An Interview with artist Malcolm Davis


How did you first become involved with 2099?

Mal: I either ran into Joey Cavalieri in his office or I was talking to Dwayne Turner out in California. There was this convention out there. I was hanging out with Mark Texari We're high school buddies. Myself, Mark, Jimmy Palmiotti, Denys Cowan...all of us went to Art Design High School. Somehow I got connected with Joey. I know I gave Dwayne a call. Dwayne had done some kind of premiere issue of Hulk 2099. It was like a first refusal thing. I wanted to make sure he wasn't interested in it or that it was ok with him that I would do it. And he said 'sure.' It was cool with him. So then I got back to Joey. He also wanted me to do this thing called "The Public Enemy." I did one issue of that. I think the writers or creators really wanted me to do that because Joey got back to me right away saying "they love it, and they want you on it." That was cool, but it was like an annual. Once a year. I needed work on a regular basis. [laughs]. We artists are human you know. [laughs] I agreed to that one issue. But that was it, that's how I got into Hulk 2099.

What recollections do you have about designing the villains of the series?

Mal: I know I wanted to do the "braniac" character [Draco] different. I didn't get a whole lot of feedback on that. Things were pretty much rushed as I got on the Hulk 2099 book. I think the character shows up full fledged in issue #2. I was told to design the character like the old one. Little guy, big head, I can do that [laughs]. But I wanted to do something a bit different. Something like a regular looking guy but more electronic, more circuitry, more futuristic without the big dome. I was kind of designing it like a helmet he could take off. That was one thing that never came to fruition. The full design of that character. It wasn't supposed to remain like that. It wasn't supposed to be his skull, more like a helmet that he would put on and he would redesign by issue 3 seeing that it was ridiculous and cumbersome. He would make it into something more like a headband or something. Almost like a cross between Dune and [the space jokey from ]Alien. Where he has tubes going to his skull from his body. It just never developed to that point. It was just rush, rush, rush. I think his [Joey's] boss wanted to get it out there. I believe in the middle of issue one they stopped me and said 'hey we need two preview issues.' Two eight-pagers. That was a distraction. So we never really got on board with the development of this character.

Did you work closely with your inker, Chris Ivy?

Mal: Sometimes. We would hang out sometimes at each others house. He was really good. What I like most about Chris is that he can draw. He didn't have to be an inker. He could be an illustrator. A good inker like Chris can actually add to what you're doing. There was time I think he corrected an arm that I drew. I said "what the heck are you doing?" And he was like "actually Malcolm the shoulder goes in like this." So I was like "ok yeah, that's right." Its times like that you appreciate an inker who can actually draw, understands anatomy, lighting, and backgrounds. That's when you have an inker that you can trust with your work. You can just let him go. You don't have to worry about what he's going to do.

Favorite cover or issue?

Mal: I think my favorite issues were the first and second. Cover-wise the one where he was in this jungle paint. He had these other wild looking characters in the background. That was fun. I have a couple pages here and there that were my favorites in the last issue. Where there were more robot-type characters, and going up against Doom. It was interesting.

Why did you leave Hulk 2099 before the end of the series?

Mal:  I knew that it was coming to a close. I wanted to take a break from it. It just came at a time when I wanted to take a break from it and do something different. I said to Joey, I wanted to take a break for at least an issue. He said it was cool. It was more like after the fact, 'by the way they're cancelling the book. Is there anything you think we can do to keep it going?'

It wasn't really a good time for any publisher. The industry was so flooded by all kinds of stuff. Image was coming up with their own characters. It was definitely a big infringement on DC and Marvel's money. So them flooding the market too only made things worse for themselves more than just the little independent guys.



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