At Heroes Con 2010 we caught up with Jonboy Meyers, illustrator for
World of Warcraft, Spiderman, White Wolf Gaming and Necromancer: Pilot
David Pinckney: You do a
lot of illustrations obviously. When did you know that this is what you
wanted to do for a living?
Meyers :It's kinda weird because my dad was in the military and as
far back as I can remember, when I was 4 years old he would go on these
long tours and he would always bring back these markers when he was home
and we would draw pictures and send him pictures [when he was away] and
my brothers and I would draw pictures. I don't know if you remember the
movie the Black Hole? I used to love the robots in their, I'd draw them
and send them to my dad. Out of my brothers I'm the only one that really
kept up with it. A couple years later, I grew up with war comics and my
dad started bring back Captain America comics and stuff like that, then
I was hooked.
David Pinckney: How long
did it take for you to get the style you were looking for?
Jonboy Meyers :You know? I think just being influenced by other artist. Just getting inspired by other artists and wanting to do better. I think no artist wants to keep the same style you always want to evolve and get better. I think we all start out with our base style whether it's based on one artist or another I think over time we just get rid of those crutches and start moving in our own direction.
David Pinckney: What got
your foot in the door?
Jonboy Meyers :I started out as a marketing director. I wasn't doing a lot of illustrations. I would to a little bit of the pin ups for the marketing end and it didn't really work out. Left that, came back here, wasn't sure what I wanted to do. I was married at the time. Started thinking about what I should be doing. I thought “well, I should just go for it.” So I put together some Spider-man samples and emailed to [Joe] Quesada when Joe had his site going which was about 8 or 9 years ago. Joe was kind enough to hit me back later with a response. I was like “oh wow I got a response, that's great.” So he hit me back and said, “Hey we looked at these samples and we really like these we are gonna get in touch with you a couple days later.” A couple days later C.B. Cebulski called me and said “Wanna draw some Spider-man?” And I was like what? I though it was a cruel joke some people were playing on me, I was like don't mess with my emotions. I'm fragile. He said no, no, no, this is for real and that pretty much started it. I started doing Marvel Age Spiderman with Mark Brooks. That was intimidating, Mark Brooks is pretty amazing. He is like super human or something. He has like a mechanical hand or something, I don't know what's going on or what super powers he has. It was kinda scary to kinda compete with him, I couldn't even try. My stuff was not as good as Mark's and is still not. I did that, then did some trading cards stuff for upper deck. I did some fantasy stuff on the side just for fun. I had a really good friend and my inker Mark Erwin too was actually at upper deck and they were looking for guys for World of Warcraft illustrations and I submitted for that too while I was doing Spider-man stuff. And they liked my stuff and the rest they say is history and I have been doing stuff for Blizzard on the trading card games ever since and pretty much have been working on comics ever since.
David Pinckney: How was it
working for Marvel as your first real step?
Jonboy Meyers :For my first major
job working for Marvel is like “Ahhh!”. I still geek out. For me, I thought
you'd get your first job and it would be like the Shamrock or some crappy
character like Mosquito Man or something like that. When I got Spider-man
it was really an honor and blessing to be able to do that. I'm real glad
that they gave me a chance to work on that because looking back on that
it was was terrible, like oh god. I wanted to get myself work. I was real
thankful. It's kinda surreal to have a job where you can ware your PJs
and just work. You know some days you don't where pants. I'm real fortunate
and real thankful to be able to be actually doing this for as long as
I have, 8 years now. I'm living the dream. Not like the Sean [Cheeks]
Galloway dream or like the Khary [Randolph] dream but pretty close.
David Pinckney: So you started with Spider-man which was huge and then you moved on to World of Warcraft which has several million people playing it. What's that like? Is it kind of daunting?
Jonboy Meyers :It's pretty intimidating because you have all these big named fantasy artist like Samwise and Doug Alexander and I can go on and on. And the property itself is World of Warcraft so it's like, I don't know, you look at it from job to job and you make it as hot as you can and that's it. You just want to bring it. You have all these big named artists who want to do work on that same level. If my stuff were to get worse I'm sure they would tell me. I have a really good art director over there named Jeremy Cranford, he'd tell me if I need to bump this up or we need to this or that, or if we need to really push it. He'd tell me if there are little tweaks that need to be made and I'd be more then happy to make them.
David Pinckney: Alright,
final question. What would you tell rising artist about how they can progress
Jonboy Meyers :I would say, “things worth having are things worth doing.” If art is your passion, don't get into it for the fame get into it because you love it. Working in comics is not a sprint, it's a marathon. Some of us cross that finish line getting our first job. Some get it right away some take a little while. It is always important to persevere and challenge yourself. The thing about it is, when you meet more talented people don't get intimidated but be inspired. Always try to be inspired to do better. You always want to do better. Its always about progressing your work and becoming a better artist. Always evolving and push yourself to do better things. At the end of the day it's always about the art. It's about doing something good, something you're proud of. It's not about “look at me I got a million dollars or a million fans” or something like that. It's just being happy with who you are artistically. We all have kind of our own style or our own niche. It's like are finger print artistically. It's like Sean [Galloway], when he first started out I was blown away by his stuff back then. I was like, look we got to get this guy some work let him do a pin up or something. I was like this guy is going to be huge. And a lot of people are like no its to cartoony, they have big feet and skinny ankles I just don't understand. They were like no this isn't going to go anywhere. I felt thankful I was ahead of the curve. But I thought he was going to be huge. You know, sometimes some people don't get it right away. As long as you stay true to yourself and true to your vision, I mean look at Sean, he's just taking his thing and gone with it. He believed in himself and persevered and worked hard. You're gonna make it. You have to have a thick skin. You know what, not everyone is going to like your work and as long as you are happy with yourself and secure in your stuff. Just keep going on.
David Pinckney: Thanks for
Jonboy Meyers :Thank you man!
David Pinckney: Comment on
this interview here or on our forum.