Thought Bubble 2018 runs 17th – 23rd September!

Minterviews 2012 – Paolo Rivera by thoughtbubblefestival
02/04/2012, 8:31 am
Filed under: About Thought Bubble, Minterviews, News, Thought Bubble 2012

Howdy pardners!

We’ve got another brand spanking new minterview for your delectation and delight below, but first some information on a couple events happening in/around Leeds over the next few months that you might enjoy…

April 28th 2012 – 4th Leeds Alternative Comics Fair

The 4th Leeds Alternative Comics Fair will be held at A Nation of Shopkeepers, Leeds, on Saturday 28th April 2012, from 12 noon – 5pm

It will be free to enter and the bar itself is open until 3am, serving good food and a large selection of drinks.

We’ll be there, wandering around, chatting, looking, existing, and possibly revealing some Thought Bubble secrets. You can find out more information, and see who’ll be attending and exhibiting, at the LACF Blog!

May 4th – May The Fourth Be With You

A Star Wars themed exhibition and event featuring artwork by various wonderful artists, including previous years’ Friends of Thought Bubble – John Allison, Steve Tillotson, Hugh Raine, and Kristyna Baczynski.

To commemorate Star Wars day ‘May the 4th’ FullCircle Gallery Leeds, The Hang Gang and Leeds Alternative Comics, have got together to host the ultimate celebration of the greatest films ever made!

Starting on Friday May the 4th from 6pm till Sunday 6th May, FullCircle will be transformed into a gallery not so far far away, hosting not only a huge display of vintage Star Wars toys including over 100 carded figures and boxed vehicles, but a contemporary / lowbrow look at the Star Wars universe supplied by over 30 amazing artists!

Full details can be found on the website.


Onwards to today’s bloggy goodness – we’ve got another Minterview for you! We’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. We’ve watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. However, all those moments will be lost in time, like tears in the rain, so we’ve been chatting to some of comics’ best and brightest to build up a collection of weekly conversations to last the ages! Yay!

The format’s the same each week – five standard questions are asked to every contributor, and then five special follow-ups are derived from their answers to the initial batch of questions, so ten in total, a mini-interview, a Minterview. Hopefully it’ll make for some nice informal conversations about the funny books we know and love from those who make them.

This week we spoke to Paolo Rivera currently knocking it out of the park with his artwork on Daredevil, and who will be attending his first ever Thought Bubble this year! Goodness after the jump!


TB: Hi Paolo, to begin can you give us an idea of how you got started in comics? Did you get a big break, or was it more gradual?

It was all thanks to Jim Krueger, who started giving me projects when I was still a teenager (I had met him at Megacon in Orlando). By my senior year of college, he had introduced me to a few editors at Marvel, and Joe Quesada hired me via email.

In one sense, it took years of trying, but in another sense, it all happened very quickly. I was working for Marvel before I had graduated from RISD [the Rhode Island School of Design].

TB: So, was comic book illustration always what you were considering as a profession while you were studying, or did you initially have a different career path in mind?

Comics was always what I wanted, but it never seemed like a sure bet. Things worked out very well for me, but they could easily have gone in another direction. I was seriously considering Industrial Design as a major, but Illustration eventually won me over.

My dad made it very clear for me: the skills required for industrial design could be picked up on my own, almost on the sly, but comics would take years and years of intense dedication. Now I get to have all the fun of Industrial Design without all of the real-world limitations.

TB: I know you’re a keen sculptor, do you ever make 3D models of any of the Marvel characters that you’ve illustrated?

As often as I can (which is not very). I used to make Super Sculpey maquettes of all my major characters, but can’t seem to find the time these days. I’ve recently come around to digital sculpting, which provides all the same benefits and takes a fraction of the time. I hope to do a lot more.

TB: What’s your proudest moment, in comics or otherwise, to date?

It’s tough to say. I’ve been at Marvel for nearly a decade now, and every project and collaborator has been better than I could have hoped. What I can say is that Daredevil has, by far, garnered the most buzz and critical acclaim. Mark Waid has made similar statements, and he’s been in this industry since before I could drive. The best part for me is that I’ve been involved with the relaunch from the ground floor — it feels like I’m contributing to the narrative in a way that wasn’t possible previously.

TB: So, Is it daunting working on high-profile comic characters that have such a history behind them, and being so instrumental in reinvigorating them for a new generation?

Not any more than my other projects. I think I felt more pressure during Mythos, and I needn’t have. I’m not the first to put my mark on these classic heroes, and I won’t be the last.

I put enough pressure on myself to make high-craft work—I don’t need to add to that by thinking of my place in the pantheon of creators.

TB: Do you find it more enjoyable producing the interior sequentials for a story, or painting covers for titles?

Each has its own benefits. I like switching back and forth. I’ve been lucky enough to have a say in which projects I do and I’ll keep alternating for as long as they’ll have me.

TB: Do you enjoy attending conventions and other events like Thought Bubble?

Most definitely. Conventions are the only chance I get to meet the people who support my work. I’ve also been lucky enough to meet many of the creators who inspired to make comics in the first place.

TB: So, who’s the coolest person you’ve met at a convention?

My favorite moment, hands-down, was at SCAD’s Comic Art Forum in 2006. As I was standing in the hallway, mustering up my courage to speak to Adam Hughes (quite literally going over what I would say to him) he came up to me and asked “Are you Paolo Rivera? I loved Mythos: X-Men.”

I don’t remember what happened after that.

TB: Which comics are you enjoying at the moment, any all-time favourites?

I’m actually a really bad comic book fan. The last non-Daredevil comic I read was Amazing Spider-Man #677, and that’s because it was a crossover with Daredevil. If all comic fans were like me, the industry would crumble.

That being said, I love countless classics: Kingdom Come and Batman: Year One are just two that are sitting on my drafting table right now.

TB: Finally, thought bubbles or caption boxes?

I’m fine with either, and it’s usually up to the writer. If I were writing myself, I’d probably use one or the other, depending on the tone of the story.


That’s it for this week, we’ll have another minterview with another first time Thought Bubble attendee same time, same place next week!


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