Peter Pa­choumis

Il­lus­tra­tor

Air & Space Smithsonian - - Air & Space Interview -

Air & Space: How did you get started as an artist?

Pa­choumis: I started out like most peo­ple do: As a kid, my mom saw that I was in­ter­ested in art; she en­cour­aged me, and it grew from there.

Do you re­mem­ber the first comic book you ever read?

It was an old Jack Kirby Tales of Sus­pense with Cap­tain America, set dur­ing World War II. It doesn’t get any bet­ter than that.

Which il­lus­tra­tors have most in­flu­enced your work?

Jack Kirby [best known for Cap­tain America, Fan­tas­tic Four, Hulk, X-men], John Buscema [The Avengers and The Sil­ver Surfer], Neal Adams [Su­per­man, Bat­man, and Green Ar­row], and John Romita [Spi­der-man]. Through their work, each artist has given me pri­vate art lessons. Granted, I don’t think any of them knew that a kid from New York City was dis­sect­ing ev­ery line and nu­ance of their work.

What’s the best part of draw­ing some of these iconic char­ac­ters for DC Comics?

You want to be able to add a lit­tle bit to the icon. Here’s an ex­am­ple: When I had a chance to work on the Bat­man comic book, I drew the Rid­dler. And when I did the Rid­dler, I wanted him to have a lit­tle of the vibe of the 1966 “Bat­man” TV show, but also have a touch of evil in him, which the 1966 “Bat­man” didn’t have. Just a hint that there is some­thing re­ally not right about this guy.

You’ve drawn air­craft for some of these char­ac­ters. How closely do you have to stick to re­al­ity?

It all de­pends on the project. Some­times I can use the air­craft as a frame­work and design some­thing around it. Other times I stick very close to the ac­tual air­craft.

Can you tell us a lit­tle about the car­toon you’ve drawn for us?

The char­ac­ter’s name is Vic­tory, and he helps fight the Axis threats dur­ing World War II. I cre­ated him ini­tially to il­lus­trate my mar­ket­ing ma­te­ri­als, but he’s taken on a life of his own, and I’m now plan­ning a se­ries of il­lus­tra­tions based on his ad­ven­tures dur­ing World War II.

PETER PA­CHOUMIS’ work has ap­peared in DC Comics, Im­age Comics, and Pop­u­lar

Sci­ence mag­a­zine, among other pub­li­ca­tions. As part of his con­ver­sa­tion with us, he drew the il­lus­tra­tion on this page ex­clu­sively for Air &

Space read­ers.

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