Interview : Andy Park
Park is a young and particulary talented artist, mainly known for
his work on the comics adaptation of Tomb Raider. This interview
was done by emails, end of february 2003 when I was part of the
Comicverse website and completed for Latveria in december
Matthieu-David :Which artists influenced you
the most ?
Andy Park :
early influences were all comic book artists. I fell in love with
Mark Brightís artwork on Iron Man (the red and silver Iron
Man-in my opinion still the best version). I also loved Alan Davis
on Excalibur (and to this day, anything else he ever works on).
But my all-time biggest influence will always be Jim Lee. I credit
him more than anyone when it comes to my comic book career. I had
a Jim Lee shrine on my wall throughout high school. I even had a
newspaper clipping of an article he did for a Korean newspaper.
Speaking of Jim Lee, have you ever met him ? If so did
you stay in touch ?
Yeah, Jim Lee and I know each other. But
we don't regularly stay in touch or anything. I never got to
know him in that kind of capacity. He's a cool guy. Oh, and
fellow Korean brother!
What do you think of his work on Batman ?
It's so cool to see Jim Lee drawing comic
books again....and the fact that he's drawing characters
like Batman, Superman, Harley Quinn, the Joker, etc! It's
awesome! It brings me back to my high school days when I
dreamt of becoming a comic artist too one day.
M-D : And who are your current influences ?
The more current influences that come to
mind are Joe Mad(I miss his stuff a lot), Mignola, Alan
Davis, Adam Hughes, Silvestri, Alex Ross, Aron Weisenfeld,
Eduardo Risso, Bryan Hitch, Jill Thompson, and Hiroaki
Samura. I know there are so many more, but those are the
ones that come to mind.
M-D :If you were a comic book character, who
would you be ? and why ?
question. My favorite comic book character back in the day was
Phoenix. Not the Jean Grey one but the Rachel Summers one. But of
course a male version of Phoenix. No, Iím not into that cross
dressing stuff. The power of the Phoenix was just awesome. You
could fly, read minds, move objects, and so many other things. It
wasnít just one power, it was like a ton of different powers in
M-D :With which writer would you like to work ?
Iíd love to work with a bunch of different
writers- Jeff Loeb, Kevin Smith, Chris Claremont, Alan Davis, Mark
Waid, Neil Gaiman, the list goes on and on. Oh, Iíd really love
to work with Joss Whedon (the creator of Buffy). Thatíd be a
dream come true. Another guy that I put on that Joss Whedon
pedistool is J.J. Abrams (the creator of Alias). Iím actually
working with him right now on the Alias :Agent Bristow #0
issue. Heís an awesome writer !
M-D: What material do
you use for your art ? what type of pencils do you use ?
A.P.: I use a Staedtler Mars Technico pencil lead
holder with a H lead (I like softer leads rather than a 2H
which is what I used to use). It loosens my drawing
up. I use click erasers for erasing and I draw on
comic book illustration board(which is just a smooth bristol
board). That's pretty much it.
I also do a lot of full illustrations. So I'll use the
computer to paint my art as well. I use Corel Painter
as well as Adobe Photoshope to paint my work. After I
draw it on paper I scan it in and use my wacom tablet to
paint using the 2 programs.
M-D: Could you describe
your typical day ?
Wake up at about 9:30 AM.
Check email. Draw/paint depending on the project I'm
currently working on and do that till dinner time. Have
dinner with my wife. Draw more if I have to or hang with
my wife. Pretty simple and typical. I used to have
the crazy odd hours- wake up at noon and work till 3-4 AM, but
now that I'm married I can't do that(unless I want an unhappy
M-D : Is
" Alias: Agent Bristow " a one shot or a
monthly serie you gonna do ?
Alias: Agent Bristow is supposed to be a monthly book
as far as I know, but unfortunately I'm just doing the debut
issue #0. I fully illustrated that similarly how I'll be
illustrating Hybrids: the Awakenings. It's definitely
challenging doing everything from pencils to colors, but
it's so rewarding.
M-D : On which comic book would you
like to work ?
Iíd love to work on some X-men books, a
Buffy book, and a book called Hybrids : the Awakening (Shameless
self plug- thatís my creator-owned book for those who donít
M-D : If you hadnít worked in
comics, what would you have done for a living ?
be working in the Animation field. Iíd love to work for a
studio like Disney, Dreamworks, or Warner Bros. I love
animation- especially feature animation.
M-D : what is the latest animated feature you saw and
A.P. : The latest animation feature? Hmm.... I'd
have to say Spirited Away. That was an amazing movie. I
loved the story, the characters, everything about it. Hayao
Miyazaki is a genius.
M-D : Whatís your favorite movie ?
Braveheart- It had all the elements I love in a movie-
action, adventure, suspense, comedy, romance, and
inspiration. I could watch it over and over and still be in
M-D : Whatís your favorite book ?
I donít think
I have a favorite book.
M-D : Whatís your favorite song ?
I donít know if I have a favorite song. I guess right now
itíd be Neon by John Mayer.
M-D: Speaking of
music, do you listen to something when you draw ? music ( what
kind? ) or radio shows ?
A.P.: 99% of the time I have the TV on while I work.
My wife makes fun of me b/c I'm always singing along with all the
commercials. She's amazed that I memorized all of them.
But I like to watch a variety of show- CNN for news, FX for
reruns of Buffy, WB for Pokemon or the Jackie Chan Adventures, E!
for a variety of different celebrity shows, and occasionally the
Discovery Channel and HGTV for the home designer in me. I
will put away the pencil and concentrate exclusively on the tube
when my fav show are on though- Alias, Smallville, 24, and Scrubs.
M-D : Whoís is your favorite comic book
donít think I have one right now. But like I mentioned earlier,
Phoenix was my all time favorite- her and Iron Man that is.
