Artist Spotlight: Albert Morales
Updated: May 28, 2019
Hey everyone, Todd is here reporting for DroidsCanada.com. This week, we have been lucky enough to score an interview with Albert Morales. We have been looking forward to completing this interview for quite some time and we hope everyone will enjoy it!
So Albert lets get started. But let's start with the obvious question, Who are you and what do you do?
Well, I'm a guy that has a very serious side , and a WHOLE lot of kid side. I still play with toys when I can and watch a lot of cartoons. HAHAHA, when I can I try and get some drawing in. I'm an official UPPER DECK Sketch card artist, and have worked on multiple sets most recently Fleer Ultra SPIDER-MAN, MARVEL PREMIER, and upcoming SPIDER-MAN HOMECOMING in line with the movie. I also run a newspaper called BIG TIME FUNNIES that features great strips from artists in and around the states as well as my own SUPER IMPACTO VS. THE WORLD. Super Impacto has been doing some BIG things lately, most recently participating in a publication for OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY called The Latinographix Collection. I've also been fortunate enough to work alongside the HERO INITIATIVE on their 100 project books.
Why do you do what you do?
I love comics!, As I keep working I'm seeing other mediums that I would LOVE to play in but it all comes back to comics and comic strips. I'd definitely like to see where I can take my characters and my art to really make an IMPACT.
What got you into this industry?
My Mom and Dad, Ghost Rider, and the Judge! My Dad would take me to the comic store every pay day to get comics I couldn't wait. My dad actually has the old western GHOST RIDER comics and even where they changed his name to the Phantom Rider. (ahem- they're mine now- he just doesn't know it yet. hahaha), and the Judge was this harder than nails, real life Judge that owned a comic book store, and made his own comic and toys. Even as a kid I knew you did not want to get the Judge in a court room, hahaha.
Was there a specific comic book or artist that really stood out to you as inspiration growing up?
Spider-man, Ghost Rider, Batman, you know the typical heroes. In answer to your previous question, I can't remember a time the Ghost Rider wasn't riding alongside me. Most of the gigs I've done are because I had doe some kind of Ghost Rider image. My first professional gig I did was because Stephen Hughes (Chaos! Comics illustrator) saw some Spawn Vs. Ghost Rider sample work I did before he died. His wife started a small imprint and I was the first guy she called because of it. It was the first time I went to San Diego Comic Con too. Joe Quesada was an artist that really appealed to me. Mike Grell with his two page spreads in WarLord for DC. Sam De La Rosa (Marvel) is a good example, he was inking Spider-man at the time when i was a kid and my mom and dad took me to a convention. He agreed to see some of my work, and I ran out to the truck to get my "portfolio". He looked it over and was very kind. That kind of reaction drives you when your a little boy. I've since done two shows next to him and really enjoyed how things came full circle.
What role does the artist have in society?
I think they play a big role. While the writers are artists themselves you don't go to a movie to read. You go to see the director's vision of what was laid down on paper. Same with comics, the writer and artist work together but visually its the artist job to put his stamp on that work. Art is everywhere, in our designs, clothing, architecture, entertainment, etc.
After years in the industry what artist do you most identify with now?
If I had to look at it now, I'd say I identify with Picasso. Not so much in our styles or anything like that but the different stages in his work. My style has gone from more comic book style to cartoonish. In some areas this works really well. If I don't see it going the way I hope for it to go I sit back, look around, and say "Okay what works and what doesn't work." Joe quesada is another one that has gone through stages with his artwork but has also done the business side of things that I admire and look at. Running a business/ small imprint (Event Comics/Marvel Knights with Jimmy Palmiotti) to editor in chief, that's saying something. You can't leave McFarlane out because he has a way about him, but the directions he's taken his character and "the brand" he's made for himself is something I look at.
What work do you most enjoying doing?
I'm really enjoying the newspaper right now. Doing the SUPER IMPACTO VS. THE WORLD strip is fun. Without realizing it, I may have been coming this way for some time. See when Barbara Hughes started her imprint and we went to San Diego something backfired - or did it? They asked me to put together some of my sketches for the back of the book we were doing at the time (Creep). What ended up happening is that I had these little girls I called Devil Babies in those sketches and they kind of stole the show for us. I had people asking for Devil Babies more than Creep. The writer wasn't too happy with that. But that and meeting and spending some time with Bil Keane (Family Circus) and other cartoonists like Mike Kunkel (Hero Bear and the Kid) may have kind of nudged me this way. Plus I've always been a Charles Schulz Peanuts fan...the Sunday Funnies.... All good stuff.
