With linework that conveys an amazingly dramatic presence and intensely acute emotion, today’s subject had me hooked from the word “go.” Still, the man gets nowhere near the attention he deserves, so you may still be wondering…
PoP!: Should we know you, Charles Paul Wilson III?
PoP!: I’ll take your word on the poker front, but I don’t know too many mediocre artists that get nominated for the Russ Manning Most Promising Newcomer Award. So, what gets a mediocre poker player like yourself into comics?
CPW: In 1987 I walked into the annex at Beale A.F.B., CA with 2 bucks allowance and after seeing a small set of shelves dedicated to a handful of comics, I bought Superman #23. From then on I was hooked and picked up one, sometimes two comics every two weeks. I read Captain America, Batman, Spider-Man and Manhunter. Manhunter wound up being a favorite because, if I remember right, it was really the only title the annex carried consistently from month to month.
After a while I started copying pages out of comics. Aparo’s Batman and McFarlane’s Amazing Spider-Man were two of my favorite books to draw out of. It wasn’t until after I started taking classes at The Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art I became fully invested in drawing comics or – really – illustrating anything in general. One of my classmates, Tony DeVito, was working on some comics with his brother, Mike, for Arcana, and asked if I’d be interested in drawing a logo for their Dead Men Tell No Tales pirate comic.
PoP!: A humble start. But… Mike DeVito? I think I see where this is going.
CPW: Yeah, after Tony and I graduated, Mike and I kept in touch and he contacted me a few years later just as I was entering a comic contest called Comic Book Idol. He told me when I was finished he had a project he thought I might be interested in. So I did the contest and eventually got back in touch with Mike who had a pitch for Stuff of Legend. I was very excited and did up the character sketches right away for what was to be my tryout. Since then I’ve been working on the book!
PoP!: Ah, good old fashioned networking! I shudder to think what Stuff of Legend might’ve looked like if Tony DeVito had been in class with certain other artists currently working in the biz…
So, aside from your work for Th3rd World Studios, where can we find your art?
CPW: I haven’t done a whole lot of work for other publishers since I started this project. I was fortunate enough to get a ten-page short with Mike Raicht in the Superman 80-Page Giant that came out earlier this year, and also really lucky to get a handful of covers for IDW’s G.I. Joe and Transformers.
PoP!: I’d argue that we’re the lucky ones. It’s funny… with such drastically different subject matter, I picked up those issues of GI Joe and it wasn’t until I saw the credits inside that I realized it was you on the cover. Stuff of Legend is just such a unique story; I’d doubt we’ll ever see you drawing anything quite like it for a different publisher. But hey, I’ve gushed about it enough in the past, and I’m sure I’ll have ample opportunity to do so in the future. What about you? What does Charles read?
CPW: I’m currently reading Walking Dead and catching up on Fables, and I’m a huge fan of Stephen King’s books. Beyond that, my favorite television show is Wings followed closely by X Files, and I always try to have those shows on in the background as often as possible.
PoP!: Wait, Wings the History Channel show about aircraft? Or Wings the old NBC sitcom about Sandpiper Air?
CPW: Hahaha… SANDPIPER AIR!
PoP!: I’m Jason Kerouac, and I support this message. I miss Joe and Helen. And whoever would’ve thought the two “biggest stars” would be the mechanic and the cabby?
Wait, what were we talking about? Oh, right, the interview! Before we wrap up, what else do people need to know about Charles Paul Wilson III?
CPW: My favorite comic artist is Kevin Nowlan, and my favorite artist of all time is Norman Rockwell. I have a wife named Stephanie and we have a dog named Jack. Ummm… Prior to attending the Joe Kubert School I attended The John Herron School of Fine Art in Indiana, where I also worked for Karns, Inc. as a concrete finisher for a number of years pouring sidewalks, driveways, curbs and other stuff.
PoP!: So there you have it! Even if you haven’t seen any of Charles’ print work, if you’ve been to Indiana, you may have walked on one of his early industrial pieces!
Final question, and it’s fairly standard… where can our readers find you online?
CPW: There are a few spots…
- www.cpwilsoniii.deviantart.com – Where I post my work
- www.comicarthouse.com – Here I have original art for sale. It’s also where I take commissions – contact Bob Shaw
- www.tentonstudios.com – Finally, I like to post over at tentonstudios.com where a lot of my artist friends post and we do a weekly sketch challenge that’s been going on for a number of years now.
PoP!: FANTASTIC! Thanks for the time, Charles, and hopefully we’ll see you soon at on the convention circuit! And we’ll be featuring Charles’ creative partners from Stuff of Legend – Mike Raicht and Brian Smith – in upcoming installments of Should We Know You? – so stay tuned!
Until then, check out the latest issue of Stuff of Legend: The Jungle, which hits stores soon, and as always, if you or someone you know is someone you think we should know, drop me a line @ email@example.com