M-D : Is there a comic book character that
you really canít stand ? which one and why ?
M-D : What is your best achievement so
my Tomb Raider run. Before that the most consecutive books I did
in a row was 4 issues. I did a good 16 issue run on Tomb Raider. Iím
proud of that. Even though itís hard to look at my past work and
not cringe Iím still proud of the fact that I did my best work
at the time. I never slacked off. I worked my butt off and hit my
I guess now Iím pretty proud of my newest
endeavor- my creator-owned bookÖ
Did you have some hard times in your career ? which ones
and how did you
A.P.: I've been very fortunate in my 9 years
career as an artist. I've been very blessed with
having great opportunities that have led to more great
opportunities. I was the artist on the Tomb Raider
comic book series from it's inception in 1999 to 2002 and
since then have been a freelancer doing everything from
creating my own book to magazine illustrations to various
covers to a children's book to video game concept art.
I like the variety of being a freelancer, but it is more
unstable. One month can be jam packed with work and
another can be more sparce. But I still haven't hit
a real hard time in my career yet. Oh man, I hope
I'm not jinxing myself (crossed fingers....).
M-D : Whatís the weirdest drawing
a fan asked you ?
was asked to draw Lara Croft nude by some lady in Germany.
She even volunteered to model for me nude. I declined of
course. But that was definitely an interesting experience.
M-D : About your latest project :
" Hybrids " : What can you tell us about
the premise to Hybrids: the Awakening:
Legend tells of an island where both humans and hybrids
coexisted together. It was a society marked by peace and
prosperity. But peace is always short-lived. Tension caused by
an inner evil ultimately erupted in war between the two races.
Hatred, betrayal, and death filled the land. The island was
covered in blood and fire. Then the Great Rain fell. It rained
until there was nothing left, until there was only silenceÖ
History says that some humans survived and
began a new life in a new land. They were the Ancestors, the new
beginnings of the human race. The Hybrids were believed to be
Generations passed. What was once fact became
lost in the uncertainty of time. This is the story of a brother
and sister orphaned at an early age then lifted up to the highest
ranks of society. Now both are troubled by visionsó his from the
past, hers from the future. And their links to a race long thought
to be extinct will be revealed. They will discover a society only
heard about in rumor and legendó the Hybrids.
Two worlds will collide once again. The
question is Can they prevent history from repeating itselfÖ
M-D : How did you get the idea of Hybrids ?
How this book was born really began in my first year at an
art school called Art Center College of Design. I designed
a character for an assignment that eventually evolved into
this story. I would play with ideas here and there during
my Tomb Raider run. But the concrete idea was developed
right after I finished Tomb Raider #20. I went to a coffee
shop pretty much everyday for a couple of months just
brainstorming and designing a new world. It was so fun.
It is constantly under development to
this day (especially since I am seeking to bring on a
writer to help flesh it out).
M-D: By the way,
what surprised you the most when you first arrived in
A.P.: I was just in awe in how beautiful
everything was. I love the architecture and there's
just so much to see. But unfortunately I barely had
any chance to see any of it. I only got to see Paris
looking out of the car window. Although I did get to
go up the Eiffel Tower. That was cool...and cold!
Oh the other thing I remember was how nice the fans were.
They were so kind to me and many tried to speak English to
me even though it was difficult for them. I
appreciated that alot.
Is there a question no one ever asked you in interview and
what would be the answer ?
Hmmm... here's a question: Now that it's been
a couple years since my run on Tomb Raider, what do I
think of that work looking back at it now?
I'm very proud of the body of work I did on Tomb Raider.
I was the artist on that title from it's inception in 1999
to about the beginning of 2002. I did a total of 16
issues. So i'm very proud that I did a significant
run on a book and for the most part made all my deadlines.
The other thing I'm proud of is that I feel that I did the
best work I could have at the time and didn't sacrifice
quality in order to hit deadlines. I put my all into
that said, I am proud of what i achieved, but it's tough
to look at those past issues I've worked on. What do
I mean by that? Well, as an artist I'm always trying
to improving myself. But as a result, will look back
at past work and see all my flaws/shortcomings. I
look back at my 16 issue run on Tomb Raider and I see a
lot of flaws/ things I'd do differently today. Bear
in mind that this is a good thing. It means I'm
growing as an artist. But on the negative side, I
don't like alot of the work i've done in the past.
It's a bit embarrassing to look at sometimes. There
are still issues/pages that I've done that I'm quite proud
of, but to be honest, I'm not really crazy about a
majority of the issues. I'm probably more proud of
issues 1,2,13, and 14(in the original American versions of
the comic book).
And since My website is on Dr Doom mainly, How would
you describe the character: DR DOOM?
A.P.: To be honest I'm not totally familiar
with the character. I don't know him that well.
I didn't grow up reading Fantastic Four. All I know
is that he is an intellectual. He's evil, but still
retains his humanity (is that fair to say). He's
always composed and regal. He's not an animal.
So that would make him a very interesting villian.
He's like the antithesis of Mr. Fantastic. It's just
like Magneto and Professor X.
Who do you think wrote Dr Doom the best ?
A.P.: Ok, this I really can't answer because
I didn't grow up reading stories with him in it.
Who draw Dr DOOM the best in your opinion ?
A.P.: Again, this will be difficult for me
to answer. I liked Jim Lee's Dr. Doom. But the
image that sticks out the most in my head was a cover
where Dr. Doom in crouched down on the ground and he's all
thrashed looking. His cloth and armor is all torn up
and it looks like he's about to go beserk. Do you
know what issue and artist that was?
M-D: Yep Actually i do, it's the cover of "Secret Wars" #10 done by
Michael Zeck ! I love this cover ! :)
lot Andy !
Check his personal website at :