How did you first become involved with
By sheer good luck! I was drawing Alpha Flight at the time
and editor Joey Cavalieri happened to see some of my art and
he asked me do the book. I seemed to be in a groove
artistically with what he had in mind for the 2099 universe.
Do you recall anything 2099 you drew
that was not published? Perhaps something with another 2099
Tom: There were an awful lot of
designs I did for the creation of the Punisher 2099 as well
as the entire 2099 universe. Some were reproduced in an ash
can book about creating the 2099 universe and characters,
but most of what I drew was development artwork that helped
to finally get to the look of the character that ended up in
print. Some pretty wild designs in there, from black mask to
lightning bolts and spikes.
What recollections do you have about
working with writers Pat Mills & Tony Skinner?
The scripts were amazing! Very energetic and detailed. The
things they came up with were so far removed from anything I
had ever drawn it was like reading a really good sci-fi
novel every issue. They were tremendously enthusiastic about
the series and seemed to like what I was drawing, reacting
with excited giggles and delight when they saw some wicked
mangling punishment being doled out in the artwork. It's
really nice when writers give an artist freedom to create
and they gave me a lot of leeway to kinda go nuts.
What recollections do you have about
working with editor Joey Cavalieiri?
One of the best! Joey was the absolute perfect choice to
helm the 2099 universe. Creative, imaginative, willing to
push the boundaries of what existed in comics and he had a
vision for the entire 2009 world. Joey not only gave me such
enormous freedom in creating, but he encouraged going beyond
whatever safety net the Marvel Universe had already
established, while still remaining true to that past
material. That's a tall order for an editor, being a
watchful parent to a brand new baby and encouraging free
form lunacy while maintaining control and providing a steady
Did you work closely with your inker,
Joey gave me freedom to choose whoever I wanted to ink me on
the book. I looked at a lot of inkers, some were really
slick and polished, but that wasn't right for the book. I
knew the future Punisher would be more tech oriented than
Frank Castle and I could handle that in the drawing, but I
needed to differentiate from Spider-Man 2099 or X-Men 2099
and give it a true Punisher feeling, so I knew some grit was
needed. I had never worked with Jimmy before, although I had
certainly seen his work. Jimmy had the right ink line for
the book and the right approach to putting more grit in the
finished art. Jimmy was super laid back and saw what I was
doing and took it even farther than I planned, which was
just great for the book.
What do you recall about designing
Punisher 2099? About designing some of the villains from your
issues: Jigsaw, Fearmaster, Vendetta, Public Enemy?
Tom: Joey started the
ball rolling by supplying visual material for a feel of the
2099 world. Very Syd Mead, which I love. But a gritty,
future world that has been banged around a bit. I was asked
to design buildings, clothing, and vehicles for militia and
citizenry alike. I tried to give the Punisher a feeling of
high end tech capability mixed with an organic mistrust of
that technology. So, although he has electronically designed
and controlled prison cells in his basement, they are carved
out of cement. Old world, new world. I thought that was
keeping true to how the Punisher would think. I also thought
that would be a nice bridge between the past and the future.
I mentioned earlier the various designs I experimented with,
but I wanted to keep emotion on the Punisher's face, so the
mask went. In giving a particular look to any character
design I create, I want them to be individuals, not just
formulaic renderings in art, based on practiced ability to
draw features a certain way. Each character should be unique
in look and feel. For the Punisher/Jake Gallows, I hit on a
snarling Sean Connery feeling. Charming when needed,
absolutely deadly in execution and just kinda nuts in the
extreme. Jigsaw had a few requirements from the writers and
I pushed that as far as I could, visually going crazy.
Fearmaster was a fun guy to create, because I was allowed to
indulge my love of weird 1960s styled funk. The guy is so
sadistic and smarmy you want to smack him, which is the kind
of response we wanted. Great fun to draw. Vendetta was pure
fantasy indulgence. Tight costume, fishnets, high heels and
big guns. It sells, right? Public Enemy was a really unique
character and I have to hand it to Pat and Tony for dreaming
up the guy. My job was to create a sympathetic character who
happened to grow up to be a warped killing machine. No fault
of his he was born a certain way and judged for his
appearance. A real tragedy. Good writing. .
Do you have a favorite issue, cover, or
Tom: The whole series was
tremendous fun to do. Every issue was more extreme than the
one prior to it. I really like the covers on issues 2 and 3
and the interior art to those issues as well. I'm actually
very proud of the design on the Punisher's motorcycle. That
was fun to draw.
Were there any challenges or difficulty
unique to working on Punisher 2099 as opposed to other comics
you worked on?
Tom: I've designed a lot of
other characters for other books, but the 2099 world
required so much more, as we were creating from scratch. I
had to go both future and retro in my head while drawing the
book. Grit and polish at the same time. It was definitely a
balancing act. I think we pulled it off pretty well.
Why did you leave Punisher 2099?
Tom: Iron Man. I had been the regular fill in and
annual guy on Iron Man and had been bugging editor Nel
Yomtov to give me a shot at drawing the book regularly when
it became available. The call came and....... well, where
the heart goes, so must we follow.