For the second ‘quickie’ we’re dishing to our readers, being brief-but-juicy chats with the hottest creators in comics today, we rush superstar artist Mahmud Asrar. Born November 20, 1976 in Ankara, Turkey, he’s worked on American comic-books like Dynamo 5, from Image Comics and a slew of work for Marvel and DC later on. He broke out via his work on the independent anthology Digital Webbing Presents, and a recommendation led to Image Comics. Comic-Book101.com spoke to him and the following are excerpts:
By Abdulkareem Baba Aminu
From the newest of Marvel’s ‘Young Guns’ to a bona fide superstar, your art style has grown as much as your profile over the years. What’s your very first published work?
Mahmud Asrar: I started out making my own comics with friends, so the first stuff that I’ve ever published were fanzines. Then I got published locally in some anthologies. Internationally, I did some covers and pages for Digital Webbing Presents some years ago.
How did you begin to work for Marvel?
MA: When I started out doing Dynamo 5 with Jay Faerber, CB Cebulski reached out to me and let me know that Marvel would be happy to work with me if and when I had the time. So in between doing Dynamo 5 through Image Comics, I started working with Marvel, doing some pages for them here and there.
X-Men, Supergirl, Hulk, Star Wars, Savage Dragon…you seem to have drawn them all. Do you have a dream gig, or character you haven’t worked on yet?
MA: The thing with working professionally in comics is that you try to find enjoyment in anything you work on, or sometimes even get tired of working on certain characters after laboring over them for a long time. In that sense, I welcome all sorts of things.
However, I wouldn’t mind doing some more substantial work on Wolverine or Batman. Hellboy would be great to work on, too.
Are you working on a creator-owned project?
MA: I do have some ideas that I’d like to bring to life at some point. Hopefully in the future.
Given your location, what’s the editorial process like for you, the whole creative back-and-forth?
MA: I used to live in Ankara, Turkey. I’m now living in Vienna, Austria, for over a year. In either case, the process of my work correspondence is similar. Almost entirely dependent on e-mails. I owe my career to the internet.
Growing up, what comics did you enjoy the most, and were they in English?
MA: I was lucky enough to have access to all sorts of comics. Initially some translated comics in Turkish and later translated comics in German and of course English comics. I had a variety of things I enjoyed, from Asterix to Conan, to Batman. I enjoyed them all, but I guess what got me hooked were Marvel comics a little further on.