Chat Transcript: "New Avengers"/"Moon Knight" Artist David Finch

Thursday, October 20th, artist David Finch stopped by the Comic Book Resources chat room to talk about his time on "New Avengers," his upcoming "Moon Knight" mini-series from Marvel and a look at his past work, his future, his interests and what the heck a Goldendoodle is. Enjoy!

Brian Cronin: Welcome, folks, to the David Finch chat!

dave finch: Hey everyone!

skinnymikec: Quick questions:1 ) Where are ya from? 2) Any chances of coming back to Strange Adventures in Halifax, NS for another signing?

dave finch: I'm from Windsor, Ontario, and you can bet I'll be back at Strange Adventures.

dave finch: I'm moving out to Halifax this spring.

skinnymikec: Excellent on the Halifax!

skinnymikec: You did an awesome Spidey for me and I'm looking forward to another sketch any time.

dave finch: Thanks

MrBlond: I only have one question. You're awesome!

Kevinroc: How much of "Moon Knight" have you already drawn?

dave finch: Two pages of Moon Knight! It's a double page spread...it's coming all right, I guess. It's a lot of fun!!

TheSentryLives: Are you freelance and how do you like working at Marvel?

dave finch: I am freelance, and I do like working for marvel. I'm under contract if that's what you mean.

Brian Cronin: So you are exclusive to marvel?

Brian Cronin: I can never keep track of all the exclusive contracts.

dave finch: For another 10 months

Smokey17: Hey speaking of sketches, I missed Spencer's list by a few people. Will you reopen it up again?

dave finch: We're thinking maybe next year.

Clement: Are the guys at Top Cow surprised at how fast you've become since you began working at Marvel?

dave finch: Hehe, no. They knew I was fast. I just never worked!

skinnymikec: Hehe...I heard you telling that to McNiven while you were sketching for me...you seemed mightily fast to me

skinnymikec: Why "Moon Knight" as opposed to "New Avengers?"

dave finch: It's just much more the sort of material that I feel comfortable drawing. I was never appropriate for "Avengers," and I think it showed on every page.

Clement: I never bought a single issue of "Avengers" until you did the book. Maybe it was different and less of the "classic" superhero style, but it was entertaining and looked damn good.

Clement: I hate superheroes and you got me to buy "Avengers."

dave finch: Thanks. I couldn't help but do the book differently just because of the sort of artist that I am, but I just felt like it would be less frustrating for me to do something that I actually fit naturally with.

Kevinroc: I liked the scene you drew where the team confronts Electro.

dave finch: Thanks, that was fun

MrBlond: What's after "Moon Knight?"

dave finch: I have no idea....I'd love to do "Ultimate Daredevil," but that book doesn't exist...maybe we can talk them into it.

MrBlond: You should do "Ultimate Hulk" and kick Keu Cha's ass!

dave finch: Keu is the man!!

MrBlond: Yes, but you and Keu are both ex-Cow; it would be a fun rivalry.

dave finch: Hehe, I guess.

MrBlond: The two best Cow products in a long time.

dave finch: You're forgetting the best Top Cow product: Joe Benitez.

MrBlond: He's good, but 3rd best. And not at Marvel.

Brian Cronin: "Wraithborn" looks very impressive, art-wise.

dave finch: That it does! Joe's kind of a mentor to me.

Jellobay: When is "Moon Knight" scheduled to come out?

dave finch: March.

skinnymikec: Not that I'm anything but happy, but why move to Halifax?

dave finch: I love it out there and my sister and niece are out there....I don't know too many people, though, so you'll have to bring me out for some beers.

Brian Cronin: I get that you can't spill the name of the book, but do you have plans in place for an ongoing after "Moon Knight" wraps?

dave finch: I really don't at all right now. It's all very much up in the air.

dave finch: Honest!

Smokey17: Any chance of you coming down to the Florida Megacon?

Smokey17: if you want I can talk to Beth, she's the show promoter.

