Interview With Sergio Cariello
(December 2014)

Sergio Cariello has drawn comics for many of the top companies and here we talk about some of the DAREDEVIL work he's done, including his very first work at Marvel. Many thanks to Mr. Cariello!

Kuljit Mithra: Many DD fans might not know of your work on the title, but you've got quite a few Daredevil-related credits to your name. Going back almost 20 years ago, you helped on an "interlude" issue in the Tree of Knowledge arc (#328). I recently learned that this was a very important event for you, as this was your first pencilling job with Marvel... and it was former assistant editor Pat Garrahy who had a hand in it... does that sound about right?

Sergio Cariello: That is correct! Pat promised me work based on a Caricature I did of Dave Sharpe (Marvel letterer). We went out to eat to celebrate his birthday and I drew him. Next day I went to claim my pencil job and Pat gave me that issue to draw.

Mithra: How was it drawing this version of Daredevil, with his new armored costume? Must have taken some getting used to since it was a new design. What did you think of it?

Cariello: Yeah. It was different, but not a big deal. I don't remember having any issues with it. I was so excited to draw DD, It didn't matter the uniform was a new one.

Mithra: I'm interested to hear what you think of that work now? Do you just see all the "flaws"? Do you think your artistic style and influences have changed much since then?

Cariello: Our work always evolve naturally, not a conscious thing for me. I look back and I'm proud what the work. I notice flaws in past works. I don't dwell in them. I just like moving forward. To answer this question precisely I'd have to stop, grab the work and analyze it, which I don't do.

Mithra: One of your other DD stories from this time was the Daredevil Annual #10, which featured Black Widow. Did you find it easier or more difficult to work on a shorter story? How was this experience?

Cariello: I value the work of Inking. I respect the inkers who inked me over my career, but that is something that I've always struggled over the years: having someone else ink my work. I was self trained to do the whole thing and I find pleasure in controlling the outcome of how everything looks and be able to blame only me if the final work is not up to the feel I envisioned. In that story, I don't think the inking was a good match for my pencils. Reason why I always ink my own work for the longest time and don't accept "just pencils" gigs. One thing I never forgot about that story was that I went to the docks in Newark, for drawing the scenes for accuracy (something had to be investigated under this huge ship) and I learned how they use a small boat to check the bigger ship. They would dive from that small boat and not from the dock. I related that to the writer (Mindy Newell) and she was happy to comply and make the script change.

Mithra: What do you think of the Daredevil character in general?

Cariello: It's a really cool character. He teaches us to use what we've got instead of sitting on our limitations. A true hero with good moral values. And, although blind, an eye opener type of role model for our society. His costume is very appealing and his agility is comparable to that of Spider-man, with a more mature mind, like Batman. And all lovable character.

Mithra: You've had experience drawing Batman as well, and people like to compare DD and Batman a lot. Do you think that comparison is valid?

Cariello: Yes. Although I think DD is a gentler hero. But they definitely walk in the same road/line so the speak.

Mithra: You've recently helped Lee Weeks on DAREDEVIL: DARK NIGHTS with some inking. How was it working with him? This was the first time you've worked with him, correct?

Cariello: I think so. I love Lee's work. We've come from the same school of preferences and influences. I admire his work since he graduated from the Kubert School. Lee is a master of storytelling and we both like our drawings NOT to depend on color to tell our stories in pictures. Lee and I share the need to spot some heavy blacks and enough shadows to help shape the form. A very pleasurable experience !!! Many times he left the drawing "open" for me to interpret and "fill in" the blacks, such the respect he showed for my work and trust in my judgement. I tackled it with a balance of fear and confidence, like a Daredevil myself.

Mithra: Last question... what's next for you in comics or other illustration work?

Cariello: I've been very fortunate and blessed in this unpredictable comic book business, in which I'm always working on a few gigs simultaneously. Due to the success of a recent work (2010) I did called "the Action Bible", I've been quite busy drawing a lot of stories and Characters from the Bible, with some sporadic Marvel or DC works in between. Nothing lined up from the big 2 at the moment (Marvel/DC) but expect plenty from the Bestseller Book of all History: The Bible.

(c) 2014 Kuljit Mithra & Sergio Cariello
Daredevil:The Man Without Fear

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