Dodson has been in comics for over seven years now and has drawn several
different comic series, including Generation X, Mantra, Star
Wars, and, his newest series, Harley Quinn. I recently was given
the chance to ask Terry questions about what his experience on Generation
X was like and where he thinks the comic industry is going as a whole.
How did you first get
interested in comic books?
I first got interested in
comics because of Star Wars. I was a huge fan of Star Wars as a kid and
would anything I could get my hands on that had to do with it, including
Have you always wanted
to be an artist?
No, I never really
knew I wanted to be. I drew for entertainment. I jumped around a
lot from major to major in college not happy with any but always trying.
How did you break into
By doing portfolio samples
and taking them to conventions and showing them around. At first it was
difficult to hear the critiques, but later on that's what I wanted to know.
What I was doing wrong. Fortunately, when I broke in 1993 , they were handing
out jobs to anybody with a pulse. I got my first job on Mantra, for the
new Malibu Ultraverse.
How did you get a job
on Generation X?
I had been working
regularly in the X-Men office since mid 1994 and was finishing up a X-Man
graphic novel in the summer of '97 when Mark Powers offered me the book.
Had you ever read Gen
X before being offered the job?
I read the initial run of
Chris Bachalo, then lost interest while he left to work on the Death mini.
I started looking at again around issue 25 when Chris' style really started
Do you prefer to have
your wife, Rachel, inking your pages?
Yeah, it's the closest I
can get to inking the book myself.
You based your version
of Paladin on Harrison Ford. Did you use real people for the basis of any
of the other Gen X characters or comic characters?
Yeah, they are all over
the place. On Gen X, I started using Mulan for Jubilee and Jasmine from
Aladdin for M. I used a Polo model for Synch. On Harley Quinn, they are
all over. One of my favorite movies is Out of Sight. By issue 3 of the
book, I managed to include six of the stars into the book. See if you can
I've noticed a lot of
artists have little "trademarks" in their art, like a character that consistently
cameos or a certain animal. Do you have anything you consider trademarks
in your comics?
You know there probably
are but I can't think of anything offhand. I usually like to throw
in bands I like or comic characters or subversive things so I guess keep
Favorite Gen X character?
Probable a toss up between
Jublilee. Just because she had such much character.
What do you think of its
I think it's a good idea.
I think the book lost it's direction a long time ago. There have been 6
writers. three artists and six editors in 75 issues. Not what I would call
a strong vision. I know while working on the book how frustrating it was,
because I worked with two different writers and four different editors.
When the Warren Ellis and Brian Wood came along, I thought it was a great
move, but about two years too late. I wanted to stay and see what they
would do but, Harley Quinn came along and it was time for a clean
break. I believe the best move is to put it out of its misery
and move to a new idea with a more unified and long lasting vision. But
I still love the characters (sob,sob).
How did you get offered
your current job on Harley Quinn?
Karl Kesel had gone to New
York to look for some new assignments and he spoke with Matt Idelson. Matt
mentioned the idea of doing a Harley Quinn monthly. On the flight back,
Karl thought of me as the artist. He called me when he got back from
New York and asked if I was interested. So we worked together
on the proposal for a month or so. Then it got accepted and I left Gen
What’s it like taking
a cartoon character and giving her a more realistic look?
The great thing about Harley
Quinn is that her design is so solid and yet so simple that it translates
In general, how much do
the writers keep you in on the story-telling process?
In the case of Harley Quinn,
I've been involved with the book from the get go. So I been pretty involved
in the storytelling process. Plus, I have tons of ideas for the character
that I love try out.
Do you think comic books
as an industry are in trouble?
Yes, it's been in trouble
for a while. There are 270 million-plus people in the U.S. and the best
selling book is comes in at 100,000 copies a month. The specialized
direct market cannot keep the market strong alone. The books need
to be available to more people in order for the market to grow again. I
like Marvel's idea of making the Ultimate comics available on the new stand
and also in magazine format, so as to reach a wider marketplace.
What’re your future plans
Right now, I am under an
exclusive contract with DC, which will keep me on Harley Quinn until issue
18. After who knows, I would like to start writing my own stuff and also
do creator-owned material.