RICH INTERVIEWS: Bill Reinhold Artist for The Flying Column: Road To Manila

First Comics News: How and why did you make your start as an artist in comics?

Bill Reinhold: Big question! Since I was a kid I always enjoyed drawing. Would sketch characters from cartoon shows, etc. Read comics and occasionally did drawings of Batman or Superman, but it wasn’t until I discovered Marvel Comics in late ’67 when I was 12 that I gained an interest in not just drawing comic characters but storytelling also.

For years I fooled around drawing comics and fantasy material for fun but then took a detour from art to music playing drums.

Went back to art around 1976 and then attended art school at the American Academy of Art in Chicago. There I got the skills to attempt a professional career as an artist. While still in school I did a lot of comic art samples and had a short science fiction story that I wrote and drew accepted and published by Charlton Comics in 1983.

Before that was published I started regular work in 1981 at Noble Comics drawing the superhero team book Justice Machine that was created by Mike Gustovich.

That was the start of it all, then leading to drawing the Badger for First Comics, The Punisher for Marvel Comics, and more. Plus years of inking other artists at various companies.

1st: What can you tell us about the WWII comic “The Flying Column” you have started work on?

Bill: The full title is “The Flying Column: Road To Manila,” It’s actually a 131-page graphic novel that we’re producing for The Naval Institute Press. It’s set during WWII and is based on the events of early Feb. 1945 when the 1st Cavalry Division and 44th Tank Battalion fought their way through 100 miles of Japanese-held territory to rescue thousands of allied civilian prisoners being held at Santo Tomas University in Manila, which had been turned into an internment camp.

1stYour artwork on “The Flying Column” is really eye-popping how do you achieve it?

Bill: I’m doing the finished art in pen and ink with Lamp Black gouache watercolor. That will then be printed in sepia without any other added color. It’s all achieved with lots of historical reference for military uniforms, guns, vehicles, and settings during World War Two in the Pacific theatre of war.

1st: What does beading of ink mean for your art?

Bill: You’re speaking of one drawing I did of a character from The Flying Column. I happened to draw that in ink on painted metal to test work on the cabinet of a computer. That caused the “beading”. Not my usual working surface, but it was interesting.

1st: Have you ever worked with Carl Potts before and what do you think of his writing ability?

Bill: I worked with Carl Potts as my editor on the Punisher and later as a co-worker when he wrote the limited series “The Prowler” for Marvel Comics, which I drew.

Carl is both a talented artist and writer with a great skill in visual storytelling.

1st: You have gotten to illustrate Van Helsing vs. Jack the Ripper did you enjoy drawing these iconic characters?

Bill: I very much enjoyed illustrating that Victorian period story taking place in London, though the reference was monumental for it to be historically accurate. Plus, the writer Jacques Lamontagne is a great storyteller!

I also enjoyed the large format in which it was published by Soleil Productions in France.

1st: You work as both inker and penciler do you prefer one over the other for any reason?

Bill: I, of course, prefer doing my own work being both penciler and inker, but at the same time I really enjoy jamming with other artists as an inker.

1st: You inked “Spirits of Vengeance: Rise of the Midnight Sons” how did your inking enhance this series?

Bill: Well you’ll have to ask Adam Kubert that. I just did my best to support the great penciling he put into the issues.

1st: What comic book that you have worked on are you most proud of?

Bill: That’s hard to say. I can name many as I have favorites from different points in my career.

One I’ll often point to is the Silver Surfer graphic novel “Homecoming” written by Jim Starlin, published in 1992. I penciled and inked that book and my wife Linda Lessmann Reinhold colored it, along with some talented friends for an assist.

Then I can point to “Van Helsing vs. Jack the Ripper” as a story I put so much work and detail into. Not often do I get the time to attempt my very best.

1st: How do Earth X super-heroes compare to Marvel’s present-day ones?

Bill: “Earth X” was the story of an alternative Earth future in which creators Alex Ross and writer Jim Krueger describe what happens as all ordinary humans gain superpowers, and the existing superheroes are majorly affected.

It also describes how the whole Marvel Universe we know came to be throughout the history of Earth and more.

1st: What would be your ideal comic book to work on?

Bill: Many answers there, but I would really enjoy writing and drawing a story that is autobiographical.

1st: What superpower would you most like to have and how would you use it?

Bill: Just flying would do for me.

1st: Outside of comics what are your interests?

Bill: Music, and playing drums.

1st: What would you like to say to your many fans?

Bill: Thanks to all my buyers and readers for helping a dream come true!








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