The TokuNet Artist Feature highlights comics artist & Toei’s Spider-man enthusiast, Jordan Gibson, whose work can currently be found on titles such as Marvel’s Howard the Duck created by writer Chip Zdarsky and artist Joe Quinones. A fan of classic tokusatsu, Gibson is also creating his own tokusatsu inspired work, Mighty Hero Mantis.
Fans can see his work online on his website, Twitter, and Instagram. For those wanting to decorate their homes and offices with Jordan’s great line work and colors, his prints are available for purchase at conventions and online.
Can you tell us about your personal background and what drove you to become an artist?
I grew up in Sioux City, Iowa, and I pretty much got into this because of Batman: The Animated Series and Spider-Man: The Animated Series. After that, I just wanted to draw Batman and Spider-Man all the time.
I would try to get adults around me to draw them for me, but their drawings were never quite “right” so I would just do it myself. After that, I got a lot of encouragement from friends and family early on that I think I just stuck with drawing and eventually decided to pursue it as a career. I can’t really remember ever not drawing, but I know that I definitely ramped up a lot because of those shows.
Supaidaman is also very near and dear to our hearts here at the Tokusatsu Network. How’d you get into the series and tokusatsu in general? Do you have a favorite series other than Spider-man?
I’d always heard about it and thought it looked funny, but also really cool. I used to have an episode of CBS’ live action Spider-Man series on VHS that my grandma mailed to me when I was really little and I liked it, but I always thought he didn’t move quite right. So when I finally saw some action scenes from Supaidaman later on, I thought it looked awesome. I loved all their cool stunts and how inventive they were with Spider-Man’s powers on a budget.
I got into Supaidaman sometime during college when it was recently released on Marvel.com with full subtitles so I jumped on that and fell in love instantly. I love how fun the show is and I love how it completely diverted from the original Spider-Man. I love Takuya and Hitomi and Professor Monster and Amazoness, they’re all so cool! I think that, along with the recent rerelease of Batmanga, kept pulling me more and more into that ‘60s/’70s Showa tokustatsu aesthetic.
My other faves are Kamen Rider Stronger and Fourze and [Kamen Rider] Meteor, those guys are the best. I’m starting to branch out more in the Showa era too, I tend to gravitate towards the older stuff.
How did you get started working with comics?
All throughout high school I was posting my art on thedrawingboard.org, which was a message board created by Shane Glines for artists to share and critique their work. A bunch of creators working today used to be on that message board and they were all super friendly and helpful. From then on, I started meeting different creators at conventions and even ended up working with a couple of them, helping them flat and color their comics.
When working as a colorist in comics, how do you come up and work with the various palettes and designs from the different titles you work on?
I try to look at how the artist has colored their own art in the past to get a feel for their aesthetics and color narrative. I also research how other colorists have colored them as well. Once I have an approach, I just have a couple palettes in Photoshop that I rotate between; I should probably get a little more organized on that front, haha.
Can you walk through your process when creating an original piece?
Typically, I’ll open up a big file in Photoshop and doodle out some sketches and ideas. Then I’ll refine them and ink over those sketches and start coloring from there. I tend to work 100% digitally nowadays for expediency but I’d like to get back to working traditionally more often.
What’s the most rewarding experience for you working as a professional artist? What’s the most challenging?
I’m still not over seeing my name attached to things published by big publishers like Image, Marvel, and DC, that blows my mind every time!
The most challenging for me is just time management and knowing when a piece is finished. It’s too easy to noodle around with it forever, especially when you’re working digitally.
There’s a very cool Kamen Rider girl when we backtracked through your Instagram, does she have an origin story? Would you ever want to create your own tokusatsu inspired comic?
Thanks! I just made her up for fun one day as a character design exercise. I actually am currently developing my own tokusatsu-inspired comic called, Mighty Hero Mantis. I don’t have any specifics to talk about yet, but if you like Supaidaman, you’ll probably enjoy this comic.
Do you have a favorite comic cameo so far? [I’m partial to Zodiac Starforce, so it was really great to see you partying up in there 🙂 ]
I love that one – Zodiac Starforce is great, and it was an honor to be drawn by Paulina Ganucheau. I also really liked the issue of Chris Samnee’s Daredevil, where we we’re being saved by Daredevil himself. There’s also one brief appearance in Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, where Betty is eating a cheeseburger and I’m just glaring at her hungrily; that’s probably the most accurate portrayal of us.
Do you have any upcoming projects you’d like to share?
I just recently released a Star Trek mini comic written by my buddy Kevin Church, which you can find here.
I’ve also been helping my buddy Joe Quinones color some issues of Marvel’s Howard the Duck, check out the last handful of issues starting at 5 for some of my color work. Issue 8 should be coming out soon and I’ll have a hand in that one as well.
As for Mighty Hero Mantis, I don’t have much to say about it yet, but I can say that I’m aiming for a late summer/early fall digital release for issue 1.