How did you get the job as artist on
I guess it was sometime late in 1991, I was invited to a
convention in Canada. It was in Edmonton. So my wife Linda and
I went up there, we were having a good time. I think I was
working on the Avengers at the time. One of the guests was
Stan Lee. I was very excited because I had never met him. I
had been a fan of his ever since I was a little kid. I mean
Fantastic Four #1 came out when I was eleven. He was the
face of Marvel. So I was very excited to meet him.
So that night, after the show closed for that day, Linda and
I went to the lobby. We were going to have dinner when we
find Stan, by himself, in the lobby. So we walked over and
ask "what's going on?" He said his plans had fallen
through for the evening, so he was a little unsure of what
to do or where to go. So we asked him to come with us. We
all went out to the Edmonton mall and had a great time. It
was like being out with your favorite uncle. While we were
at dinner, he explained his plans to do a series of Marvel
Comics set in the future. I don't even know if they called
it 2099 at the time. But he was going to launch it with a
graphic novel. We thought it was very exciting and he told
us all about it. He was going to be working with John Bryne
So months went by. By that time I was in contact with Byrne
because he and I had been working on Avengers West Coast at
one time. I think we were just starting up on Iron Man
together. So anyway, he tells me what was going on with the
Stan Lee project. Apparently there were creative differences. It didn't work out. John walked away
with the graphic novel he had worked on. He later published
it as John Bryne's 2112. So I felt bad that Stan pretty much
wasted his time there. He wasn't treated too well. I was
pretty good friends with Tom De Falco, who was the
Editor-in-Chief at the time, and I said "how's that project
with Stan going? Are they still going to do those Marvel in
the future books?" He said yes they were. And just because I
felt bad about the whole situation, I said if there's
anything I can do to help out, just let me know. Now I
wasn't looking for another series because I was working on
two at the time. Couple of days later, Tom calls me and says
how would you like to do Ravage 2099?
I was always a bit insecure, so I said why don't you check
with Stan first to make sure its ok if I pencil the series.
Because its Stan Lee and he can get anyone he wants. Well he
asked Stan and Stan said, why not?
Then the hard part came with designing the character. I was
working with Joey Cavalieri at the time, he was the editor
at Marvel who was handling the 2099 books. He gave me
background information on the character. I submitted some
costume ideas and sketches. He said, 'oh good, this is good.
I will pass this along to Stan.' He passed it along to Stan,
Stan didn't like it. He came back to me and said 'we' hated
it. Do something else. So I did another series of character
studies. Joey said 'great, love it. Let me talk to Stan.' Gets
back to me...'we' hate it.
So what's this "we." One minute 'we' love it, and now
hate it. So I went through like three or four incarnations of
Ravage. And I was getting very frustrated because this is
for free basically when you are developing the character. So
my wife Linda says why don't you just call Stan? Find out
what he wants first hand. I said "I can't call Stan Lee." I felt
like I was 11 years old again. She said to me, why not? I
said its because its Stan! She said call him, you're driving
yourself crazy with this. So I got the phone number, called
the office, and spoke with his secretary. Told her who I
was. She said just a minute please. I begin to think, oh
yeah, I'm going to get the brush off. And Stan picked up the
phone. He says, 'Hi Paul, how are you doing?' I'm thinking, my
God, he knows who I am! So we started talking. While we
talked, mostly discussing the character - he did most of the
talking - I just listened and was sketching out what he was
describing. So then I faxed it over to him. He had several
minor tweaks to it, but he said this is what I want. I said
great. And that's how I got on the series. And that's how we
got the character going.
What was it like creating a brand new
character with Stan Lee?
Any kind of collaboration with Stan is so much fun, because
he is so enthusiastic. He was almost 70, but you wouldn't
know it. He had the energy of an 18 year old. He's a very
enthusiastic person. He's very easy to work with. I think it
might have been issue two, he turned in too much script. So
Joey asked me if I could take this and split it into two
issues. I looked at it and said, yeah, I can do that.
There's this one issue where his female partner [Tiana] gets
kidnapped and taken to a mutant island. Then Ravage goes
to the mutant island and try to rescue her. I think it might
have been issues 3 or 4 where she gets away and he is
hunted. Now that
whole issue was basically like two paragraphs. I tried to
make it like "The Most Dangerous Game." In it I introduced a
certain character who had this junk pile. Amidst the
junk pile I threw in a decrepit looking Fantastic-Car, from
the 60s which Stan eventually used in the story. Anyway, when Stan
had discovered I had taken his one script and turned it into
two issues he said, 'wow this is great. Can you do this with
everything I turn in?' I said 'I'll do the best I can
When it came to designing the
characters, locations, technology, etc. what were your
Probably a bit Metropolis, a little bit Magnus the Robot
Fighter 4000 AD. There was a whole group of us working
together to come up with that vision of the future. Blade
Runner, there were heavy influences from that movie that we
all used. Like the mag-lev cars. The humungous buildings
that were almost cities themselves. But the dress for the
men and women, in Ravage, it was just a look I wanted to go
for. We've become very casual in the late 20th century, and
I thought maybe in 2099 there might be an elitist fashion in
civilization then. Because fashion does go through cycles.
But Stan always insisted that the girls have short skirts
Was it made using the Marvel method?
Yes. It was not a full script. It was plots. Which is to say
it was not paginated. And there was no dialogue indicated.
So I had to pace it myself. Stan added the dialogue
afterwards in captions.
From your 7 issue run, is there any
issue that you’re particularly proud of? A favorite cover?
I liked the cover on issue two. I thought that looked good.
Do you recall any plans you and Stan
may have had for the character that were cut short?
Paul: Not really. Its a
situation where Stan didn't have a lot of time on his hands.
I think in retrospect, if he knew how much time was required
of this he wouldn't have committed to a monthly book. He was
working on big stuff out in California, trying to get movies
going. Trying to promote the characters in all different
types of media. And he was also doing the Spider-Man daily
and Sunday strip as far as scripting. So I don't know where
he wanted to go with the character.
What recollections do you have about
working with Joey Cavalieri?
Paul: Joey originally worked
for DC Comics. He came to work for Marvel for awhile. I
think he always felt like he was on the outside looking in.
Like the orphan coming in from the storm. I don't think he
got the respect he deserved at Marvel. As such, he always
seemed insecure there. Eventually he went back to DC Comics.
I think he did much better there.
Were there any challenges unique to
working on Ravage 2099 as opposed to the other comics you have
Paul: Not really. I was pretty
comfortable with the world of the future look. Because of
conferences we had had at Marvel, everyone knew what the
other person was doing visually. So there was that template
to work from. But I have always had the ability to read a
script and immediately visualize what I am reading.