RICH INTERVIEWS: Mike Collins Artist “Monster Hunter”

First Comics News: You have worked for both Marvel and DC which characters were your favorite to illustrate?

Mike Collins: Spider-Man at Marvel, though oddly I’ve never drawn him for the US, just UK and France (which bizarrely got republished in Russia), for DC I had a ball working as artist AND writer on Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt (which was obviously Charlton first!) under the sage guidance of Paul Kupperberg. I got to draw all the Big Guns, but was happiest with my Wonder Woman work- don’t feel I’ve done ‘my’ Superman or Batman. Yet.

1st: Who has influenced your art style the most?

Mike: John Buscema, Jim Starlin, Neal Adams, Alan Davis, Gil Kane, Gene Colan. Kirby and Ditko are deep in my DNA but I guess it’s Big John who I feel spiritually closest to

1st: Why do you want to be part of Charlton Comics “Monster Hunter”?

Mike: Having done Charlton heroes at DC, I wanted to do something different. Loved the work of early Mike Zeck and prime Tom Sutton on those books.

1st: What exactly is “Monster Hunter” about?

Mike: A guy who keeps the world safe from the hidden horrors.

1st: Who is the Colonel?

Mike: The Monocled Silver Fox Sharpshooter

1st: What type of monsters do you get to draw in “Monster Hunter”?

Mike: Loads. I made up a stack, poured through old Charlton horror comics for inspiration too.

1st: How do you make a monster look scary?

Mike: Take things that look ok on their own, smush them together. That was the genius of the troubled kid in Toy Story. Those creations were wild.

1st: How is “Monster Hunter” different than the original “Monster Hunters” from Charlton Comics?

Mike: Dunno if it is- we’re just focusing on the Colonel here, but the larger Monster world is still out there. I did watch a few episodes of Supernatural while I was drawing this, I guess the Winchesters know the Colonel…

1st: Which monster frightens you the most?

Mike: The ones who smile.

1st: In your years and years as an artist what lessons have you learned?

Mike: That you still have dues to pay. Hall in my apartment is a gallery of pages by guys way better than me. I see that every morning. Garcia-Lopez, Dave Gibbons, Alan Davis, Jock, Steve Rude, Jim Starlin.

1st: How do you feel about music?

Mike: My lifeblood. Music and art are one to me: I love stuff you can dance to, stuff you can cry to. Joni Mitchell and Tom Waits are my two icons but give me dance floor and Northern Soul and I’m in heaven.

1st: If you were a monster which one would you be and why?

Mike: Dracula. He dressed well, the ladies loved him and he only worked nights.

1st: What do you have to say to those who love your artwork?

Mike: Thank you. I still ain’t there yet but I’m loving the journey.

1st: Thank you.

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