Acclaimed comic book artist Paolo Rivera ("Mythos: Captain America" and "Mythos: X-Men") has earned his keep painting covers and interiors for Marvel Comics since 2002, when he delivered was fans and critics agreed was a spectacular Dr. Doom story for "Marvel Double-Shot" #2 (currently out of print). Last month at Comic-Con International in San Diego, the House of Ideas announced they'd signed Rivera to an exclusive deal.
Rivera has now confirmed for CBR News that his first work for Marvel as an exclusive artist will be on display in "Amazing Spider-Man," but his trademark brush strokes will not be. Rivera told CBR News, "As much as I loved painting Spidey, my new approach will be more traditional, meaning pencils, inks, and color. I still draw him in much the same way, but he'll get inked instead of painted."
The artist's work will be featured in "Amazing Spider-Man" #577, which is an oversized special written by Zeb Wells. The issue explores the relationship between Spidey and The Punisher, who made his debut in the title 34 years ago in issue #129.
"I'll be doing the cover, then providing pencils and inks for the interior," Said Rivera. "I don't actually have the whole script yet, but I've got enough to get started. The first five pages have been a lot of fun. What I love best about Spidey is his movement. His overall look and motion should be totally unique among superheroes."
Rivera loves Spider-Man, and while he certainly has his own take on the iconic character, he appreciates the artists who came before him. "It's pretty tough to make him unique. It gets harder every Wednesday. But every artist still wants that chance, myself included," said Rivera. "My approach, along with many others, is to take things I like from various artists and combine it into something new. It's not terribly original, but it works well enough."
Rivera said his relationship with Marvel has been extremely rewarding and that's why signing exclusively with the publisher seemed like the right thing to do. "I've been with Marvel for six years and have been very happy the entire time," said the artist. "They also presented me with the opportunity to try some new things, which was very appealing."
And while he will be trying new things, who, what and where have yet to be answered. "I'm actually not too sure what the future holds for me. Although I'm exclusive, I think my new style will be on a trial basis until we figure out where I belong," explained Rivera. "It's a pretty exciting position to be in considering that I've been committed to one project, 'Mythos,' for so long. As for which characters, I'd love to take a crack at 'Astonishing X-Men' or Silver Surfer. I'd also like to stick with Spidey if they'll have me."
Rivera's first professional work was illustrating Jim Krueger's "Children of the Left Hand," the story of Mary-Shelly, which presented a younger take on Frankenstein's Monster. The artist said he would love to work with Krueger again, but he didn't know if it would happen in the immediate future. "I was actually supposed to meet up with him at Wizard World Philly to talk about some projects, but I had to cancel in order to hit a deadline," revealed Rivera. "We're still planning on doing some of his creator-owned projects at some point."