MaD: Who is your favorite character to draw and why?
MH: Historically speaking, I would say the Hulk and the Thing. I love drawing large characters and finding ways to show them fitting in and interacting with the rest of the world, which is so small and difficult for them. It’s a fascinating dynamic to play with. Close runner up: Spidey.
MaD: Outside of the comic industry who/what influences your work? Do you find yourself wanting dive into other mediums of artistic expression? If so what mediums?
MH: My shelves are full of huge volumes of all the masters, really. The obvious ones, Da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo. I’ve found there aren’t many artistic problems you can run into that weren’t solved in some way by one of them. Graphically speaking, I have a special attachment to artists like Gustav Klimpt, Charles Dana Gibson and Alphonse Mucha. But from a purely visceral, visual standpoint, no artist had more of an impact on me than the great French designer Rene Grau. You should be very proud that you’ve squeezed that name out of me. I like to hog him to myself.
MaD: Who is your favorite artist of all time?
MH: Wow. A loaded question if ever I heard one. After my previous answer, I’m going to limit myself to comic artists in spite of that fact of how many great ones there are to choose from and say, simply: Alex Toth. Everything I said about the great Renaissance masters having solved just about every artistic problem there is can be said about Toth and the process of making comics.
MaD: What would you tell artists about getting into the comic industry?
MH: All the cliche answers to this question are good ones and should never be ignored (Learn storytelling. Learn your anatomy. Learn perspective. Draw. Draw. Draw.) but storytelling is the key to it all. The rest will come to you with study and practice, but it’s all worthless if no one knows what the hell is going on. The one thing that no one seems to talk about when discussing getting IN to comics is how to STAY in. Being the most talented guy in the world will certainly open some doors for you and make your life easier, but professionalism will make a career out of it. It’s simple stuff, really. Be kind, show the respect people are due even if they don’t show it back and pass on the helping hand other professionals gave to you. Oh, and for heavens sake, meet your bloody deadlines!!!
MaD: Describe your workspace. Do you have rituals you go through when working on a piece? Drink?Food?Music?
MH: My workspace, by and large, is a shambles but it’s MY shambles. Stacks of books and papers, layouts and reference taped to every wall. It’s organized chaos that once in every blue moon will get a good cleaning but never stays that way for long. This will sound terribly anal retentive but, because they require the most thought, I only listen to music when doing layouts and even then its mostly soundtracks or anything with no vocals. I can have the TV on or listen to baseball games when pencilling, and mostly I’ll watch things that I’ve seen before while inking. DVD box sets are a freelancers best friend.
MaD: Can you tell us about any new exciting projects you have coming up? If so what are they?
MH: I’ve just started working on something that hasn’t been announced yet, unfortunately. If you’d asked me a few weeks from now I probably could’ve spilled the beans. In the short term, I recently turned in covers for issues #9-12 of this summers Ghostbusters event, Haunted America, from IDW. I’ll also be dipping into the creator owned arena, probably in digital form, sometime later this year as soon my partners-in-crime and I get our collective schedules in order.
MaD: Where can we find more information about you and your work?
MH: My blog (http://mikeshenderson.blogspot.com/) has the most current news as to what I’m up to, as well as my world infamous blog sketch series that used to be updated much more frequently. A byproduct of getting busier, I suppose, but a good byproduct!
Mike S. Henderson is currently a freelance artist for IDW and Marvel.