Smokey17: It is Feb. 28 next year. Really a great show,

dave finch: OK. I've never been...I'm sure it would be fun. It would be good to see Brandon Peterson again.

Smokey17: Haha Brando is a nut. You gotta come down just for Townsend's party.

dave finch: Oh, I'm going to be in New York then!

TheSentryLives: Do you plan on keeping the Sentry's hair long?

dave finch: The Sentry's hair will be long from now on by editorial decree.

Kevinroc: Sentry's hair being long is just to upset Paul Jenkins, huh?

dave finch: Hehe, that's why. No, I just thought it looked cooler, and besides, he'd look different than frigging Cap that way

Kevinroc: I only say this because I was at Wizard World LA when the new "Sentry" mini was announced and Jenkins talked about how he didn't like the Sentry's long hair and Joe Q teased Jenkins.

dave finch: Hehe, well, what're you going to do? I'll have to heckle Paul J about that next time I see him

comicster: Where do you think you're strongest/weakest as an artist?

dave finch: I think I'm strongest at drawing mood, and weakest at everything elsem comicster!! But facial expressions, natural body language, basically any sort of subtlety is hard for me.

Cayman: I thought you did great with Ult. Wolverine's facial expression after he killed the kid in "Ultimate X-Men."

Brian Cronin: You did some writing on "Ascension"...with Joe currently writing "Wraithborn," do you have any interest in trying it again yourself?

dave finch: It has crossed my mind....writing I mean, but I just don't know about it....maybe one day. I'd like to actually try to do a good job though, and that's not so easy.

Brian Cronin: Good point, but perhaps trying co-writing first?

dave finch: Maybe that....it's hard to find a really great writer that's willing to put up with that sort of interference, though.

ChaosBurnFlame: So, who's your favorite artist ever?

dave finch: Simon Bisley CBF

TheSentryLives: How was it working with Charlie Huston on "Moon Knight?"

dave finch: It's great! And one of the reasons why I think I would be a fool to try writing again.

ChaosBurnFlame: How did you get 'in' the industry?

dave finch: I got into the industry in '94 in New York by showing Top Cow some sample pages.

ChaosBurnFlame: Hmmmm.... What do you suggest for a young artist to do to try and get 'in'?

dave finch: Be good. That's all you have to do.

Brandon Hanvey: Do you sketch with a blue pencil or soft lead?

dave finch: I sketch with the same lead that I draw with. 2h. Then I lighten it down with a kneaded eraser.

Thrice: Who do you think is sexier, you or Bendis?

dave finch: Hehe, Bendis. Just look at him!!

TheSentryLives: You seem to have a preference for Wolverine, as you mentioned. Does that mean you like Marvel type charactors..flaws and stuff.

dave finch: I like cool looking characters...nothing else matters to me really.

Jellobay: Do you prefer team or single character books?

dave finch: Single character right now...it's just so much easier and I can really showcase a character and put some good detail and work into it. With a team, I'm just trying to get the thing done all the time.

skinnymikec: Any thought of eventually doing smaller press stuff or is the Marvel pay rate too good?

dave finch: I do need to make money. I'd just go do video games if I did something else.

Cayman: Any DC characters you'd prefer to work on?

dave finch: Batman.

TheSentryLives: Actually, Dave came close to working on Batman, we call him Moon Knight.

dave finch: Oooh. zing heheh

Thrice: How many cigarettes do you smoke a day?

dave finch: One cigar every three days or so, but I'm quitting this week! I smoked for 10 years, quit, and ended up with cigars.

Brandon Hanvey: Have you ever thought of starting your own creator owned book?

dave finch: I've done it twice. I'm kind of enjoying what I'm doing now

Brian Cronin: Who brought you over to Marvel, Dave?

dave finch: I had an argument with Top Cow and went over to Joe Q at the bar by the Chicago con and told him I wanted to come to Marvel.

ChaosBurnFlame: What sort of argument?

dave finch: Does it matter? I was pretty much in the wrong, I'll tell you that.

