TheCosplayChronicles had the chance to interview Leinil Francis Yu, renown Comic Artist when he was in town for the Singapore Toys Games and Comics Convention last August. Leinil has worked on numerous titles such as Uncanny X-Men, X-Men, Highroads, Superman: Birthright, Silent Dragon, Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk, New Avengers, Marvel's 2008 Epic: Secret Invasion.
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Q: You've taken over the drawing for quite a few high profile titles. What is the learning curve like when you take over a new title? Do you get your style to adapt or do you change their style?
Yeah for example The Indestructible Hulk, while drawing it I was still tweaking it. When I had it in the first double page spread, a week after I submitted it, I told my editor "can I take it back? I need to fix something else". So the first issue would be a learning curve.
Ideally you should make like 100 sketches before starting an issue, that's an ideal thing. You would have fixed all the technicalities. You would know how he looked like when he screams, the hair at all the angles and how big the muscles are so ... ideally that would be the case. But I don't have the time to do that so I learn as I go, I do it on the issue itself.
So by issue 2 or 3 you'd see the best Hulk that i could have done and it happens to almost all the comics I do and erm yeah, new characters are always hard to draw. When I did Secret invasion, a hundred characters were introduced and to me, I'm not really very familiar with all of them so it was a steep learning curve just to have the costumes look good
Q: I visited your Deviantart (leinilyu) and have seen how you do sketches for fun and it’s sketches that looked awesome. And they were during your free time. How long does it generally take you to finish the deviantart stuffs?
Those are quick... depends. If you're talking about the digital paintings it could be under an hour or 30 minutes. But for the ones with markers they may take a while longer because those are sort of like commissions and take longer.
Q: So the traditional mediums are always commissioned?
Erm, either commissions or a gift for a friend or editor ...
Q: Oh, So they don't fancy digital prints?
Well... no. It almost has no value cause it's printed. I could make more version of the artwork with that copy. It's definitely more personal with traditional medium.
Q: Haha that’s true, thank you for answering the question.
Oh thank you I'm glad you browsed my Deviantart
Q: Oh it was awesome!
Ah , you know I really had fun doing those digital paintings. It's mostly because of jealously , I'm really jealous of all the Deviantart Artists and I really want to …
Q: Haha You?! jealous of them?
Yeaaahh , I really wanted to be able to do those paintings like Section 8 concept Art (I wasn't able to really understand this part) like fans luis (?) do this , he has this school here, he's amazing. He teaches map paint and concept arts those stuffs I can't do so I really want to learn that.
Q: What's your opinion of traditional medium versus digital?
I think everyone should learn both cause there are some stuffs you can't do traditionally... or you can but it's really hard. I think digital is amazing, it's the way to go for the future. But traditional is more fun, you get your nails dirty, you get paint on your hand and stuffs so it feels good. It’s really satisfying! But you know, there's nothing you can do traditionally that you can't do digitally so ... you have to learn both.
I had so much fun interviewing all the guests at The Singapore Toy Games and Comic Convention last year and walked away from the Press Conference feeling immensely inspired by talents such as Leinil himself.
Leinil came across as a really nice, sincere and down-to-earth Artist who is a classic example of someone who excels because he loves doing what he loves! Remember to follow and watch him on Deviantart here!