An Interview With Marvel Comics Illustrator Will Sliney
Do you love superheroes? Well, meet a man who’s made them his job; Marvel Comics illustrator Will Sliney. Born in Ballycotton, Co. Cork, he’s gone from the Rebel County to drawing some of the world’s most iconic characters – including the one and only Spiderman!
The full interview appears in the current issue of PLAY Magazine – you can find the whole thing right here! – but for a sneak peek, read on…
A lad from Cork going on to draw Spiderman – it’s like a comic book story in itself, right?
It’s definitely a rare job for the village, you could put it that way! I’ve been with Marvel for seven years now, and I’m just thrilled they’re still putting up with me! Often, when you get into Marvel it may only be for one or two issues; for me, it’s been non-stop. I’ve been very lucky.
So how did you take your first steps in the business?
I googled ‘how to get a job in comics’! The advice was to bring your portfolio to a convention and show it to as many people as you can – so that’s exactly what I did. I took out a loan, put together a portfolio, and flew to the States by myself for San Diego Comic Con – not prepared for just how big it is. I was full sure I’d get a job.
And how did it go?
I remember being in a room with 200 other people, and looking to the person on my right and thinking, “Oh, he’s better than me – I might only be the second best here.” And then I looked to my left and that person was better than me as well. I quickly realised that it was going to be harder than I‘d thought! I had no frame of reference back then, after all.
Is that different now, for young artists looking to follow your lead?
I think what happened is that people realised you can do this work from here in Ireland. I often imagine there were loads of people like me, years ago, who never made it because they didn’t have internet access; they were posting sheets of paper to America, waiting months to get a reply, whereas I can get instant feedback. It’s a more visible job now too, so there are more people giving it a go; there was a small bunch of us when I was starting out, but there’s now Facebook groups with hundreds of members.
To read more from our interview with Will, including how the Marvel Cinematic Universe has changed the game and whether his job is one big spoiler alert, check out the full interview in PLAY Magazine!