JM: "I am a tattooed IT guy from New Jersey. I have three awesome kids, an awesome fiance, and two cool cats. I am also a two time cancer survivor and comic creator. I've been published by Arcana, Coscom Entertainment, Main Enterprises and a few others. I am the creator of Shadowflame, Ripperman, and now The Mighty Titan."
DDB: How did you discover comic books and what were your early influences?
JM: "My cousin was a collector. He is five years older than me. I always wanted to read his comics but I wasn't allowed. When I was nine or ten my mother got me a subscription to Amazing Spider-Man and The Incredible Hulk. I was hooked. I started "collecting" comics at 13. I loved John Byrne, George Perez, Mike Zeck, Jerry Ordway and so many others. I would just draw for hours."
- (Jerry Ordway did cover art for the first issue of THE MIGHTY TITAN!!!)
DDB: When did you decide you wanted to create them in some capacity?
JM: "I am not really sure. . .probably 8th grade."
DDB: Who are some of you favorite creators?
JM: "I said some of them above. I am a huge Ivan Reis and Bryan Hitch fan. The list is so long. I can't even think about it. It is like asking what my favorite food is."
DDB: "What gets Joe Martino fired up to create?
JM: "Music! I listen to Slayer or Iron Maiden and I write or draw. Also seeing, seeing other people doing great work is very inspiring. Sometimes when I leave a great movie I can get a rush of inspiration."
DDB: You and I talked about our mutual love of music, specifically the Metal genre. Talk a little about that and what role it plays in your creative process.
JM: "Well, as I said I am a music fan and Metal is my favorite. The first album I ever bought on my own was AC/DC's Back In Black. Shortly after that it was all Metallica, Anthrax, Slayer, and Iron Maiden. I am a big Van Halen fan from back in those days too. I am a bass player and tried to be a rock-star for about five years. It is amazing the similarities between the music business and the comic business. Very similar."
DDB: The Mighty Titan is a great comic. What led you to his creation?
JM: " Well, Thank you. I was home on disability from my first cancer in 2004. I started to think about how we all feel a little immortal and invulnerable at times in our lives. Until one day with one diagnosis you never feel like that again. That was me. I thought what would it be like if an invulnerable hero got a terminal disease. Titan was born."
DDB: At the end of the day what do you hope people get out of your work?
JM: "I want them to be entertained. On some level I want people to know what someone with a cancer diagnosis goes through. It is a very scary time. Not only for the person, but for their family as well."
DDB: What's next after Titan?
JM: "I am working on a few things now. The Mighty Titan is first and foremost but I have another crossover with the Wraith and Shadowflame that is in the inking phase. I am working on a one-shot with Bob Sodaro of my character Cyberine. . .and of course more Ripperman. There are only so many hours in a day. I have a full time job as well!"
Joe Martino's RIPPERMAN
DDB: What would you say to those who may be new to The Mighty Titan or on the fence about picking it up?
JM: "What's the matter with you?! No, I would say that if you are a fan of Marvel or DC, you won't be disappointed. My comics are geared toward people who like comic books. I am not trying to reinvent anything. Fun comics with serious situations. Escapism. The reason we all started reading them in the first place!"
DDB: What's the toughest thing about creating comics?
JM: "Just like in a band, working with a team is tough. Especially when it is your book and you have certain things in mind. That and promotion. It is so difficult to break through the wall of noise that is the Internet and get my work to the people that may like it. I couldn't go viral if I was the Ebola virus."
DDB: I love that Titan has REAL problems. Here's a guy that constantly does the fantastic but at the end of the day humanity has come knocking at his door.
JM: "The same reason we love Peter Parker. At day's end he is human with real problems. Titan has to worry about paying the rent just like you or I do."
DDB: " Joe, I gotta ask you. . . where did Trenchmouth ( Titan's villain ) come from? He is just deliciously nasty and vile!
JM: "I don't even know! I tried to come with a name that was equally as disgusting as the man. He is just a foul disgusting man and he always has been. I asked my friend and artist John Orlando to help visualize him. No one does ugly like John!"
DDB: Without spoiling anything, what can fans expect from the book in upcoming issues?
JM: "Each issue has it's own reveal. Issue two is more of an alter-ego issue. There is some cool action. Trenchmouth never rests but now Titan knows something is wrong with him and he is trying to figure out what and how to deal with it. I think some of this will be gut wrenching if I do my job right. I know it was affecting me as I was writing it and that is how I try to measure it. We will learn about where he ( Titan ) got his powers and why there is a Cyclops that wants to take the power away. Little tid-bits here and there."
DDB: Joe thanks again for your time! I am looking forward as I have said to The Mighty Titan as it continues and sincerely wish you all the best with it!
JM: "Thanks for coming up with these awesome questions!"
-Joe Martino is also on TWITTER @jgmcomics
-THE MIGHTY TITAN needs YOU!!! Check out Joe's Kickstarter campaign. He makes it WAAAAY worth your help!!! Some really AWESOME stuff available to those who back the book. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jgmcomics/the-mighty-titan-2