Interview: Michael Avon Oeming

Michael Avon Oeming ( picture by Bruno )

 This interview was done through emails in december  2003 and March 2004.
Matthieu-David: Which artists influenced you the most ? And what are your influences in general ?

Michael Avon Oeming: The most must be Mike Mignola, but I have many influences. My strongest ones are Steve Rude, Frazetta, Alex Toth, Bruce Timm and animation in general.



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

M.A.O.:There are many artists I admire, but right now, I enjoy working on my own art.


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 )?

M.A.O.: Batman, Daredevil, Captain America, The New Gods, SPiderman, Thor and Conan.

Batman by Mike Oeming


M-D: If you hadnít worked in comics, what would you have done for a living ?

M.A.O.: I don't know, I've always wanted to be a comic book artists since I was like 13 years old.


M-D: Could you describe your typical day ?

M.A.O:  Work, work, work. No joke.  I make sure I spend time with the family, but some days its just all work and we go out for dinner. But then there are days like today, Ive spent all day with them and I love that.


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

M.A.O.:The Beyonder, because he has god-like Powers, I could then choose any Power I wanted, right?

M-D: right, you're sure it's not because of his clothes ?

M.A.O.: Maybe, the 80's are back!

M-D: Whatís your favourite movie ?

M.A.O.: Cant say I have one. I like Xanadu because its soooo bad and cheesey.

M-D: Speaking of movies do they inspire you in your work ?

M.A.O.:  I just watched NARC- what a great film, very inspirational. Taxi Driver is a huge influence on my work.



M-D: speaking of movies what do you think about the translation from comics to films ? ( which do you think succeeded in terms of visual ideas and story telling )

M.A.O.: I think its great. Like novels, not all ideas are translated well, like League of Extraordinary Gents, some are molded into a leaner, cleaner version of the story like the Crow.

M-D: Whatís your favourite song ?

M.A.O:  I cant choose just one. Has to be a Zeppelin tune, or maybe that Paul Simon song "she loved me like a rock" because my mother used to sing it to me.


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

M.A.O.: Yes. Everything from gangster rap to traditional celtic music.


M-D: Whatís your favourite book ?

M.A.O.: Hitch Hickers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.



M-D: Is there a comic book character that you really canít stand ? which one and why ?

M.A.O.: Oh theres too many to choose. Most characters have never had a good writer to bring life to them.


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

M.A.O.: Lots of hard times. I had hard times breaking into comics, then hard times staying in comics. After Foot Soldiers, my career was very slow and I made very little money for about four years. Once we had our first child, I had to actually get a real job, I did security. Then Powers came and things turned around. Patience is a virture they say, and if I have any, its patience.


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

M.A.O.:  In comics, its the current storyline in Powers, Foreverman.

M-D: What's your favourite type of scripts ? very detailled or not ?

M.A.O.:It depends on the writer. If he's an amazing visualist like Brian, than I like it tight, but I also love working on scritps that are vague and let me mold the story.

M-D: What material do you use for your art ? what type of pencils do you use ?

M.A.O.: 3-h pencils and lazer copy paper. Its 11x17 and comes in large amounts, very cheap and thin. Not too thin, but more thin than Marvel or DC paper, so I can lightbox better. I do all my layouts on lightbox and then transfer them.

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 ?

M.A.O.:  No, its crap! Everything before Foot Soldiers was weak. I was learning on the job. You can really track the growth from Judge Dredd to Foot Soldiers, Ship of Fools, Bulletproof Monk then Powers.



M-D: Whatís the weirdest drawing a fan asked you ?

M.A.O.: I was asked to draw a Cat woman Falling in love with Judge Dredd.


M-D: What surprised you the most when you arrived in Paris ? 

M.A.O.: That I liked warm beer. I cant wait to go back. Also, the chocolate was sooo much better than here in the states. And the racial situation was very different, I wish it could be more like that here in the states.


M-D: And since My website is on Dr Doom mainly, How would you describe the character ?

M.A.O.: What? The big guy with the mask, right?


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

M.A.O.: I dont know. I guess Stan Lee/Kirby ?

M-D: Who draw Dr DOOM the best in your opinion ?

M.A.O.: Mignola, even though Ive only seen it in a pin up


Thanks a lot Mike  ! I owe you a warm beer next time you come to Paris !

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