This past weekend Emerald City Comic Con returned to Seattle and brought with it a slew of amazingly talented comic book artists and entertainment guests. I was lucky enough to interview some of the guys from Image Comics and Skybound Entertainment. One of the artists I had the chance to sit down and talk with was Stefano Gaudiano, an extremely talented and experienced inker, who currently works on The Walking Dead and Manifest Destiny.
Stefano talks about getting started in inking and how he got involved with Robert Kirkman and The Walking Dead. He says looking back, when he was first approached by Robert he didn’t register what an amazing opportunity it was. He jokes about when Robert first called him, he told Robert he was busy and tied up for a few weeks: “In retrospect, I should have freaked out and just dropped everything and jumped on it.”
For those who don’t know much about Manifest Destiny, Stefano says the basic concept is a retelling of the Lewis & Clark expedition. Instead of the standard story we all know of their journey into the unexplored American West, this version of the story involves fantastical creatures.
As an inker, Stefano says he tries to follow the vision of the pencilers and try to understand which each artist is trying to accomplish. It’s important for him to respect the intent of the artist, who is trying to respect the intent of the writer.
I asked Stefano about what advice he would give the next generation of hopeful comic artists and his response was to continue doing what you love and want to do: “Figure out what you love first. Once you figure out what speaks to you, which is an ongoing process, if you stay focused on the idea of who am I, and what do I love, and continue to mine that and your own talent and passions, what happens next is natural and almost has a guaranteed outcome. You will eventually, become a professional.”
Below is the full audio clip of the interview!