A sample of Jesus' "early" work around the time I met him...
I was thrilled to learn from Jesus that he had put out an original creator own comic book recently. I saw preview pages from it and could'nt wait to get my hands on it. MAN OF THE HOUR was all that I hoped. A fun, offbeat superhero romp, with Jesus' personality oozing from the pages. Check out my review of MAN OF THE HOUR here at the Doodlebook if ya haven't yet! If you haven't read MAN OF THE HOUR yet then shame on you!!! Get yer ass in gear and get a copy!!!
The cover art for MAN OF THE HOUR!
Recently Jesus took time from his busy life to converse with me about a few things. (Thanks buddy, I appreciate it!) He opened up his mind and mouth about his work and influences. So let's get into that conversation with Mr. Marquez, the one and only SEQUENTIAL ASSASSIN!
DB: Tell us a little about yourself Mr. Marquez.
JM: "I'm a cartoonist from the Bronx and I've been working "Professionally" in comics since 2003. I married to my beatiful wife Jennifer and I have a scrappy little Yorki/Shih-tzu named PUKI. I love Jesus Christ, Pizza, Action Figures, and German Suplexes."
DB: First of all, I really am a fan of your artwork! When did you first start drawing and what was it that sparked your interest in it?
JM: "I don't really remember a time when I DIDN'T draw. It just seems to be something that I've always done. What really revved my engine was cartoons like Masters of the Universe & Thundercats. Those cartoons set my imagination and pencil on fire."
DB: What are some of your earliest memories of drawing?
JM: "Hahaha! I remember drawing Robocop & The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles A LOT in the 3rd & 4th grade...AND fire. I remember being really proud of the way I drew fire as a kid."
Michelangelo and April of TMNT fame...
DB: Who/What are some of your influences?
JM: "My biggest INDIRECT influences in Comics like guys whose work I admire a lot like Joe Madureira, Art Adams, and Jack Kirby. Akira Toriyama was a HUGE influence on me in High School. I was obsessed with his work. I'm also influenced by Animation like Ralph Bakshi's WIZARDS and FIRE & ICE. DIRECTLY, my biggest influence is Joe Endres who has taken me under his wing since 2003 and pretty much taught me how to be a legit cartoonist. He's been a source of inspiration and support whenever I needed it...not just in comics but in life."
DB: Let's talk some about MAN OF THE HOUR. How in the world did you and Alluisi (the co-creator of the book) come with the book and the character of Minute Man?
JM: "I presented Dave with this idea I had for a book called MAN OF THE HOUR, about a guy who was a total loser who winds up having the most powerful super weapon in the galaxy grafted into his chest. I mentioned that I'd like to do something that was a throwback to the type of comics I grew up reading like the Silver and Bronze age books. Dave seemed to really like the concept and we went to work from there figuring out this universe and it's inhabitants."
DB: The book is so much fun. What was the creative process like working on it?
JM: "It's kinda like Marvel style. I'll have this idea and I present it to Dave and he'll write up a script and we mull over that until we have a version we're both comfortable with then I go and draw it."
Pencil Art of FrankenCastle...
DB: Tell us about your teammates on the book, how did you get hooked up with them?
JM: "I've known Mark Melton (the colorist of MAN OF THE HOUR) for 10 years now and have witnessed his talent grow immensely. Without Mark MAN OF THE HOUR #1 would not have made it's deadline. He came with this "We can do this" attitude which was very motivating. He's an amazing person who I'm proud to call a friend. Brant Fowler who lettered the book was recommended to me by Ron Fortier. Brant did an amazing job and I absolutely love the work that he did on MAN OF THE HOUR, He really understands the language of Comics and that's what makes him great at what he does."
DB: Can we expect to see more MAN OF THE HOUR in the future?
JM: "Absolutely. right now the main thing that's holding us up is me mostly. I haven't had the time to go through the script for the second installment. Mark also has a TON on his plate as well; I thinl he's coloring 3-4 books. I refuse to work with anyone else. I'm proud of what we put together and I don't want to break up the band so to speak."
DB: Anyone that knows your work knows that you are a GIGANTIC pro-wrestling fan. Some of my favorite pieces of your artwork involve the personalities that are involved in the wrestling world. What is it about wrestling that inspires you to incorporate it into your work?
JM: "Pro wrestling, especially in the 80's when I was a kid was a live action Comic book. That's how I got hooked. I wound up having a deep appreciation and admiration for Wrestling as I grew older. Specifically the art of wrestling - weaving these holds together into this tapestry that is a match. It's fascinating to me."
DB: Who are your favorite wrestlers?
JM: "My absolute favorite wrestler is Bryan Danielson (Daniel Bryan). I've been following his career since 2002. I'm also a BIG fan of Puroresu (Japanese wrestling) and guys like Satoshi Kojima, The Great Muta/Keiji Mutoh, Kenta Kobashi, Mitsuharu Misawa, and a ton of other guys."
Daniel Bryan of WWE... a personal favorite of Jesus' wrestling themed pieces.
DB: Let's talk comics. What are your faves?
JM: "Right now I'm really emjoying Mark Waid's run on Daredevil. Thanos Rising has been great and Superior Spider-Man has been fun. Some of my absolute favorite Comics are All Star Superman, Len Wein & Bernie Wrightson's Swamp Thing, Frank Miller's "Born Again" Daredevil, & The Dark Knight Returns, Cosmic Odyssey, Jack Kirby's O.M.A.C., pretty much anything Mike Mignola does and some other stuff I can't think of at the moment."
DB: If you were stranded on a desert island what comics would you HAVE to have with you?
JM: "The All Star Superman Omnibus, Dark Knight Returns, & (Walter) Simonson's complete Thor run."
Thor meets Plastic Man
DB: Aside from MAN OF THE HOUR what other work do you have out there for fans to get their mitts on?
JM: "I'm working on a book that will debut at the Baltimore Comic-Con in September. Then I will make it available at my store. I'm writing and drawing for the first time in a LONG time. It's just a silly project that I've wanted to do some time."
Cover Art by Marquez
DB: What do you want people who aren't familiar with your work to know about it?
JM: "I love to play with emotions with my drawing. I get a kick out of pushing expression beyond it's limits. I think that helps to add a sense of energy to a drawign. I like for my work to POP right out at the reader. I want people to have fun reading my comics. Fun is the key word. FUN!" (MISSION ACCOMPLISHED MR. MARQUEZ!)
DB: What are you goals as far as your art goes?
JM: "All I want is to parlay my talents into a career that will support my family. I need to wake up in the morning happy to go to work and for a long time I wasn't. I was miserable. That's no way to live."
DB: If anyone is interested in getting some original Jesus Marquez artwork, what should they do?
JM: "I have original art for sale at my HAZARAI store. From commissions & comic sized pieces down to sketch cards."
DB: One last question. If you had a choice, what superhero or villain would you wanna be?
JM: "I would like to be FOCUS-MAN, who has the uncanny ability to focus on and complete any task placed in front of him. He's impervious to distractions therefore he gets things done, ;)."
-Jesus Marquez is on Twitter @Thejesusmarquez, Deviantart at http://thejesusmarquez.deviantart.com/
-SOOPER COOL JESUS MARQUEZ STUFF IS AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE AT https://www.hazarai.com/stores/the-gimmick-table-original-art-comics-by-jesus-marquez
I'd like to thank Jesus Marquez again for his time and graciousness in doing this Creator Conversation with me. Thanks as well to his wife and pooch!!! All images used with permission from Jesus Marquez.