Ronald Bryan: Did you have to buy Quesada a drink (or seven)?

dave finch: Naw, I knew him from doing a crossover with "Ash" a few years before.

TheSentryLives: Is Quesada cool to deal with, Dave?

dave finch: He is. He's very much a straight shooter.

Brian Cronin: Did you get to pick the book you went to work on, or did they just assign you one?

dave finch: Well, at first they pretty much assigned me one.

Jake V: Did you design Ronin?

dave finch: Joe Q did.

MrBlond: And do you have plans to recycle the fishbowl helmet design for another character? That was a cool outfit.

Ronald Bryan: I agree with Blond. We demand the return of Fishbowl Head Man!

dave finch: No plans, no, but thanks!

Cayman: Will you be doing the covers for "Moon Knight?"

dave finch: I will be doing the "Moon Knight" covers.

ChaosBurnFlame: Do you talk often to the writers of the books? Or do you just get the scripts and rarely talk to them?

dave finch: Depends upon the writer, but generally I don't talk to them too much.

Jellobay: What was your first Marvel book?

dave finch: "X-men Unlimited" and then "Call of Duty."

Clement: In your Top Cow days, was breaking out of the mold like you and Brandon did encouraged, or did they prefer those who stuck with the house style?

dave finch: There was absolutely never a desire for a house style at Top Cow. It just works that way when you have a lot of artists in the same room. It can get incestuous creatively.

TheSentryLives: I know this is ten months ahead, but when your contract is up. If both Marvel and DC offered you contracts. Would you prefer to stay or leave?

dave finch: That's not really a question I'd be comfortable answering!

StoneGold: OK, obvious stupid question assuming it wasn't asked already: given free reign, what book would you want to work on?

dave finch: "Ultimate Daredevil" or "Batman."

skinnymikec: Why Ultimate Daredevil as opposed to regular Daredevil?

dave finch: Regular Daredevil just sits around all day and does lawyer stuff. It's a great read, but I don't think I could draw it without my brains bleeding out my ears.

MrBlond: Who's your favorite colorist to work with?

dave finch: Frank DArmata...easy.

MrBlond: Good answer.

MrBlond: Is D'Armata coloring "Moon Knight?"

dave finch: Yes, he is.

Kevinroc: How exactly did you end up working on "Ultimate X-Men" with Bendis?

dave finch: They put me on "Ultimate X-Men" and then were actually going to take me off because Bendis wasn't comfortable working with me. They showed him some of the Ultimate stuff I did with Millar and he was willing to give it a chance.

Thrice: Why was Bendis not comfortable working with you? Was it personal or stylistic differences?

dave finch: I'm an Image artist and we can have a tendency to ruin a good script! He just wanted to be comfortable that I wouldn't do that to him. Kind of a legitimate concern, really.

Jake V: How much research material and character designs was given to you for the first arc of "New Avengers?" Or did they leave that up to you?

dave finch: Some of it was up to me, some of it was actually Olivier Coipel....quite a bit, but nothing like coming up with something from scratch.

Clement: Favorite inker, and by favorite, I mean the guy who can either take the most detailed or most rushed pencils and give you the same kick ass result

dave finch: Danny Miki.

skinnymikec: I'm a big spidey fan, but the only Marvel book I get right now is "New Avengers." What is your last issue, or have I already gotten it?

dave finch: I don't draw the book anymore....

dave finch: #13 is the last one

Cayman: Do we find out Ronin's identity in 12 or 13?

dave finch: I just can't say!!

ChaosBurnFlame: Real important question: Mechanical or wood?

StoneGold: That's an awful personal question to ask a man in mixed company...

dave finch: Ah, is that what you meant! hehe. Mechanical

Kirk G: On the topic of Ronin... Do we know who it is? That is, have we seen this person in the Marvel Universe before?

dave finch: No hints! Hehe

Clement: Dave come on, you're nowhere near an Image artist like some of the other guys out there. You rarely do entire pages of a giant face and a wet chick standing sideways.

dave finch: Shhh, but deep down inside you know that I'd like to!!

