By Jim Beard
The talented art team of Mike Choi and Sonia Oback has won that most coveted of awards: an exclusive contract with Marvel Comics.
Choi's origins as a comics professional began with Top Cow Productions where he assisted legendary illustrator Marc Silvestri. Fans may also recognize him as from his current work on UNCANNY X-MEN, teamed with girlfriend Sonia Oback, also his partner on the X-23: TARGET X limited series.
"I think it means a lot to us as a team; at the very least it means we can now afford to have our comic books bagged and
boarded," jokes Oback about the exclusive. "But in all seriousness, it is a big deal to us both, and we appreciate being granted the privilege to do what we love on a stage like the one that Marvel provides."
"I think it's really humbling knowing the talent as well as the sheer number of creators currently working at Marvel right now, and for us to be counted [among] them is a huge compliment," Choi concurs.
Though Choi and Oback's run on UNCANNY X-MEN will soon reach its conclusion, they're more than looking forward to what a future at Marvel holds. In two words: more mutants!
"We'll be starting a run on X-FORCE with our former X-23: TARGET X writers Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost," Oback reveals.
"We're loving what we're doing right now," enthuses Choi. "Working with multiple-Eisner Award-winner Ed Brubaker's UNCANNY X-MEN scripts is an absolute honor."
"I love the X-Universe, honestly," he continues. "I like the idea of mutants who are so different from one another but have an underlying fundamental constant between them. I guess that's why other than the X-Men and their various factions, I'd love to draw the Inhumans.
Oback, whose colors and finishes bring an added depth and texture to Choi's pencils, couldn't agree more.
"I like stories that take us out of the world we live in," she muses. "The weirder the characters and the world they inhabit the better. I like characters who are flawed and not iconic figureheads as much as regular people in unique circumstances."
Jointly producing art for the past three years, Choi and Oback have fashioned a working relationship around their romance that's clicked with a multitude of fans.
"I think our working relationship is almost incidental, and for some reason, that helps us put things into perspective," explains Choi. "I think we're about as much a team as two artists could be."
"It's very open," agrees Oback. "I always feel free to offer suggestions and point out when he draws something a little off, and he does the same for me."
With their joint exclusive, the sky's the limit for the two as they make plans to explore the intricacies of the Marvel Universe together.
"I think we constantly want to evolve our
style and develop new styles, but we want to do that together," Choi notes. "I definitely see Sonia as an extension of whatever skills I have, and I believe she sees the same in me.
"I think we're definitely greater as a whole than the sum of our individual parts."
For all the Marvel news and updates spinning out of New York Comic-Con 2008, visit our news hub. And for a great way to kill time in between announcements, check out Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited!