I wouldn't mind it if Juan Bobillo's art was in every high profile mainstream comic book, as well as their countless spin offs and one shots and graphic novels and... and... well, you get the idea. I like his work. Bobillo's work displays a remarkable level of craft while never becoming a slave to it. His style is carefully rendered, but it's never so precious that it loses its power and effectiveness. His work on the She-Hulk really exemplified what a Marvel Comic could be: original looking, energetic and fun. While I believe that his rendition of the Marvel Universe was a breath of fresh air, Bobillo's style is fairly unorthodox in contrast to the general mainstream aesthetic. His works have been largely underrated which may due in part to his absence from the stateside comics scene. However, he has been hard at work creating a new body of work, free from any editorial edict. In effect, we may be witnessing an artist develop a voice beyond mainstream expectations, even if those expectations were mostly self-created. Bobillo, currently living in Argentina, was kind enough to take part in this interview and talk a bit about cartooning.
Interview with Juan Bobillo
Kitty from Agent X.
Sample art featuring the Fantastic Four and the Gray Gargoyle.
"Bird: The Tattoo" written by Carlos Trillo, 2001.
Back cover from "Bird: The Mask", 2003.
Bobillo's first Marvel job as an artist was Captain America #49, written by Dan Jurgens, Jan. '02. Marcelo Sosa inked Bobillo's pencil art and remained his only collaborator throughout all of their projects at Marvel.
Mekanix #1, written by Chris Claremont, Dec. '02.
Agent X #10, written by Evan Dorkin, June, '03. I think Dorkin's hilarious script opened up Bobillo's potential as a storyteller. They did #s 10 and 11. I suggest you hunt those two issues down. I could be wrong, but I don't think they've been reprinted anywhere and they probably won't be.
Bobillo's longest stint on a title was his work in She-Hulk, all written by Dan Slott ('04-'06), and is quite possibly his highest profile gig. I must briefly note a few things about his run. Bobillo displayed a certain grace in his storytelling and had the drawing chops to pull it off.
From the quieter moments that were punctuated with subtlety to the more chaotic peaks and everything in between, Bobillo's skill made this Marvel's most original comic series. His unique interpretation of characters that more or less looked the same throughout long stretches of time was the deal breaker.
The cast in She-Hulk was perfect for his approach... a wide array of villains, civilians, and cameos galore were unified by Bobillo and Sosa's confident and energetic style. And yes, that is the best Beta Ray Bill since Walt Simonson drew him.
Howard the Duck #1 (zombie cover) and splash page, written by Ty Templeton Dec. '07.
Splash page for Howard the Duck #3, Feb. '08.
"Coca, Ramon & Fernet" is Bobillo's latest project, a humorous strip which employs a sketchier pencil line and is his first outing as a writer.
Thanks to Juan Bobillo for his time and patience throughout this interview.