Clement: You clearly have an art culture that goes beyond the average Image artist. Hell, Image artists don't throw in Iron Wolf references

dave finch: Thanks....we all love Mignola, though.

twilight: Personally, do you think Luke Cage should wear a costume or stick with his street duds?

dave finch: I just don't know....I think costume, but I love his old one, but it doesn't work for this day and age....I don't know! We've all wrestled with that one a lot!

skinnymikec: Hehe..Did cage's old yellow shirt and tiara constitute a costume before?

dave finch: Hehe, I loved that costume!

MrBlond: Was Marc Silvestri ever mad that you drew Cyberforce better than he did?

dave finch: I really don't think he had to worry about that, but thanks! And he's an incredibly supportive guy. He would have liked nothing more than that.

Jake V: How specific are Bendis' scripts when it comes to action and fight scenes? Does he allow you to draw what you think looks cool, or does he have really specific directives for action?

dave finch: He's very, very specific, but flexible at the same time. But mostly specific.

twilight: Did you get all teary when you drew Avengers mansion blowing up?

dave finch: Never read the book before, to be honest.

Brian Cronin: Do you have any fan art published anywhere from the early '90s that we can see and go, "Wow! Look at what he used to draw like!?"

dave finch: No. My first stuff was Ripclaw 1/2, but man...it's pretty bad!

jmarquiso: What's the harshest criticism you ever received about your art?

dave finch: With the internet....yeah. Things can go way, way beyond criticism

Jellobay: What did you read as a kid?

dave finch: Jello, Steven King, Clive Barker, a lot of fantasy novels....Conan...I was a book reader. I didn't look at comics till I was 20.

Jellobay: Have you read "Imajica?" That's a great Barker book

dave finch: I have, good stuff.

dave finch: I'm working with Clive Barker on a video game project right now actually, which is lots of fun. I even got to go to his house.

Jellobay: Is the video game based off a book?

dave finch: No, it's a project that existed before Clive, and he's shaping it now.

Cayman: Would you like to draw a book like "Conan" or "Red Sonja?"

dave finch: One day, yes.

Stephane Garrelie: Would you like to do a fantasy comic? Like Roy Thomas/various did with Conan or Elric back in the '70s/'80s or Kurt Busiek and Gary North do today with Dark Horse's "Conan?"

dave finch: Yeah, definitely. One day I'd love to do something like that. I don't know if I'm ready. Maybe when I'm 40.

Nick Kal: Who inspires you most as an artist?

dave finch: Joe Benitez.

Brian Cronin: Did Bendis ever ask you to change a drawing? And if so, did it happen often, or like one page every couple of issues?

dave finch: It happened with the first page I drew! But since then, like once every six issues, maybe.

StoneGold: What's it like working with a relative novice to comics like Charlie Huston?

dave finch: He's no novice. He's just new. He knows exactly what he's doing!

Brian Cronin: That was a good question. How different is a Huston script from a Bendis script?

dave finch: They're very, very similar actually. They're more open, but it's just that sort of book.

dave finch: It's great, by the way.

twilight: With Bendis also being a bit of an artist, does he guide you in how he thinks things should look or leave it all up to you?

dave finch: He guides quite a bit, and he's really good at knowing how an artist thinks, and writing around that.

Brian Cronin: Did you reread any older Moon Knight comics, or did they just provide you with some reference material?

dave finch: I didn't actually read them, no. But I did look at a lot of pictures!

Nick Kal: So wait…is Elektra Ronin? Hehe.

dave finch: Ronin is actually Mickey Mouse, which is going to be part of a huge cross promotional blitz with Disney. Seriously...soft drink containers, plush toys, theme park rides, the works.

StoneGold: Is Frenchie back in "Moon Knight?"

dave finch: Yes, he's in there.

