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An Interview with Spider-Man 2099 Artist Will Sliney

Marvel recently introduced a new Spider-Man 2099 series to go along with their Spider-Verse multidimensional story and artist Will Sliney’s has done nothing but impress; the Cork, Ireland native’s work is carrying its weight alongside award-winning writer Peter David’s stories with first-rate layouts, character design and anatomy work.

In between Sliney moving to a new flat in Ireland we connected to discuss his craft, his dream to draw Spider-Man and working with Peter David.

AiPT: Tell us about yourself; what have you worked on in the past we might be able to pick up out of a bin or book store?

Will Sliney: I have quite a few books drawn over the last few years. Most notably, Fearless Defenders for Marvel, MacGyver for Image, Cú Chulainn for O’Brien Press and Farscape for Boom.

AiPT: I read somewhere you do your own inks. What is your process like (where do you work, digitally or with pen and ink, how do you get inspiration?)

Will Sliney: I work primarily digital these days. In fact I started working on a Cintiq (Creative Pen Display) way back in 2008. So my pencil stage is just a very loose layout which I build upon, adding layers of muscles, clothes, etc.

All that of course then gets turned off before the final inking layer is done. My inspiration comes from looking at some of the great work that’s being put out there today as well as that huge nostalgic factor of working on characters I loved as a child.

AiPT: The human form is captured very well in Spider-Man 2099 — there’s incredible attention to detail, particularly in musclature and body structure. How do you get such beautiful poses and realistic anatomies?

Will Sliney: That’s the best thing about Miguel’s costume. You really get to show off your anatomy but I’ve been waiting to have my chance at drawing Spider-Man poses for a long time so it’s great that it’s all getting to come out now. I do look at a lot of gymnasts and things like that but really it’s just about taking the pose that he needs for any given situation and pushing it as far as it can go.

Though it’s only one image it’s dynamic enough to fit lots of dialogue. From Spider-Man 2099 #4

AiPT: Your layouts are particularly interesting to me. How much say do you have in the structure of the page alongside Peter David?

Will Sliney: The script I get from Peter is pretty standard in that it will tell me how many panels there are and sometimes it might even suggest which should be a larger panel on the page. Mostly, however all the page design is down to me. It’s one of the most important stages. Lately I’ve been incorporating a lot of tricks taught to me by Howard Chaykin and Walt Simonson at a recent Marvel retreat.

Sick layout! From Spider-Man 2099 #2

AiPT: If you could draw any character in the comic book realm who would it be?

Will Sliney: It really always was Spider-Man for me growing up so right now I’m like a kid in a candy store.

AiPT: I recently read about how you created the Creative Space Cork which is a studio that houses full-time professionals who work freelance. Can you talk a little bit about that?

Will Sliney: Sure, basically the Creative Space Cork is an idea that puts high level freelance digital creatives working alongside students in their particular discipline. It’s set up that they share the space and hopefully the students will just learn from being in the same environment as their mentors. We just did a week long pitch to show that the concept works and we’re hoping to get a full time version of it inside in the city centre soon.

AiPT: Couple of fun questions then: What’s your favorite method of procrastination? Temptation? Vice?

Will Sliney: Right now my main method of procrastination is FIFA 15 which equally comes under the temptation bracket. Another major temptation is to take too much time off to spend time with my girlfriend. We’ve just moved house to a new place in Ballycotton.

AiPT: What are you stressed about now?

Will Sliney: The move definitely got a bit stressful but it’s great to feel settled again now.

AiPT: If Hollywood made a movie about your life, whom would you like to see play the lead role as you?

Will Sliney: A skinny Hugh Jackman!

The cover to the latest issue out October 15

AiPT: How long are you on for Spider-Man 2099 and do you have any titles you’re interested in drawing if they were available?

Will Sliney: They will have to drag my cold dead hands off this title. I’m here for as long as Miguel is around.

AiPT: Thanks for taking the time Will!

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