Saturday, February 24, 2018
Home  >  Features  >  The Voices of Valiant Part 7: Paolo Rivera



Eisner Award-winning artist Paolo Rivera has made a a major impact on the comics scene since launching his Marvel Comics career in 2002. After working on almost every major character for the House of Ideas, he helped re-launch Daredevil back in 2011 to both critical and fan acclaim. Recently, he tied up a stellar run on The Valiant for Valiant Comics and sat down with Joe Kach to talk about that title and a whole lot more.


Paolo Rivera


MightyVille: You just came off a critically acclaimed run on The Valiant for Valiant Comics. What’s next for you?

Paolo Rivera: I’m having a baby ... my first child, due in July. So, that’s my main focus right now. I’m going to do some covers here and there, but no interiors for the rest of the year. Next year, we’ll see. We’ll see how things go. 




Were you a fan of Valiant back in the ‘90s during their earlier incarnations?

I was aware of them, but I didn't read a single issue back then. I subscribed to Wizard Magazine, so I knew all the characters, but I had never read a single Valiant comic until they hired me. 

Valiant Superhero Death Match: Eternal Warrior vs. Bloodshot. Who wins?

Well ... it depends what you mean by winning. I guess if I had to say who the last man standing would be, it’d probably be Bloodshot, just because he can heal faster. But I think it would be pretty brutal!




A couple of years ago, you re-launched Daredevil with Mark Waid and took it in a fairly different direction than what had come before. What was it like working on that new direction? What were the reactions like? If you had to go back and do it again, would you do it in the same way?

I would definitely do it the same way. I hadn't worked with Mark Waid prior to that, but we hit it off right from the beginning. I liked his vision for the character (no pun intended.) I liked what he was doing and the way he was thinking about the way that Daredevil sees his world. I could just see that he was thinking about it in a way that I hadn’t seen other writers do it. And so he asked me to do the radar sense, and he didn’t know how he wanted it drawn, but he knew he wanted something that could represent a three dimensional world.  But not in a detailed way, so the way I drew it was the only way I could think of. I needed something that could be static on the page but still represent three dimensions. It was basically all I could think of, but I’m glad that it stuck and they are still using it.




Speaking of Daredevil, they have a hot new Daredevil TV show on Netflix. Did you happen to catch it?

I’m two episodes in and I’m loving it so far! I wish they did the radar sense-- I would love to see a similar version in the show. I won’t be upset if they don’t, though. I love what they’re doing so far. It’s really great and I’m looking forward to the rest of the series. I’m trying to pace myself, because having all the episodes there at once, you want to just watch it all, but I want to spread it out a little bit. 




What do you enjoy working on more: solo books or team books?

Well, I like team books when they’re over! But, man, I could not do it all the time. With The Valiant, it kind of verged on a team book, but not quite. There were a couple of double page spreads where everybody’s in it, but then it would calm back down. I couldn't do that for every page. It’s just too many people ... too many costumes, especially if you’re not super familiar with everybody. When I did the double-page spread in issue #3 of The Valiant, I was working with my editor and asking him, “Who’s this again? What do they do? Should they be there? What are their powers?” So, if I were doing something like The Avengers I would have a little bit better idea, or maybe X-Men, because it’s a smaller team. But still, it’s hard. It’s fun to do, but it’s just a time issue for me.

Who are some of your favorite characters to draw from any universe?

I don’t know ... I always have fun doing Marvel characters. I like drawing Silver Surfer, because I don’t get to draw him enough. Everybody else I seem to get a chance to draw every once in a while. With Silver Surfer, I've done a few covers here and there, and Mike Allred’s on it now, but I would love to do some issues of Silver Surfer. That would be awesome. In fact, I should make some calls, because that would be fun. I’m sure they’ll need a fill-in issue at some point...




You do a lot of work with your father, Joe Rivera. How did that come about? What’s it like working with family?

It started on Daredevil back in 2011. He does custom motorcycles and he used to do airbrushed t-shirts back in the ‘90s, and he also did caricatures and stuff back in the ‘80s. So I knew he could draw. He draws for a living, and I am not quite fast enough, so I asked him to come on board and he hit the ground running. I went home to Florida and showed him exactly what I wanted and then I left, and he’s been doing it perfectly ever since. 




I love that your blog is very instructional, and you show a lot of your processes and do time lapses. What are some rituals that get you feeling creative? Is there anything you do whenever you start working on pages or a book?

I find the best thing is just having a deadline. (Laughs) Nothing gets the juices flowing quite like having a deadline bearing down on you. David Mazzucchelli told me once that projects tend to fill the time that you’re given, so if you've got a lot of time to finish it, you’ll use all of it, and if you don’t, you’ll still fill the time you’re given. So, I like having deadlines. Even when people say, “You can do it whenever you want,” I think, "Well then, it’s never going to get done." So I like having that clear. Aside from that, I like doing warm-ups, but I rarely have time. Sometimes commissions are good for that, because you can kind of get it going and once you’re in the groove again you can start on real work and then use them to wind down towards the end of the day. But I usually have a tougher time getting started than winding down. Once I’m in it, I want to keep going. I’m not much of a morning person. I try and answer email in the morning. 

Thank you very much for your time. We appreciate it. 

Thank you!

Bonus: Check out this cool time lapse of video chronicling Paolo's creation of the cover to 2011's Daredevil #1!



Readers! Let us know who your favorite character from The Valiant is! Or ... which of Paolo's Daredevil covers do you love the most?


More Voices of Valiant on MightyVille:

The Voices of Valiant Part 6: Ramon Villalobos

The Voices of Valiant Part 5: Stefano Gaudiano

The Voices of Valiant Part 4: James Asmus


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