We Talk Silk With Annapaola Martello

Annapaola Martello is a relative newcomer to the comic industry, but recently got a chance to illustrate an issue of Silk (#4), the first issue which she has drawn for a major publisher. We got a chance to talk with her about her debut issue and what it is like to take on some familiar characters.

silk004Graphic Policy: How did you get a chance to draw this character?

Annapaola Martello: Last year I left some samples of my work at the Marvel stand at the New York Comicon and, to my surprise, I was selected for an interview with one of the editors. I have to thank my travel companions for encouraging me, for I felt really insecure and did not think that I had a chance of being chosen. A couple of weeks later I was contacted by the editor that interviewed me to do eight test pages for a New Miss Marvel story, and he liked them enough to ask me to draw the fourth issue of Silk. I will never stop thanking him for giving me this opportunity.

GP: What do you think of the new wave of young female characters leading their own series?

AM: I think this is a great opportunity to tell stories which are both fresh and different from what we are used to. Female characters think and act differently from the male superheroes, and this is a great opportunity to make the world of comics more appealing to a female audience, also because these new heroines are complex characters, with the same strengths and weaknesses of real people.

GP: How do you draw a female characters as both strong and feminine?

AM: All my friends keep telling me that I have been inspired by myself! :)

Jokes aside, I am surrounded by people like that, for I tend to like that type of character. Also many of my favourite comic artists convey the same traits with their drawings, and I try to follow their style.

silk002GP: The cutest scene in issue #4 was one where Silk and Johnny Storm finish their date. No words are spoken but the picture tells the story by itself. How did you figure out how to show this?

AM: I have to thank the scriptwriter for this. Its script was so perfectly written that by reading this scene I immediately envisioned it in my mind. It almost drew itself. I also think that the colourist did an amazing job in bring it out even more.

GP: Silk is of course very much tied to Spider-Man. What did you do to make sure that she is different enough in appearance and action?

AM: I tried to make her manners more aggressive and whimsical, for she is young and inexperienced, and thus more instinctive in the use of her powers. For her moves I drew inspiration on the eastern ninjas, for the years she spent hidden away left a mark on her: she is always on the alert, always suspicious of what surrounds her. Spider-silk001Man is quite the opposite: always funny, always taking all the situations head-on, so I tried to represent these characteristics even if he was not able conquer Silk.

GP: Was it hard to take on some iconic characters like the Thing or Galactus?

AM: I enjoyed drawing all the characters that appear in the issue. Only Galactus has been a real challenge, for he is so big that it is difficult to keep the right proportions and give him the right expressions.

GP: Are there any other heroes that you would love to get a chance to draw?

AM: I would love to draw other stories about Silk, but she is obviously not the only one I like. There are also Spider Gwen, X-men,Hawk Eye, Nova, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Daredevil…