Indie artist interviews with New York comic book con artist Alley

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Marcus Williams talks about his influences on his comic book style artwork.
gif: Kyle Barr/io9

Who are you?

My name is Marcus Williams, also known as Marcus the Visual; You can find me online at Marcus the Visual. Oh man, I’ve always loved art. I’m a character designer, but character design probably got me excited to draw all those years as a kid. I thought I wanted to do animation, but that’s not really the reason for my excitement. I love creating characters. Looney Tunes, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Sonic the Hedgehog, Street Fighter were all very character driven. I still do that now.

How would you describe your art style?

Actually, I am a union of many people. Bruce Lee had three different masters, right? But eventually he actually developed his own version of it all. And so, as a kid, I tried to draw like everyone I just named. Now collectively, because I’ve studied all these different styles, I can pull and sort of combine everything I knew about them. And that’s how I come up with something like this [Williams pulls out a print from his “Old Ninjas” series]. Some people can kind of stare at that and say it reminds me of something. But ultimately it’s a combination.

What goes through your head when you draw?

What do I want to convey, what energy should it have? It’s almost the same as what a photographer tries to frame something interesting. But I’m just concentrating on the character. So any character art that I create, I want it to tell a story, what’s going to make someone go for it? So I think the construction of all this boils down to anatomy and dynamic energy and things like that. I don’t always think that’s the case for everyone. You can have a character that is completely still, doing nothing, and still very engaged.

What is your big current project and where can you be found?

I work with a partner of mine, Greg Burnham Tuskegee heirs. It’s a futuristic sci-fi action-adventure set in 80 years. It features five young pilots who were trained by the Tuskegee heirs, but at a time when manned flight is somehow illegal. But the leader of the heirs feels they must be the last line of defense against this ominous threat. It turns out he’s right. So it’s very cool, very anime-inspired, and looks up to the history of the Tuskegee Airmen. We like what we do, for all ages. We have been working on this since 2016.

You can find me on my website, Marcus the Visualand my Instagram.

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