The Marvel Origin Story of Artist Paco Medina


What are your earliest memories of reading comics?

PACO MEDINA: I remember in my early childhood, I used to excitedly wait for my father to come home from work in the evening. It was exciting because dad was my hero in those early years and he always came home with newspapers and comic magazines. It was my first contact with comics. I’ll tell you how I also met Jack “The King” Kirby during those years. Very early Sunday morning on television in Mexico, they were showing reruns of Marvel super heroes [animated series] from 1966. It was amazing for me to see each episode and get to know one by one the Marvel characters that Kirby illustrated. I swear it was a unique experience for me and my brother. My favorite episodes were the ones featuring Iron Man and I also remember having an Iron Man toy which was my favorite of them all. Later in my teens, I became a budding Spider-Man and X-Men collector.

Who were your favorite Marvel characters and creators growing up?

PACO MEDINA: My favorite reads in my youth were John Byrne on UNCANNY X-MEN and the Spider-Man books by John Romita Jr., Sal Buscema, Todd McFarlane and Erik Larsen. Then Joe Quesada and Jim Lee came along and blew my mind.

When and how did you decide to pursue a career in comic art?

PACO MEDINA: I’ve always had an interest in painting and it was through this interest that I met friends who were super comic book fans. I think thanks to these good friends that I still have, my path turned to the art of comics. The most important and decisive person to embrace the industry was my friend and brother Juan Vlasco. He passed on his enormous love for comics to me and definitely became a mentor. Thank you for this dear Juan!

What was your early work in comics like?

PACO MEDINA: My first works were in publications that I did independently with these old friends from high school, so little by little I started to get involved in other publications with larger prints like comics. ‘a wrestler and other little ones [contributions] for Mexican publishers.

How did you first come on Marvel’s radar?

PACO MEDINA: If I tell you maybe you won’t believe me. I think I was very naive and at the same time too daring in those years, and I’m talking about the early 2000s.

I had worked at DC for a few years. I had had a bad series of works, and also in my personal life, I think I was at a bit of a complicated crossroads. So just like that, I took a Marvel comic and wrote the address on an envelope with copies of my work and a letter to Joe Quesada. Months later, I received an invitation from Joe himself to join the Marvel Family. You can imagine that not only was I surprised that he knew me, but I loved the way Joe [treated me] and his kindness.

What was it like working on NEW X-MEN with screenwriters Craig Kyle and Chris Yost?

PACO MEDINA: Oh yeah! It was a time, you know, full of emotions. On the one hand, things were not going very well with me, I was going through a complicated situation, but once again Juan Vlasco was the one who supported me a lot. The scripts were fantastic and I remember Juan and I spent a lot of time together talking while we were working, talking about what we should be doing. It was a good process because Craig and Chris’ scripts were perfect for telling [visually]. Thanks for that, guys!

What do you think was the first high profile launch you worked on for Marvel?

PACO MEDINA: I think it was X-MEN #1 of the “Curse of the Mutants” arc with Victor Gischler. I think it was the first time that I felt a greater responsibility and it was the first time that I felt that I had to surpass myself by doing more and better. I remember sleeping on the carpet near my desk to continue working after a few hours of sleep.


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