The late 80’s and early ‘90s were a turning point for comics. Independent comic book publishers came into the scene with the idea that creators could publish their comic books and retain the copyrights for the characters they created. Image Comics began with a vision of seven artists who had already made a name for themselves in the industry – Marc Silvestri along with Todd McFarlane, Jim Lee, Whilce Portacio, Rob Liefeld, Erik Larsen, and Jim Valentino. Their vision was to do something different by breaking away from the mainstream and creating unique characters that they owned. It was Image Comics, as well as companies like Dark Horse Comics, that forged the spirit of independence in comic books, which, up to that time, was mainly led by the two largest comic book publishers, Marvel and DC Comics.
One of my all-time favorite comic book artists is Marc Silvestri. Some of my favorite early works from him are Uncanny X-Men and Wolverine. Marc also founded Top Cow Productions. Top Cow’s successes include Witchblade, The Darkness, Tomb Raider, Hunter Killer, and more.
One of the earliest interviews we did for the film was at Top Cow Productions studios in Century City. We interviewed President/COO Matt Hawkins, then Editor-In-Chief Renae Geerlings, artist Mike Choi, and many others, but on that day, I did not get a chance to interview Marc Silvestri. For the next few years, our schedules did not align for an interview, but I was persistent and really wanted to connect with him, not only as a huge fan, but because I knew how important his contributions helped shape the face of independent comics into the mainstream.
I wasn’t sure if he was going to be a part of the film but finally, he was available last year. Man, what a great interview! From telling stories of how he co-founded Image and Top Cow, to collaboration with writers like Mark Waid, to his earliest influences and more, I was a sponge. He also spoke about comic as an art form itself, saying “…the best of the best will make you feel something in one single drawing…you have to make people feel something panel after panel, page after page.”
I was hanging on his every word. I can’t thank him and his team enough for being a part of this film.
Marc Silvestri and Top Cow Productions, in support of COMIX, has also kindly provided some of the amazing rewards for our Kickstarter campaign including some amazing limited-edition and numbered hand-painted statues sculpted by Clayburn Moore. One of the rewards is “Hunter Killer” signed by Marc and writer Mark Waid.