Ryan Stegman Signs Marvel Exclusive

The SIF and INCREDIBLE HERCULES artist brings his titanic talents to the House of Ideas full-time



SIF art by Ryan Stegman
By Jim Beard

Artist Ryan Stegman believes in many things, most especially the art of drawing fantastic comics, but some things still take him by surprise. For example: an exclusive contract with Marvel Comics.

"When it came through I actually didn't understand what was happening because it was so unexpected," he explains of his new home at the House of Ideas. "I was approached by [Marvel Senior Vice President of Business Affairs  Talent Management] David Bogart at C2E2 and he asked if I had a minute to talk. So we talked and he told me that Marvel wanted to make a commitment to me and gave me the details. He told me, 'I'll give you some time to think about it and you can get back to me,' to which I replied, 'I'll take it!'

"But for some reason, it didn't register with me that this was an exclusive deal. I mean, I understood that it must be, but I just assumed that it couldn't possibly be. So I talked to one of my artist friends that [was] exclusive with Marvel and he confirmed what I guess I had thought already. So then I finally believed it!"

Stegman also believes in projects to bring out the best in him as an illustrator. His Marvel credits include INCREDIBLE HULK, INCREDIBLE HERCULES and the recent SIF one-shot. Just don't ask him which one stands as his favorite; it might cause him undue distress.

"I wish I could pick a specific one, but I can't," he insists. "All of the projects that I've done have been exciting for their own reasons. Drawing three issues of INCREDIBLE HERCULES was exciting because I got to work on characters over a few issues and really develop them. When you're doing a series of books, there is a lot more emotion involved because the story gets to breathe a little more and you can take time to show how a

SIF art by Ryan Stegman
character reacts in a certain situation rather than having to constantly throw them into the middle of the action.  And [that story] had everything: funny moments, action moments and very emotional moments.

"The Red She-Hulk backup stories that ran in INCREDIBLE HULK #606-608 were a ton of fun because, well-they were fun! I really enjoy drawing female characters and I got to draw a lot of them. It was pretty much all-out action throughout and it was exciting to be challenged on every single page to come up with something new. And SIF was a great deal of fun because I just felt like I got to exercise some different storytelling muscles; a lot more subtle character moments and just a great script to work from."

One need only glance at Stegman's art for proof that not only does he enjoy drawing Marvel's legendary ladies but excels at it. His storytelling abilities shined through in SIF, giving us a peek into how he sees Thor's female warrior supreme.

"Well, first and foremost I just wanted to portray this character as the warrior that she is," he says. "Her previous stories had her being taken over mentally by Loki, and it kind of left Sif looking pretty weak. But in my opinion, there is no way that Sif could ever be weak. So what we did in the story was show that yes, perhaps her life is in disarray, but in no way would she ever lose touch with her warrior self. I really tried to do my best to show in the beginning that her hotel room was an absolute mess, as her life had become, but she still was ready for a fight at any time. I really wanted her gender to be irrelevant-she flat out kicks ass like a true warrior."

SIF art by Ryan Stegman
Lucky for Marveldom Assembled, the artist's next project also involves a heroine, yet one that the veil of secrecy covers for now.

"Well, I've sort of started to make a name for myself drawing female characters, and this [new] project will reflect that," Stegman teases. "It's going to be a series of books, so I'll get to tell a longer story like I did in INCREDIBLE HERCULES. I'm afraid to say too much! Attractive females! That about sums up the stuff I'm allowed to say!"


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