David Finch: Experiments in Art
I’m here at Garden State Comic Fest with artist and writer David Finch, who won the Joe Shuster Award for Outstanding Artist in 2009 and is most well-known for his work on Batman, the Ultimate X-Men, Justice League of America and Batman – the Dark Knight.
David, I’d like to ask you a few questions for my readers.
Carl: Did you want to become a comic book artist when you were a kid?
Mr. Finch: No, only because I just didn’t know that it was an option! I knew that I loved to draw! I loved Peanuts and drawing Snoopy, and it was something I enjoyed, but, I didn’t think it was a job. So, I was older when I finally really found comics and I realized that, wow! I could be drawing stories and pictures for a living, you know! So, I kinda came into it a little bit later.
Carl: Neat! What comic books did you read when you were a kid?
Mr. Finch: I read the comics that I could steal from my sister! She was a year older and she used to read comics. So, I read, she had X-Men with Mark Sillvestri, who was my boss for 7 years, she had all the old X-Factor, all the old Marvel stuff, that was her thing. So, I was a huge X-Men and Marvel fan.
Carl: What comics do you read now?
Mr. Finch: Right now, I read anything by Tom King who’s the writer on Batman, he’s a genius! Scot Snider is a great writer over at DC, and Geoff Johns, and it’s a long list but, yeah. Those are the big ones, the really big ones.
Carl: Cool! You’ve worked with some great writers like Tom King, Grant Morrison and Geoff Johns. Do you get to pick which writers you get to work with?
Mr. Finch: Yes and no, because they also get to pick the artists that they want to work with. So, I could say, hey, I would love to work with Geoff Johns, but if he’s busy I can’t do that. So, I always feel very, very fortunate whenever I get the chance to work with a great writer like that.
Carl: Neat! Do you work differently with each writer, or is it pretty much the same with each one?
Mr. Finch: You know, there’s a different rapport depending on the writer. Some writers like to really talk things out and involve the artist in the story and other writers really have an idea of what they want and ideally, every writer, the best writers are always very good about letting artists experiment a little bit. But, yeah, I’ve found some writers and I don’t know what I like better, it depends on the writer. Some writers just give me such a perfect script, I don’t even need to do anything with it, I just have to draw it the best I can, and other times I just get a little more input and that can be fun, too.
Carl: Is there anyone you want to work with that you haven’t yet?
Mr. Finch: Oh sure, yeah. Mark Waid I think is a great writer, I’d love to do something with him, Robert Kirkman he’s great, Mark Millar, he’s great, or maybe Steven King, that would be something! Or J.K Rowling!
Carl: Oh yeah, J.K Rowling!
Mr. Finch: That would be pretty amazing! I don’t know if she’s going to do comics ever. But if she ever did I would want to do it!
Carl: Yeah! Who is your favorite superhero to draw? (Why?)
Mr. Finch: Batman is my favorite. I can be torn sometimes, I love Moon Knight too, and I love Wolverine. But I really like the darker characters, and you know Batman, he’s got a lot of shadow. I love the cape and what you can do with it, and I love his villains, especially. I think even more than Batman, I love Joker and it’s got such a long list, I’m gonna go blank.
Carl: You have videos on your website about how to draw superheroes. How did you get the idea to make those videos?
Mr. Finch: I did a couple of videos for a company called Gnoman Workshop. They are a special effects training company, and they approached me to do it and I had such a great time doing that, I thought you know I’d like to do some of my own. In Gnoman all the videos are sped up, just for time, you know, and I really wanted to do some videos of my own that were drawn in real time. I find for me, I have an easier time getting the flow of somebody else’s work when I watch them actually draw as it happens rather than watching it sped up. So, that’s kinda why I wanted to do those.
Carl: Who did you learn from that helped you get as good as you are?
Mr. Finch: I learned especially from Mark Silvestri he was my first teacher and my first boss. I actually learned from all the other artists that were in that studio. Joe Benitez, Billy Tan, and there’s a long list, Mike Turner was there. We were all competitive with each other, but we were also very supportive, so it was a great place to learn. I don’t know where I would be without that.
Carl: Interesting! In Batman #24, you and Tom King had Batman ask Catwoman to marry him. What was your reaction when you found out that was going to happen?
Mr. Finch: I was pretty surprised! I didn’t see that coming, that’s for sure! Tom King, some writers are a little more conservative than some writers are really willing to just push the story and just go for it, and he really is willing to just take chances. He’s made it work so well so far. So, when I saw that he was gonna do that I thought, wow! I don’t know how this is going to work but, you know, I trust that he knows what he’s doing; he always does. I love how he did it! I think that it went over really well!
Carl: Neat! You’ve taken a break from Batman for the past couple of issues. What are you working on next?
Mr. Finch: I’m actually doing a creator-owned comic, from Image. I’m still doing some covers for DC. But, I just started working on a creator-owned comic, I’m a little bit into it. It’s gonna be all one big book. So, it’s not going to be monthly and it’s gonna take quite a while for me to finish. So, I’m gonna kinda disappear for a little while. But, yeah, I’m doing an Image book.
Carl: Thank you for answering my questions. It was nice to meet you.
Mr. Finch: My pleasure! Thank you very much!