What memorable responses have you had to your work?
I've had a lot of people respond to a Darth Maul/ Donald Duck I've done. I'm almost sorry I sold it haha, but it went to a good home. I've had people see the cartoon stuff and then see my more traditional comic style and say,"Wait- you drew this???", that's always a fun one. I finished a show last year introducing BIG TIME FUNNIES, and the first fan of the day came up and said I'm glad to see the paper is coming back (I used to be with another paper called Comics Never Stop, which incidentally...stopped). He said he really liked my Super Impacto strip and gave me one of the best compliments I've ever had, and I'm really careful not to say it a lot because those are some big shoes. He said the strip reminded him of Calvin and Hobbes, it was fun and creative, and he really liked the art and story. Again BIG SHOES, but he left me with a smile for the rest of the show.
What is your favorite artist work that you have done?
I've done some cool work that I should have kept, some paintings I would like to do again. But the work that sticks out to me are the Donald Duck/ Darth Maul piece, some Venom pieces I've done, and the Super Impacto strips- I still own all of them but one. I'm working on this chibi spawn piece that I'm looking at right now...it looks like it might be my new favorite so far.
What research does an artist do for their work?
Well. That one is a little harder to answer cause every artist is different and it depends on what you're doing. From the business side of things with BIG TIME FUNNIES, I look at other newspapers and see what their content is, what strips they are carrying more business type of stuff. I have to remember to have fun, which allows me to turn around and write and draw Super Impacto and with those strips I center it around what I really want to draw or see in the the strip and build around it. If we are talking about more traditional style, I have to look at the script a couple of times ,and think okay what setting are we going for, and then I look to photography for reference of buildings, towns, clothing, etc. It really depends on what you're doing. Going back to the serious side of things I like friendly competition so I always want to see what's on the shelf, or who came before me and say, "Okay, I want to do one better than that guy." or say, "Okay, Look what I can do and then blow it out of the water." I'm actually doing research on a more traditional style comic currently that I want to go after when I'm done with deadlines in March. So more like April when the hunt begins.
Is there a comic book character you always wanted to work on?
I WANT THE RIDER!!!! hahahaha, yeah has to be the GHOST RIDER. But I'd also want to do an arc of Punisher maybe, IDW has some fun properties like TMNT that would be fun to draw. Maybe even Batman, I'm getting to work on Spider-man card sets so that's satisfying me for now, but trust me when April comes around I plan on dropping some jaws with what I want to lay out. Who know maybe it will lead to one of the characters we just talked about. Now that I think about it Venom, I get a lot of requests for my Venom, so maybe a small arc of him would be cool.
What is your dream project?
Do you remember when McFarlane and DC did BATMAN /SPAWN. I've always (again) wanted to do Ghost Rider vs. Spawn, or another book like this and say we both have the same element, Now lets see who has the better book.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
To Pray. Let HIM know what I want and work towards that goal and ask for help, and doors will open. My mom and Dad tell me all the time, and its true. I've also looked at Sean "Cheeks" Galloway, who is a friend, and we've talked because I've always seen him as a positive guy. People respond to that and its something I'd like to work towards. Sam De la Rosa told me to sign my name bigger hahaha- still working on that.
Professionally, what’s your goal?
There's a couple of different things I'd like to do. With Super Impacto I'd like to see it get syndicated, some toys, a cartoon, i want the deal hahaha. But whether its comics or the strips, I'd like to be definitive. I'd like to be that definitive artist that you relate a character to. Like Charles Schulz and Peanuts, or McFarlane (Spider-man/Spawn), Dale Keown (Hulk). Definitive would be the best answer for that. Definitive with a house I own. hahaha
What conventions are you attending this year?
I am currently lined up to do Phoenix Comic Con, but after that its pretty open. I'd love to be invited as a guest to do more shows. Its fun interacting with fans. I was there once, I'm still there.
Where can our audience find you online? I'm going to revamp my website soon. But fans or promoters can always catch me the most on facebook and instagram, or through my email at email@example.com .
Droids: It was an absolute pleasure sitting down with you! Congratulations on your continued success as an amazing artist!We hope to see you at a Convention some time!