Interview: Aaron Lopresti


This interview was done through emails in April 2004

( All Illustrations by Aaron Lopresti)


Matthieu-David:  Which artists influenced you the most ? And what are your influences in general ?

Aaron Lopresti: The artist's that have influenced me the most are: Frank Frazetta, Berni Wrightson, Neal Adams, Brian Bolland, Michael Golden, Steranko and  a variety of others to a lesser degree.  I am always looking at current popular artists so I can keep my own style marketable.

I have several influences from the field of illustration as well.  James Bama, JC Leyendecker, Scott Gustafson, William Stout, Brian Froud, and Robert McGinnis.

Not all of these people have directly influenced my style but they have all had a profound affect on the way I approach art and illustration.


M-D: Is there an artist you would you love to work with ? (penciler, inker or colourist )

A.L.:  I am always interested in working with writers that understand how to write good comics.   I am always looking for a good inker.  I would love to work with Danny Miki, Matt Ryan, or Mark Morales again.  I would also like to work with Batt, Joe Weems, Mark Farmer, and probably some others I am forgetting.

M-D: On which comic book would you like to work or is there a specific character that you would like to work on ( can even be a dream project )?

A.L.: I would like to draw Captain America, Spiderman, Thor, Sub-Mariner and Man-Thing.  I also have story ideas for  X-men, Justice League, and Deathlok.  Really, any traditional character would be fun.

M-D: Could you describe your typical day ?
A.L.: When I was full-time at CrossGen (which was only about a year of my entire professional life) I would get up at 6:30 am be to work by 8:30 and work until 5:00 pm.  As a freelancer, I am up at 7:00.  I take my son to school and then try to work while my 2 year old daughter runs around screaming.  I will usually work until 5:00 pm take some time with the family and then when the kids go to bed, I will work until midnight.  When I am not drawing comics I am usually sketching or planning an independent project.  I usually end up working at least one day on the weekends.


M-D: If you were a comic book character, who would you be ? and why ?

A.L.: Superman.  Because I could do just about anything.


M-D: If you hadn’t worked in comics, what would you have done for a living ?

A.L.: I went to film school at USC, so I imagine I would be either in film or still trying to break in.  I also enjoy writing.


M-D: What’s your favourite movie  ?

A.L.: Jaws.

M-D : you said you went to film school at USC, what attracts you the most in the film industry : Directing, lighting, Editing ?

A.L.: My main focus was writing and directing.  Directing requires so much time it is nearly impossible to maintain a  happy family life and be a successful director.  Writing is still of great interest to me, however.  Infact, I am currently writing and illustrating a book on monsters for Watson-Guptil publishing in New York.

M-D : Do you see common grounds between your work in comics and for exemple the work of a Director of Photographie in movies ?

A.L.: There is common ground both with the Director of Photography and the Director.  Although, colorists today take a larger part in creating the "atmosphere" in a comic (even if you don't want them to).  I think the closer comparison is with the director,  As an artist, it is your responsibility to take a script and visually tell the story in the most interesting and dynamic way possible. Even if that means altering the script.  You are also in charge of the "acting " of the characters.  All of this is Very similar to what a film director would do.

M-D: do you listen to music when you draw ?

A.L.: No.  I find it too distracting most of the time.


M-D: Did you have some hard times in your career ? which ones and how did you deal with those ?

A.L.: I had a difficult time breaking in to the business and my career has been over at least twice since then.   The most important thing for me during times when I couldn't get work was to remain confident in my abilities.  To succeed in this business you must constantly be growing as an artist.  If something you are doing is not working, you must be willing change and adapt your style.  You must also be able to see the faults in your work and improve them.




M-D: What is your best achievement so far ?

A.L.:In comics, my best work would have to be Mystic #'s 36-39.  I think my two issues of Gen 13 Bootleg #'s 11-12 (which I also plotted and co-wrote with Walt and Louise Simonson ) hold up really well.  I have done several illustrations outside of comics that I am proud of.  Most of which is posted on my website. (  

M-D: What's your favourite type of scripts ? very detailled or not ?
A.L.: Well written scripts.  I have come to prefer scripts with dialogue.  I still believe it is the artist's job to visually interpret the script.  Often times that means changing things slightly in the script.  The process is very similar to how a film director would alter a script so that the finished project works visually.


M-D: What material do you use for your art ? What type of pencils do you use ?
A.L.: I use a 0.3 mechanical pencil with HB lead.  I use a number 2 Rafael brush and a mixture of Higgins ink and black acrylic ink for inking.  I also will use micron pens.  I paint with both watercolors and oils.


M-D: Personnaly, as an artist, which is more challenging or satifying  : Pencil art, oil paintings or water-colors paintings ?

 I still feel that I have the farthest to go as an oil painter.  Mastering oil painting in my mind is the mark of a truly great illustrator.  Any time I complete a good oil painting I am really excited.


M-D: How do you look back at your past work ? Are you still happy with your past pages ? Or do you critizise your work a lot ?

A.L.: I am very critical of my work.  I have a couple of past projects that I am happy with and that's it.   I feel that every job I do should be better than the last one or I am regressing as an artist.   That's why my work seems to be constantly evolving.  I am always trying to improve my drawing and my stylistic approach.


M-D: What’s the weirdest drawing a fan asked you ?

A.L.: One guy wanted 40 plus drawings of Supergirl  leaning back looking defenseless. Needless to say, I passed on that one.   Oh, and one guy wanted Connie Chung (news reporter) shrinking out of her clothes!


M-D: Have you ever been to Paris ? And if so, what surprised you the most when you arrived ?

A.L.:I have only been to Australia and Mexico.  I loved Australia!  I am hoping to do a European tour before too long.   


M-D:  And since my website is focused on Dr Doom and you drew him in the "X-men/ Dr Doom" one shot, how would you describe this character ?

A.L.:  He is probably the greatest and most important of all the Marvel villains.  I think the original Green Goblin is a close second.


M-D: Who do you think wrote Dr Doom the best ?

A.L.:  Probably Stan Lee.  You can't go wrong with the original.

M-D: What is the trickiest thing to draw about him ?

The mask.  Trying to make sure it looks cool all of the time and not stupid.  By the way, on the 1st page of the X-men/Dr.Doom one-shot you can see the reflection of Onslaught on Doom's mask if you look for it.  It was supposed to be colored differently so it would stand out more, oh well,...

M-D : To draw Dr Doom, did you get influenced by other artist¹s visions of the character or not ?

It is hard to remember, but I probably looked at what Jim Lee did on his FF relaunch for Marvel.  Jim certainly knows how  to make comics look "cool".


Thanks a lot Aaron !

Check Aaron's website at :