovia: I haven't draw them yet, but I can't wait to lay my hands on those big fellas… This will be my very first time drawing Galactus so this should be fun!
Nrama: It's still early, but you're working with Greg Pak on the miniseries, who I know is very enthusiastic about the project — how has the collaboration between you been so far?
Segovia: It’s an honor to be working with Greg… He is one of the best writers today and working with him is like winning a lottery… I am still a beginner artist, which is why I am so honored to be working with a famous writer like Greg Pak.
I remember a years ago when I was assisting Carlo Pagulayan (my mentor) on Planet Hulk, I used to read the script before I did the backgrounds, and I noticed on the script that Greg has a good visualization, too. He is not just a writer on comics but also a director that helps the artist to visualize and feel the drama of the story and that makes him one of the best writers today.How do you think Segovia's style will fare on SILVER SURFER?