GWB: Who has inspired you artistically?
SV: That would depend on how far back in time we want to go. Among the old masters I enjoy Michelangelo's power; Caravaggio's dramatic lighting and Jan Vermeer's geometric perfection. Closer to our time I would probably choose J C Leyendecker, Maxfield Parrish, Norman Rockwell and Albert Dorne. ( For more inspirational artists from The Golden Age of Illustrations, please visit The American Art Archives) Among the pioneers of comic book art, Alex Raymond and Hal Foster will always be my heroes.
SV: I have to admit that, after a while, I got used to the taste of the blue costume. It makes me think of the generations of Scandinavian readers that have known and loved it, that way, for close to 60 years. I also like the flavor of the purple costume which, so far, I’ve only drawn once for an upcoming Frew cover. The red costume is my absolute favorite… at Christmas time when I draw it on my greeting cards!
GWB: How do you feel about the current state of the comics industry? What, if anything, would you do to improve it?
SV: I think, overall, the state of the comic industry is good. Even if companies barely brake-even with their sales of printed material, the ancillary market still brings in the big money. Besides, comic book based movies continue to be successful and highly profitable. Therefore, if I were to do anything about it, I’d probably take a “laissez-faire” approach and let the competition among creators and companies bring us better and better products.
Again, thanks to Aaron Bias for his un-bias interview. It was fun!
Aaron's fascinating recollections of his first encounter with The Phantom can be read here.