|DF INTERVIEW: LEINIL FRANCIS YU
By Toney Tapia
Leinil Francis Yu is a Filipino comics artist, who has worked for the US market through Whilce Portacio's studio. He has done artwork on such Marvel titles as X-Men, Wolverine and Fantastic Four. Hover at Cliffhanger, he produced High Roads and at Over DC he produced Superman: Birthright with Mark Waid and is currently producing Ultimate Wolverine vs. The Hulk at Marvel!
DF: You've been all over the comic book universe. Working with Dark Horse, DC and now exclusive to Marvel Comics. Is it easier for you now that you're with one company and not working with so many different companies at once?
LEINIL FRANCIS YU: It's just nearly the same. I only take work that I think would fit my schedule so it was manageable. I never did 2 comics at once for different companies. I just did covers and cards so it wasn't too heavy.
DF: What brought you to the world of comics?
LEINIL FRANCIS YU: I'm an Image Comics fan and I just got blown away by how flashy the comics were at that time compared to the rest. Whilce Portacio came to the Philippines and formed a studio and I was lucky enough to get in (with a little prodding from Gerry Alanguilan, my former inking partner).
DF: Do you remember the first comic book that you read?
LEINIL FRANCIS YU: Aside from Archie’s and Richie Rich, I read "Superman without powers". I can't remember which issue it was but he was fighting Mammoth. It had BEAUTIFUL art by Dan Jurgens and Art Thibert.
DF: How is it working with the co-creator of Lost, Damon Lindelof? Are you a fan of his show?
LEINIL FRANCIS YU: I'm a HUGE fan of the show and I jumped at the project just because
Damon was involved. Season 2 is just insane. Damon is also an awesome, awesome guy. It's such a pleasure.
DF: If you were stranded on a deserted island, with a portable DVD player that had enough power to watch one last film, what would that film be and why?
LEINIL FRANCIS YU: Hmmm, I have a lot of favorite films but since I'm on an island and lonely, I'd watch Dumb and Dumber. But if you're asking what my personal favorite film is then it'd have to be Terry Gilliam's "Brazil". I just love the visuals and the feel. It just blew me away.
DF: Is working on Wolverine different now since the last time you worked on him? You know, before he was put into the Ultimate Universe.
LEINIL FRANCIS YU: Not really :) I'm drawing him like he's in the regular universe though he's more good looking than before. I'm not sure if I can bring myself to draw him as a kid with a goatee though. Maybe I'm getting too old.
DF: So, what's next after Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk? Can you let us in?
LEINIL FRANCIS YU: I'm doing a Punisher one shot!
DF: What's your best advice that you can give to a starving artist who wants to get in the biz and do you recommend any books that he/she should read on How to become a comic book artist?
LEINIL FRANCIS YU: I think the best books to learn from are comic books. Everything is right there. I think copying is OK as long as you develop your own style later on. I'd suggest sticking with realistic artists first before going into cartoon-y ones to get a good base in anatomy. I also learned a lot from "How to draw comics the Marvel way" and Andrew Loomis' stuff. It's easier than ever to get into the biz cause of the internet.
DF: With the popularity of TV series like Smallville, Lost and many others, would you ever consider making High Roads into an ongoing Television Series? If so, who would you like to see play as Sgt. Nic Highroad and Sloan Applebee?
LEINIL FRANCIS YU: Wow, that would be Great :) I think Scott [Lobdell, writer and co-creator of High Roads] has people in mind for these characters. If it's made into a movie, how about Nic Cage and Nicole Kidman? TV series, Paul Walker and Rachel McAdams.
DF: Last but not least, what was your favorite convention experience?
LEINIL FRANCIS YU: Everytime I go there is always awesome. My favorite is still my first year. I think it was 1999. I met 2 Spaniards named Pascual Ferry and Salvador Larocca who are 2 of the nicest guys you could ever meet. We hung out together and made my experience very pleasant. I hope to go this year so see you guys!
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