Moonstone was a hugely successful comic book series having growing sales and bringing quality stories created by talented writers and artists. We have already interviewed some like Douglas Klauba, Mike Bullock, Ben Raab and others. Now, we introduce Pat Quinn.
Chronicle Chamber: Welcome to Chronicle Chamber, can you tell us a bit about yourself? What country and region are you from?
Pat Quinn: I’m from the U.S., currently living near Atlanta, Georgia.
CC: Let us go back to the beginning, is there anyone in particular who has inspired you and influenced your work?
PQ: Yes, tonnes of artists. I’ve been reading comics since the mid-seventies, so by my early teens I became more aware of the different artists, bronze-age stars like George Perez and John Byrne were big hits with me. John Buscema’s Avengers work, Paul Smith on X-Men, Bill Sienkewicz on Moon Knight, and a lot of others.
CC: What made you want to be an artist?
PQ: I don’t know…I was just always drawing. When I was very young, my mom was an elementary school art teacher, so there were always art supplies in the house. My dad was into sci-fi movies and he was pretty creative too.
CC: What is your process for drawing a sequential story?
PQ: I started with traditional tools of course, but now I’ll work either completely digitally or use a combination of digital and traditional tools.
I’ll read the script a few times to let the ideas seep into my head, then it’s rough thumbnails. For whatever reason, the page layout usually hits me first. Then I try to give myself a few options per panel, moving the camera around, trying different angles/compositions. If they are digital thumbnails, I’ll choose my favorites and blow them up, then add a layer on top for the rough drawing.
The next layer will be a backgrounds, which I tend to ink at the same time. After that, I’ll print the file keep the background inks black and everything else a color that I will ink over with a brush.
Or I’ll just do everything digitally. If it’s a commission I’ll do most if not all traditionally.
When I was on the Phantom, I drew my thumbnails in the margins of the script, then penciled that page at 8.5”x11”. I then scanned the pages, did any necessary editing and printed them in blue at 11”x17” for inking.
CC: Did you enjoy working on the Phantom? Did you know of the Phantom before you started work on those stories? Did you ever read the character growing up?
PQ: I occasionally read the newspaper strip. I think because it looked the most like the super-hero comics that I generally read. I did pick up some Phantom comics when DC and Marvel had the license.
CC: How did you get the role of the Phantom for Moonstone?
PQ: Writer Ben Raab suggested me for the job. Ben and I had worked together before which obviously helped. I did some tryouts for Moonstone and got the gig.
CC: What did you like the best about the Phantom and the stories you drew for Moonstone?
PQ: I really liked the way Ben integrated the classic material with his style of writing and story structure. The most fun was the Sky Band.
CC: That may well be one of my most favourite stories ever by Moonstone. From what we understand, you penciled and inked the stories and also did a few covers for Moonstone. Did you enjoy having control over the whole book?
PQ: I only penciled and inked the covers for issues 1 and 2 and the Generations and Legacy books.
Yes, it was great that the publisher had the confidence in my work to let me do both jobs. But it wasn’t necessarily about control, I do like collaborating with other artists to see how the work changes, it just so happened that I had the opportunity to both with the Phantom, so I took it.
CC: One of the stories you drew for was the Legacy book which featured a totally different style of drawings than what most Phantom phans had seen before. Was that a challenge?
PQ: Yes a real challenge. At first it was fun, but then I started looking at the time and money equation and had to make some adjustments. All the originals are fairly small in order to save time. It was a great learning experience, and again, I was really happy that the publisher had the confidence in me to let me try something different. A lot of credit goes to Moonstone.
CC: From what you remember, how did that story and idea come about? At the time, it was so new and presented in a totally different format from what we phans had seen before. Where you happy with the outcome?
PQ: I have no idea where it came from, it could have been the publisher? That may be a better question for Moonstone or Ben Raab. Sorry!
I think that it turned out pretty well and was a great experiment and learning opportunity for all of us. I hope that everyone else enjoyed it.
CC: You also first introduced us to Ali Gutaale a vicious international terrorist, originally from Tarakimo a country bordering Bangalla. Do you remember coming up with the design of him and what was your inspiration?
PQ: Hmmm... I have to think about that one. I’m pretty sure I bounced a few ideas off Ben before we sent anything in for approvals. I’m sure that I had a lot of photo reference, but I don’t remember of what specifically. Likely used a lot of military desert gear.
CC: Did you use any real life inspirations for your Moonstone Phantom work? For example: movie stars or known people etc
PQ: No, I don’t think I did. I did look at a tonne of Sy Barry work. Ed Rhoades was kind enough to share a lot of material with me to help out. We owe him a big debt.
CC: Sadly we only saw a handful of Phantom stories from you. Can we ask why? Did you enjoy your work on the Phantom?
PQ: After issue two of the Phantom, I was offered two issues of Captain Marvel at Marvel and honestly, the money was better and we were planning our wedding so I couldn’t say no to Marvel, plus it was Marvel.
Then I came back for 7and 8? And those were just pencils. I moved off the monthly book after that. I think that it was money + time issue for me. I did have fun with the character(s) and working with Ben is always a good time.
CC: I and I am sure others, wished we saw more from you. Do you accept commissions and how can they contact you?
PQ: Yes, I do take commissions, thanks for asking! People can reach me via email email@example.com, but be patient, I have a day job and two great kids. Ha!!
CC: Do you have a place where phans can see your work?
Jermayn, thank you so much for inviting me to do this interview. I really appreciate your effort and interest.
I still get taken aback knowing that I played some tiny part in the massive legacy of the Phantom and am very honored and humbled that people enjoy the work. Please pass my thanks and appreciation to any other phans out there.