Having said that, it was nice to interview someone from Marvel. I mean, who would not want to, right? However, the prime reason for me interviewing Giarrusso was that I believed he would be able to provide some enlightening information. This is due to the fact that he worked at two different companies while having the ability to express his creativity as a writer and artist. Plus, as a fan of his humor, it is nice to talk to someone that you happen to admire. ;-)
Being an Artist
Giarrusso is a 36-year-old American with a mix of Italian, Irish, and German ancestry. When he was in college, he “took the initiative” to do his own comic strip, which was published in the school paper. The process of getting it printed in the paper was “fairly simple,” because it published all student submissions. “The only obstacle to overcome was courage.” The second initiative that he took was applying for an internship at Marvel Comics. However, unlike the college paper, “I was lucky that I was picked out of the applicant pool. Once I was there, one thing led to another.” The third initiative was that Giarrusso promoted his work “around,” which resulted in a “few editors” who were “willing” to publish him. “That exposure led to more people noticing me, and so on.”
As a comic artist, Giarrusso most important experience happened when he was an intern.
Artist Klaus Janson gave me some very encouraging tips and advice. He gave me some basic points to focus on and also filled me with confidence that I was capable of improving. At the same time, freelance writer/artist/editor Michael Higgins was teaching me how to letter and color. Those guys gave me some brief, but invaluable one-on-one training that I still benefit from.Even though he had a lucky break at Marvel, he still experienced the downs of an artist. After fulfilling the “impossible” goal, he thought that he would continue to work for the company. However, sales were “not strong enough,” which resulted in Giarrusso not getting work. So when it comes to the ups and downs:
You get those extremes of going from feeling on top of the world to feeling like you’re worthless. But that’s the nature of anything, I suppose. You have to work hard, you have to keep trying, do your best to improve so that you’re ready the next time an opportunity presents itself.Being an artist by simply drawing the perfect artwork and getting paid for it is more than just that. Why? It is because it is not the easiest job to accomplish. There are artists that earn a lot of money, but many do not. “For me and for many others, it winds up being an incredible amount of time and effort for very little money.” It is a difficult solution to encounter. However, you will need passion to overcome it. “That passion, that compulsion, is a significantly important part of being a comic artist.”
© 2011 Linda Thai
Stay tune for Part 2 of the Chris Giarrusso interview.