Tell us a little about yourself
I started as a working artist when I was 18. I got a job at a children’s clothing company. I worked there for a few years before deciding that I needed to go to art college and learn how to make real art. Art school ended up being simultaneously awesome and awful. I learned a lot in a really short period of time but I was also disgusted by most of my fellow students who were unmotivated and uninterested in the topics being taught. So when I couldn’t afford to go back after my first semester, I was pretty ok with that. From there I got a job doing graphic design which led to web design which lead to video games. For 12 years I worked on some really good and some really bad games, mostly sports games. This whole time I was playing around with making comics and I was getting better. I pitched a few things to different publishers from time to time but I never got any traction. Until 3 years ago when I showed my portfolio to Oni Press and they hooked me up with Phil Gelatt to make Petrograd.
What comics or art projects are you working on right now?
Right now I am working on B.P.R.D. Hell On Earth: Russia.
What other artists in your field inspire you?
I get inspiration from a lot of different artists. Probably too much inspiration. For me the Big guys are Milton Caniff, Harvey Kurtzman and Frank Robbins. All three of them used a brush to great effect. They all told stories in very different ways using different types of composition and pacing but they were all amazing. The people that I admire that are still working are Paul Pope, Nathan Fox, Moebius – guys like that. I find that I am more attracted to analog art than I am to digital art.
Do you work out of your home or do you have an office/studio space?
I have a studio in my house. I’m actually in the process of moving my studio to a different room where there is better light. I’m pretty excited about that. This is the first time I have worked out of the house for this long and I’m finding it very interesting. There are days when I love working with just me and the dogs in the house but there are also days when I go stir crazy from not having anyone else to talk to. There is a library a few blocks from my house and when I have a hard time keeping my focus, I sometimes go over there to work.
What upcoming projects are you most excited about and why?
Right now I am all about the B.P.R.D. It’s a job that I hope to be doing for a long time. The thing that’s been keeping me really excited about this job is working with guys like Mike Mignola, John Arcudi and Scott Allie. These are guys that have been making comics a LOT longer than I have and they are constantly dropping the science on me. Every issue I’ve worked on with them, I have learned something that I didn’t expect to learn and something that I will probably use for years to come. It’s awesome.
Where do you see comics heading in the next 5 years?
I don’t know. The digital thing seems pretty obvious but there are still distribution problems keeping the books out of the hands of the non-comic book reader. One thing that I am pretty confident about is that comics are going to keep getting better. I think we are living in a great time for comics in America. I think the over saturation of super-heros is going to correct it’s self eventually and then we’ll start seeing more people reading comics that are more mature and complex and have a wider appeal than most of what gets made today.
For more of Tyler’s awesome art go to http://www.mrcrook.com/