IDW TMNT Valerio Schiti Interview!

IDW is giving us one new issue after another of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Comics.  They are keeping us excited with the stories and art work that we get with each issue.  For the normal series we have Dan Duncan as the lead artist doing each issue as guest artist get to do covers.  Though with the Mirco Series Brian Lynch is writing each one, the art work has been done by different artists each time.  For Donatello’s issue we have Valerio Schiti.

Cowabunga Corner got to the chance to catch up with Valerio and do an interview about how he got into art, and got the chance to do the art work for a TMNT Comic!

Thanks for taking the time for this interview.

CC: First question, what inspired you to become an artist?

Valerio: I've been drawing since I can remember and I've always loved comic books. So to become an artist and to have the opportunity to tell stories with my art was definitely my greatest dream!

CC: Can you tell us about some of your favorite artists through the years?

Valerio: I liked a lot of different artists through the years and it’s a bit difficult to nominate them all! I used to be a great Arthur Adams, John Byrne and Alan Davis fan when I was a kid. Today my favorite artists probably are Stuart Immonen, Olivier Coipel, Sean Gordon Murphy and Eric Canete.

CC: What was your first comic book and which publishing company was it through?

Valerio: My first comic book was “Angel #37” for IDW in 2010, it was really a great chance for a newcomer artist! Then I worked as an assistant for a few years with several artists like David Messina and Elena Casagrande and in the meantime I worked mostly for Italian titles.

CC: What was the first comic book you ever read, and do you still read that series to this day?

Valerio: It seems to me that it was a “Fantastic Four” book that my mother bought me when I was sick. The art of John Byrne was so amazing… maybe it helped me to heal!

CC: Are you a fan of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? If so, what introduced you to the property?

Valerio: Of course I am! I used to love the TV show when I was a kid, then the movies and later I discovered the comic books of Eastman and Laird so yes, so I suppose can definitely be considered a fan!

Who is your favorite Ninja Turtle?

Valerio: I have to be honest, Don is my favorite Ninja Turtle and I swear it’s not because I did the micro series! Maybe because other kids used to love Leo, Raph and Mike the most and I wanted to be original, I don’t know… maybe because he “does machines”!

CC: Did they approach you about doing the art for TMNT comics, or did you ask them about any openings?

Valerio: My editor, Bobby Curnow, proposed me to do this book. Actually after my work on the Infestation 2 prologue he asked me a list of their titles I would like to do and TMNT was absolutely on that list! I knew the storyline, I like the characters, the mood of the stories, I love Eastman, Waltz and Duncan’s work on this series so I thought it was a natural choice.

CC: Now you’re doing the art for Donatello which is IDW TMNT Mirco Series #3 and you’re doing art for Infestation. Are you doing any of the art for the Infestation Ninja Turtle issues?

Valerio: No, actually I am one of the artists for the Infestation 2 comic books but I did the art for Dungeons & Dragons: Eberron #1 and #2 coming out on February.

CC: How did you come up with your character design for the Donatello issue?

Valerio: I mostly focused on his facial expressions. I really love characters with humor and personality and I think that Donatello is the most peculiar Ninja Turtle even more than Michelangelo. He’s not just a fighter, he’s also a science geek, he’s smart, sensible, funny, finicky… In this story Bryan Lynch and Tom Waltz did an amazing work on Don’s personality, he uses a wide range of emotions and that’s a great challenge for an artist!

Can you tell us about the different steps you went through on the Donatello issue?

Valerio: I used to do some little weird sketches after reading the script, some thumbnails. They’re almost incomprehensible to anyone but me but I need them to set the scenes and the panel’s order. Then I look for references and I do some quick sketches for the details as locations, technological stuff, secondary characters, vehicles, and I draw the layouts for the whole book to send them to the editor for the approval. The next step is inking the pages and coordinate my work with my colorist. By the way, I have to thank Ilaria Traversi and Scarletgothica for the amazing job they did on this book!

CC: Do you have a favorite panel or page you drew for the issue? If so, could you tell us the page number so we can watch out for it. And without giving any plot away, tell us something that makes this page/panel stand out to you? Layout, background, or a way you drew a character?

Valerio: I like page 01, with all the Turtles in action and page 02. This one is a very simple page, very Bendis-style, nine panels, just details and close up on Don’s face, but I really love his expressions!

CC: Do you want to do art for anymore Ninja Turtle Comics?

Valerio: Of course I want to! I had great fun doing art for TMNT and I think it’s an amazing series, it would be an honor to work again with these characters!

CC: What is a comic or art project that you have not worked on, which you hope to some day achieve the honor to do art work for?

Valerio: I’m a great fan of Dr Who so I’d really like to work on the books of this series but if I had to choose a character from a different publishing company I think it would be definitely Spider Man!

CC: Is there anything you’d like to say to the Turtle Fans who read the IDW TMNT Comics?

Valerio: Yes: guys, let’s buy this book, it’s amazing! No, I’m joking… I just hope not to disappoint anyone, I really loved this character and I hope that the Turtle Fans will appreciate my style and have some fun, that’s all.

Thanks again for your time, from what I’ve seen of your at work I am really excited that you got to do this issue!

Hope everyone enjoyed this interview!  And keep an eye out for “IDW TMNT Micro Series #3” this month!

Check out Valerio’s art work on his DeviantART page!  He also has a blog at:

Entertainment Earth