I first took notice of Shawn Martinbrough‘s work during his and Greg Rucka’s run on DC’s Detective Comics back in the early 2000s. While his storytelling skills were great then, they’ve only improved over the years and can currently be appreciated in Marvel’s Luke Cage Noir miniseries, set in 1930s Harlem (Issue 2 was released on September 2; Issue 3 will be out on October 7). Actually, I’ve wanted to interview Martinbrough since 2007 when he wrote How to Draw Noir Comics: The Art and Technique of Visual Storytelling, so we discussed that book before moving on to his current Marvel work, as well as his upcoming Studio Museum exhibit on Luke Cage.
Shawn Martinbrough: My friend and colleague Joseph Illidge mentioned that I should pitch an art instruction book based on my art style. I approached Jackie Ching, an editor at Watson Guptill who was also a friend and colleague about the concept. She was very interested and suggested I create a proposal. I turned around a proposal for “How to Draw Noir Comics: The Art and Technique of Visual Storytelling” within two weeks and shortly after it was approved by the higher ups.