StoneGold: Yay! Frenchie! I always wonder, does Frenchie ever call Marc Americany?

dave finch: Hehe, no, but maybe he should.

Brian Cronin: Do you have your own studio?

dave finch: I work in my family room, which is kind of set up that way. I got the house because the layout was good for it.

Brian Cronin: Do you miss working in a shared space?

dave finch: Absolutely! It can be lonely here sometimes. I'm like a grandmother on the phone!

twilight: In the mini, will "Moon Knight" be throwing down with costumed bad guys or will it be more of a 'Moon Knight vs. The Mob' story?

dave finch: Kind of both?

Nick Kal: Will you be at any conventions in the NY area anytime soon?

dave finch: I will be, Feb. 26 thru 28.

Kirk G: Did Bendis specify that Pietro was to appear in the crowd of former "Avengers" in #502 or did you just pop him in? How much of this was plotted?

dave finch: I got a list of characters that had to be in there

Stephane Garrelie: Which veteran writer of the '70s/'80s would you like to work with?

dave finch: Walt Simonson, Miller, Howard Chaykin, er.....shoot. There's a bunch, but I'm drawing a blank.

Brian Cronin: Who else broke in at Top Cow with you?

Brian Cronin: In 1994, I mean.

dave finch: Brian: Billy Tan, Joe Benitez, Randy Queen, Anthony Chun, Mike Turner, DTron, Batt, Joe Weems, Anthony Winn....

Brian Cronin: Yeah, I thought 1994 was a big year for new talent. I have this Image promo book from that year and I was astonished at all the names being thrown around as "new" artists..

dave finch: Yeah, it was an exciting, competitive time. I miss it a lot.

Kirk G: And was Pietro specified? Did Bendis specify Wanda's face to be in shadow in the beginning of #500..."Avengers Dissembled?"

dave finch: Didn't even know who it was when I drew it

Kirk G: Really? What does that mean? An unknown character, or you were also in the dark as to the villain?

Brian Cronin: The whole "Wanda's face in the shadows" thing was weird, but I gotta figure that was Bendis' call, right?

dave finch: It wasn't mine! Not that I'm trying to get distance from it...but yeah, it was in the script.

Brian Cronin: I figured as much, David. It would be a bit odd for you to add something like that yourself..

dave finch: Yeah....when I take liberties, it's not ever with something like that.

jmarquiso: So what does Bendis actually think of Hawkeye?

dave finch: I just don't know.

StoneGold: If the "Moon Knight" mini is successful, would you want to do an ongoing?

dave finch: Maybe. I don't know right now. I'll know soon, I'm sure.

canvas: Will you be working with Bendis anytime soon?

dave finch: No. I think that chapter is closed.

canvas: So no Bendis work for the future? Do you think other writers are better suited to your style than him?

dave finch: I know that I'd like to draw things that move at a fast pace.

Brian Cronin: Was it helpful working with David Wohl on "Cyberforce," Seeing as how he had an editorial position, did that help you out a bit in pitching new ideas?

dave finch: He pretty much guided the writing along and there were times when that was a very good thing.

Ronald Bryan: So, do you enjoy drawing an action scene much more than a talking heads scene?

dave finch: Is the sky blue?

jmarquiso: How much direction do you get from a writer at Marvel?

dave finch: Lots, lots, lots. And with the right writer it can be a great thing.

jmarquiso: Is this different from other companies?

dave finch: Image was different, but nowadays things are pretty much standard with giving writers lots more control. Image was a fine example of what can happen when artists are left to their own devices and I don't think anyone wants to return to that!

twilight: Are there Marvel Entertainment parties that we don't know about?

dave finch: Don't know...I mean, sure, the guys go out and drink, but that's nothing official.

twilight: Any rivalries with fellow artists going on?

dave finch: Not so much...maybe if we worked together under the same roof..

