Recently, Andre Lamar got the chance to sit down with inker Drew Geraci to discuss his work on WildC.A.T.S. and how he got involved with the comics industry after working in advertising.
Andre Lamar: Currently how many issues are you slated to ink for WildC.A.T.S.?
Drew Geraci: A six issue arc — #13-18
AL: Tell us about yourself, where are you from?
DG: Pittsburgh, Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, Florida, in that order.
AL: Prior to working in comics you had a job in advertising. How were you able to transition into comics, and what was the most difficult thing for you?
DG: I had done some pre-press printing production when desktop publishing was just starting to snowball into the industry standard. Darwyn Cooke has mentioned having a similar background, cutting type, running it through a hotwaxer, pasting type with a t-square, real primitive stuff. Anyway, when there was occasional lag time between ads going to press, I would try to perfect cleaning up logos and lines using a rapidograph pen. After enough use, my eye-hand coordination got strong enough that I thought: “There’s a lot of inkers who use rapidograph pens, so maybe I can break away from the corporate grind and follow my dream.”
That dream took a lot longer to reach than I ever thought! Trying to break into the comics industry is extremely tough and competitive. There were many a times I thought about giving up my attempts, but I was just insanely focused.
AL: The luxuries of being a professional artist include: working from home and establishing a fan-base. However, what are some of the cons?
DG: Working from home is great…but repetitious. I try to break up the monotony by running errands, but most weeks, I can’t do so at a leisurely pace, because too much time away makes me freak out about deadlines. I’ve come to accept that I’m more of a loner than I’d like. That said; I wait until my wife comes home from work if I do anything social. Occasional lunches with fellow pros and my phone friends are in other states (believe me, I’m a better long-distance friend/collaborator than a neighbor, ask Greg Land).
AL: What attracted you to this project and Wildstorm?
DG: Ben Abernathy, the editor. No lie. We have a great working relationship, going back to the Team Zero mini in ’06.
AL: How long did it take to ink this issue?
DG: I was sick on and off this summer, but I’m back to an issue a month. That’s one of the reasons I enjoy working with Ben. He’s better at scheduling than most.
AL: Explain your decision making process on this assignment?
DG: After hopping around pinch-hitting on others’ books, six issues of a series is a welcome steady thing. When this WildC.A.T.S. tour of duty is done, Ben will be first on my mind to work with again.
AL: You mentioned that the printing quality at Wildstorm is great. Since your inks always show up as the original art does. Describe some bad printing experiences you’ve encountered in the past?
DG: When I first got an 11″x17″ scanner, I didn’t know what I was doing. That said; my chapter of the GLX-Mas Special came out muddy.
AL: How does it feel to follow in the footsteps of James Robinson and Jim Lee in working on WildC.A.T.S.? How often do you speak with Jim?
DG: Jim’s one of the busiest men, with his DC Online artwork and other projects, so I’ve never spoken to him. Jim seems to fully trust his editors to handle things at Wildstorm. Maybe someday. He seems like a neat dude to hang with.
AL: Since breaking into the comics industry you’ve worked on recognizable titles such as Nightwing, Birds of Prey, and Justice League. What else is there to achieve?
DG: My creator-owned comic. I poke at it, but my first priority is WildC.A.T.S..
AL: What’s coming up in WildC.A.T.S. #16?
DG: If you’ve read #15 you’ll know that the WildC.A.T.S. had successfully petitioned super-powered slacker Max Faraday to join the fight against Tao. Well, there’s even more cosmic throwdown action in #16. Also, Majestic is back and having a family reunion with Zealot and Savant. Christos Gage really did his homework on this series, and ties things together neatly.
AL: Aside from WildC.A.T.S., what else can we expect from you this year?
DG: Sleep. Maybe more conventions next year.