Every year Baltimore Comic-Con gathers many of the most talented members of the comics industry for the fan event. During the con, Scoop stopped by to visit with Mark Wheatley. The artist talked about what he liked about the show, signings, and projects that he’s currently working on.
Scoop: How’s it going this weekend?
Mark Wheatley (MW): Oh, it’s been a great weekend. This is the gathering of tribes of Insight Studios, which we all get back together and it’s always a lot of fun to see the folks.
Scoop: What do you like about Baltimore Comic-Con?
MW: The people, really. It’s a chance to meet everybody and spend some time really having a good conversation. I don’t know how the show manages to do it, because the crowds are always huge, but somehow everybody’s polite, they wait their turn, and you’re able to really connect with people and have a nice talk.
Scoop: What are people asking you about this weekend?
MW: “Am I having a good time?” [laughs]
Scoop: Any particular projects they want to pick your brain about?
MW: Well, Doctor Who gets a lot of attention because I do covers for those comics. Since I sell prints here that directs people to the booth and so we end up talking Doctor Who a lot. So, the real question is, “How’s that new Doctor Who gonna work out?” [laughs]
Scoop: How was the Tellos signing?
MW: It was really impressive. We had, I don’t know, it seemed like 60 people in a row all signing books like… Henry Ford would’ve been proud. It was a real production line. I guess we signed 50 books in like 25 minutes.
Scoop: Wow. That’s crazy. Are you doing more work on Bedtime Stories for Impressionable Children?
MW: I believe I am. J.C. [Vaughn] and I have plans constantly and when they actually happen, we’re probably not fully aware. [laughs]
Scoop: Alright, what else are you working on?
MW: Currently, we’re getting ready to launch a new Kickstarter for my Doctor Cthulittle book that I’m doing with G.D. Falksen. He’s the bestselling author of steampunk and fantasy works through Scholastic. That’s going to start around the sixth of October. It’s a hardback book featuring the adventures of Doctor Cthulittle and Zenobia Bishop and Farnsworth, their faithful manservant, who is a ghoul. They travel the universe in hopes of saving us from the elder gods.
Scoop: Sounds like fun. Anything else on the horizon, that you can tell me about?
MW: I’ve been associated with the Edgar Rice Burroughs properties for many years ‒ I worked on Tarzan back in the 1990s, I did Jungle Tales of Tarzan 2 years ago at Dark Horse. They’ve all been really well received. I grew up in a treehouse so I feel really connected to the property. Anyways, they approached me just a few months ago to illustrate a new book, a sequel to the Moon Man series that Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote. So, I’ll be providing 12 illustrations for the new Moon Man sequel, which is called Swords Against the Moon Men. It’s written by Christopher Paul Carey, who I have already illustrated a book by for another publisher.
Scoop: So, you have lots of good science fiction stuff going on.
MW: Yeah, it gives me real opportunities to do cool illustrations.
Scoop: Do you feel like that gives you more creative freedom than other genres like superheroes or even horror?
MW: It’s really about the character and the story. The subject matter doesn’t matter. I actually prefer moving from one thing to the next. It’s a lot of different stimulation. You go from a Western to a science fiction story, you get to deal with horses and then you go to spaceships. It’s all just trapping, really about telling stories about people.