Stephane Garrelie: Flash or Quicksilver?

dave finch: Flash! Much cooler costume!

thik_3rd: Which do you prefer as an artist? Lots of direction or doing your own thing?

dave finch: I like direction when it's helpful and I like a writer that lets me ignore it when it's not.

Clement: You gotta admit it's fun to pick up one of those '90s book just to see how bad it got at one point

dave finch: Yeah, some of the Extreme stuff got pretty horrible!

thik_3rd: Why did every superhero have a mullet in the '90s?

dave finch: And trench coats

StoneGold: Don't forget the stubble.

jmarquiso: So, um, what do you prefer. Being more the creator or collaborating?

dave finch: jmarquiso: as long as I can stake out a bit of my own territory creatively, I like to collaborate. It just makes for stronger stuff. I have a lot of creative weaknesses that are well covered by working with people who know what they're doing.

StoneGold: I know we were talking before a bit about the Cage costume, but was the lack of any real thematic clothing yours, or did it come from higher up? Personally, I like the look, but thought it could have used an element, like the old chain belt.

dave finch: I just drew what Michael Gaydos drew in "Alias," pretty much.

Brian Cronin: Was that your call or did someone say "just draw it like it looks in 'Alias'?"

dave finch: Bendis did. He was very specific about Luke. Luke is very, very dear to him/

canvas: Is your style changing for Moon Knight? As in, will it be darker?

dave finch: It will be darker, but I'm just kind of letting it flow. Initially, I really wanted to go for something different, but I don't know that that's a good idea. Trying to force something.

inhuman 4: Do you remember doing a "Spider-Man Unlimited" poster for "Wizard?"

dave finch: Yeah...it was for something different, and they used it for that, too.

canvas: Out of these characters, which would you like to work on the most: Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), Silver Surfer or the Fantastic Four..

dave finch: I'd go do video games.

canvas: Haha so I take it you have no love for this bunch I mentioned?

dave finch: No love!

twilight: What's the weirdest guess you've heard for Ronin's identity?

dave finch: By answering that I would be eliminating some character from possibly being Ronin.

Brian Cronin: Who was cooler to draw, Ultimate Wolverine or Classic Wolverine?

dave finch: Classic, just because the Ultimate costume is pretty lamola.

Stephane Garrelie: Except your and Bendis', what is/are your favorite(s) "Avengers" run(s)?

dave finch: The Carlos Pacheco stuff! It's a gold standard for that book that will never be topped, as far as I'm concerned.

canvas: Do you talk frequently with Bendis?

dave finch: When we worked together we'd talk about once every 2 months. I haven't talked to him in about 3 months, though.

Ronald Bryan: Would that be when he had a problem with a page? "No no, draw it this way!"

dave finch: No, not at all. We'd email back and forth quite a bit. He's a busy guy, and so am I. To be honest, he's got his friends he confides in, and so do I.

StoneGold: Since Bendis already wrote Paul Jenkins into the book, fess up, Ronin is Bill Jemas, ain't he?

dave finch: I don't think Bill J is that likely to appear in a book right now! There's a possibility I'm willing to rule out!

twilight: Do you listen to music whilst you work or do you demand absolute silence?

dave finch: I generally watch the news, or sports, or HGTV, or a movie, or "American Chopper" or something.

jmarquiso: What genre do you prefer outside of superhero comics?

dave finch: I like books.

jmarquiso: You seem to have a good handle on horror atmosphere.

dave finch: Ok, well, I love Bernie Wrightson! And Frazetta.

Mangaman: Was bubbleboy an early design for Ronin?

dave finch: Yes

jmarquiso: Would you ever do a western?

dave finch: Maybe. Like "Blueberry" or "Vatine." I think it could be fun.

dave finch: Well, I've got to go in a minute. I've got to walk the doggy..

Cayman: What kind of dog do you have?

dave finch: A Goldendoodle. It's a cross between a retriever and a poodle.

dave finch: Bye, everyone!

Brian Cronin: Thanks, Dave!

Suicide Squad #50

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