Chris Fernandez: So, Michael, your art has very detailed line work, it’s definitely something that stands out in Battlecats. What are your influences?
Michael Camelo: Well, in my case, I feel my influences are a combination of many artists ranging from industry icons like Jim Lee, Greg Capullo, Stuart Immonen, and Joe Quesada to more current artists like Dan Mora and Jorge Jimenez. Having said that, I also can’t deny my fondness for manga artists. Artists such as the incredible Park Jin-Hwan, Takeshi Obata, ONE; I can not ignore that they have all deeply impacted my tastes as an artist.
Finally, many animated series formed my childhood’s imagination. Shows such as Thundercats, Gargoyles, even Captain Planet, cemented my preferences, which are subsequently brought to life in each of my illustrations and also in the way I approach every page.
CF: So what is your process like when your handed a script?
MC: First of all, I read the script, trying to be as aware as possible looking for important details that may not be entirely clear from the script. Details that I may be able to showcase and that I want to bring a certain level of importance to.
When I first start sketching I analyze which panel will be most important or which one deserves the greatest exposure within the macro of the page. Having this as a reference, each panel is analyzed so that I can properly convey the emotions of the page and deliver those emotions to the reader. This also helps me determine in what order I can arrange the panels. Once I finish the sketch, I analyze the work with my team here at Mad Cave and we determine if I communicated the script effectively. Once we all agree, I begin the inking process.
CF: Comics are obviously very important to you. What is your favorite part about comics? Why are they so important to you?
MC: Since the first comic I read during my childhood, I have been fascinated by the simple and effective way in which comic books can expose you to a new world or story. When artists are really good at this, they bring you into the comic you’re reading and make you a part of the world. No matter how fantastic and unlikely these stories are, you will find yourself absolutely engrossed by them.
In a world constantly seeking diversity and creativity, comic books are the perfect medium. I feel it’s so important to introduce people to the possibilities comics offer, especially children, because anything is possible. It can be a child’s first step into the world of all kinds of literature, the same way it was for me.
CF: Tell me something about your life outside of work? Family? Pets? Other interests?
MC: I love my family very much. My partner is someone who always supports me and drives me to better as a professional, as a person, and has accompanied me in not only the most beautiful moments, but also the most difficult ones. My son is the one making me fight every day to get better. He brightens each and every one of my days with the every step he takes.
Comic book artist fascinated by the ninth art in all of its forms. Autodidact (for the most part) with an open mind to the teachings of everyday life. Fan of the illustrating styles of artists such as Jim Lee, Jee Hyung Lee, Joe Madureira and many more. With an incredible attention to detail, Michael gives the Battlecats characters and Valderia’s regions their distinct features, bringing each page to life. See more of Michael’s amazing art here.