Paving the Road to Infinity: Dustin Weaver Pt. 2

The Infinity artist recalls joining the Avengers and gets ready for the biggest assignment of his career!



Avengers #7 art by Dustin Weaver

By Jim Beard

For INFINITY artist Dustin Weaver, working with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes meant pressure.

In late 2012, he joined the creative team for the latest re-launch of AVENGERS by executing a series of covers that formed a triptych across the first three issues. On AVENGERS #7, Weaver provided interiors as well as exteriors and this provided him with the grandest introduction ever to the Avengers’ universe and an invitation to work on INFINITY this year. Dustin, beyond pressure of the book’s fame, what did it mean for you as an artist to be working on AVENGERS?

Dustin Weaver: AVENGERS is a big deal. These characters are some of the most iconic characters ever. I really wanted to do a good job.

One thing that I guess isn't surprising about working on AVENGERS is how satisfying it is to draw the [characters]. Despite the fact that I never really read many Avengers-related comics when I was a kid and I don't have a fan-like soft spot for them, they are such well-designed characters that they just always look good.

Avengers #1-3 covers by Dustin Weaver What went into planning those three inter-connecting first covers?

Dustin Weaver: They were quite an undertaking. This was my first connecting cover image, so it was a new challenge for me. The most challenging aspect of it and the thing that I was most excited to tackle was laying out the complex curvilinear perspective. I find problem solving to be something that engages me and gets me inspired, and that perspective offered up a lot of problems. Other than that, there was a lot of back and forth with [writer] Jonathan Hickman and Marvel about placing and posing the characters. I went through a lot of preliminary drawing with that piece but I really wanted to make it right.

Ultimately I'm pleased with it. How would you compare working on interiors for a team book like AVENGERS as opposed to one of the X-books you’ve worked on?

Avengers #7 art by Dustin Weaver

Dustin Weaver: The major differences are just production differences. With the X-books I worked on—with the exception of UNCANNY X-MEN #14—I was just doing pencils, which isn't how I prefer to work. With AVENGERS I inked myself. For me there is a certain satisfaction that comes with that. Another difference is that I've gotten to work with [color artist] Justin Ponsor on AVENGERS. I've certainly worked with some really good colorists, but Justin is, in my opinion, one of the best in the biz.

As for the actual content, each of the X-books I worked on [was] so totally different from one another it would be impossible to compare them as a whole to drawing AVENGERS.

Flash forward to the present and INFINITY. Artist Jim Cheung kicked off the event in INFINITY #1 and will return to the limited series with issue #6, but in between those book-ends lays the art team of Weaver and Jerome Opena; Weaver said “yes” to the project because he knew in his heart that the excitement level of working on the event would be hard to beat. How did INFINITY come about for you?

Dustin Weaver: I guess Jonathan just likes me. He brought me from S.H.I.E.L.D. to AVENGERS and now to INFINITY. It's a real compliment. How would you define your role on INFINITY? Which of your strengths do you feel you're bringing to it?

Infinity #2 preview art by Dustin Weaver

Dustin Weaver: Being on the art team for INFINITY, I'm part of an e-mail thread that is constantly updating with art from Jim Chung, Jerome Opena, Mike Deodato Jr., and Leinel Yu. These guys are some of the best illustrators working right now. It's an intimidating e-mail thread, and it consistently makes me feel bad about myself. Bad? Okay, we’ll need you to explain that one!

Dustin Weaver: I feel competitive and it does have me thinking a lot about what my strengths are. I'm hesitant to say what I think they are. I think my strengths are really just weaknesses that I care more about fixing than other weaknesses. It's really a question of where my values are. Each artist has there own values, the things they think are important. The great thing about this art team is that I think if you drew a Venn diagram of each of our value sets there would be a big area of intersection but we each extend out in slightly different directions. I think it's going to be an exciting and dynamic reading experience—I just hope I'm not the weak link. Is there a character design or a sequence that you're particularly proud of on INFINITY?

Dustin Weaver: Yes...should I be spoiling anything? Well, maybe not too much…

Dustin Weaver: There is a scene with Black Bolt and Thanos that I really enjoyed. I got to switch into a gear that I don't often get to be in. Everything felt like it was clicking into place and I think it's good. What's it like working with Jonathan on INFINITY as opposed to S.H.I.E.L.D. or even AVENGERS?

Infinity #2 preview art by Dustin Weaver

Dustin Weaver: The biggest difference really has to do with it being a big collaborative effort on the art end of things. With S.H.I.E.L.D. and even a little on my issues of AVENGERS it felt like I was on the phone with Jonathan at the start of every issue. With INFINITY, there are so many moving parts, more than with any other book I've worked on. I'm really doing all my communication with the editors, Tom, Lauren, and Jacob. They are coordinating everything, keeping everything moving, and keeping everyone up to date on what we need to know. What's Jonathan doing here in INFINITY that inspires your creativity?

Dustin Weaver: For starters, it's epic. What Jonathan has built to in this story feels really big, and it's inspiring to get to be a part of it. Also, like with everything Jonathan does, it feels like something new and different. The Marvel Universe, its characters, and their conflicts are all familiar to Marvel fans, but Jonathan brings his district point of view and he manages to make it all seem new and vital.

Dustin Weaver: Lastly, Dustin, what are the rewards of the rotating artists with INFINITY?

Dustin Weaver: The rewards are that each of use [has] a better chance at giving our all to our contribution. We each can focus on our part and try to make it as good as it can be.

I'm excited to see how it all comes together.

Pre-order INFINITY #2, on sale next week

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