BY JENNIFER M. CONTINO
It seems as if Com.X's Cla$$war
has been a breeding ground for future Marvel
artists. First Trevor Hairsine
was nabbed from the series to work for Marvel
and now Travel Foreman
has gone from working with the independent publisher to The House of Ideas on the upcoming Supreme Power
spin-off, the six-part Dr. Spectrum
series written by comics newcomer Samm Barnes
. We caught up with Foreman to get his initial reaction and thoughts to this job as well as 12 pieces of killer artwork from his portfolio.
The first thing Foreman did was tell THE PULSE how working with Marvel
is different than working with the UK's Com.X
. "Working with Com.X
was about the closest thing I've experienced to sitting around a friend's house in the summer as a kid and making funny books just for the sheer joy of it," began Foreman. "Not that it isn't fun working at Marvel
, but with these giant machines that are Marvel
, and any corporation really, you just end up being another cog on the grind. I think that's what's at the root at Com.X's
'success'. At the end of the day it's not about fiscal or quarterly earnings the bottom line is just having a love for what you do and it comes across in the product. That's the one thing you can't fake. In the arts you can always tell when someone is having fun with what they're doing or just going through the motions."
"[laughs] Plus this is the 'New Marvel' and they're playing by a whole new set of rules so a lot of the liberties you would enjoy at a smaller more intimate company you certainly won't get and there's no reason to expect them," continued Foreman. "The high profile of this project coupled with the tight schedule [is a challenge]. I would've liked to have been eased into Marvel
a little more gently than a book like this - maybe on Super-Pro
or Strawberry Shortcake
, something that I could find my legs on away from prying eyes. But I enjoy it nonetheless. I wanted to get on a monthly eventually and this is my baptism of fire."
Foreman wasn't entirely new to the world of Supreme Power
. He knew quite a lot. "I'd read a few of the Avengers
issues that featured the MU
versions of the characters," the artist recalled. "I think this was a lo-o-o-ng overdue update for Squadron Supreme
. Though I kinda wish they had made Supreme Power
title. Ultimate Squadron Supreme
would have been nice."
Foreman candidly told us what attracted him as an artist to this project. "Money."
He also told us about his creative influences and what is driving his work on Dr. Spectrum
. "The deadline is my main influence on Spectrum," he said. "I'm relying on what John Romita JR
calls the 'deadline style'. That and the inker, I've never really had to work with an inker until now so I'm having to rethink what I put down on the paper and make sure that the lines and shapes are interpretable. Speaking in general my art influences are all the guys anyone would randomly guess: Jim, Hughes, Nowlan, Pre-Image Silvestri, Mignola, Art Adams
"A lot of Japanese and European artists, (all of whom I adore beyond words) Eguchi Hisashi, Moebius, Serpieri, Otomo
( I bought the DH Akira trades a few months ago and those things have been my holy Bible. The man is other-worldly), Tetsuya Nomura
," continued Foreman. "Besides those there are a lot of 20-something artists out right now that are doing really fantastic work: Lee Bermejo, Lesean, Ale Garza, Greg Tocchini, Khary Randolf, Corey Walker, C.P Smith
, (The newly paternal) Dustin Nguyen, James Jean
. I think above all those are really the guys that are my, and likely each others, main influence. When we see one of the guys from our 'class' really knock one out of the park it really sparks up the juices to do something equally as awesome. The last time there's been this many young mavericks in the business was the pre-Image days. It's pretty exciting from an artistic standpoint to see how we're all going to develop over the years."
Foreman said he's also influenced by the way Supreme Power
artist Gary Frank
has created this world. "Gary [Frank] has set the tone for this particular universe," he said. "I think they wanted to maintain that pseudo-realistic feel in Spectrum-very clean, classic Marvel
looking stuff. I thought about pulling a practical joke around issue four and handing in pages that looked like Sam Kieth
or Danijel Zezelj
just to see how they'd react."
Foreman told us a little about his work environment. "[It's] Awful. Honestly I'm surprised that I get anything done. I'm looking forward to setting up an actual work space that involves a desk. I'm just curious to see how much my work improves when I get a legitimate work-area. I'd like to think it would be comparable to Rock Lee
dropping the weights against Gaara. (Naruto reference!!!!! YAY!!!!)"
Along with Dr. Spectrum
, the artist has a few other things on his plate. "I'm doing pencils for the comic adaptation of the Sony
. Which should be out late 4Q of 2004. I have a couple creator-owned projects that I'm working on in my 'free-time' (HA!). One will likely be ready by this time next summer, possibly published by Image
, and the other is a long-term project - a very