By Elizabeth Keenan
Mighty Fine’s staff artist Forrest Card creates t-shirt designs that mix the serious and villainous with the absurd and ridiculous. His “M.O.D.O.K. in Disguise” series places the killer with the giant noggin in the heroic costumes of Thor and Spider-Man (among others) for stealthy infiltration, and his “Mag Neat-O” t-shirt knocks the sometimes villain, sometimes X-Man down a peg from his self-important perch.
We asked Card about his work with these and other iconic characters.
|Mighty Fine: Forrest Card|
Marvel.com: How did you land a job as a designer of humorous Marvel t-shirts for Mighty Fine?
Forrest Card: I have loved Marvel comics since I was little, getting the latest issue of Spider-Man. I was drawing a lot of Mickey Mouse and Tinkerbell for girls' clothing at another company when I heard that Mighty Fine was hiring for men's t-shirt design. And they had the Marvel license. I jumped at the chance to draw some of my favorite Marvel characters for a living.
|Mighty Fine: Captain America Bass|
Marvel.com: What’s your favorite t-shirt design you’ve done for Mighty Fine?
Forrest Card: I really love to work with M.O.D.O.K. He is such a great and weird character; one of Jack Kirby’s best. But my favorite design, I would have to say, is the Spider-Man Saul Bass-inspired piece.
Marvel.com: Which comic artists have inspired you the most? How do their influences show up in your style?
Forrest Card: My all-time favorite comic artists are Jack Kirby, Alex Toth and Wally Wood. I love the dynamics of Kirby, the simplicity of Alex Toth and the characters of Wally Wood.
One of my favorite current comic artists is Chris Samnee. His work on THOR: THE MIGHTY AVENGER was amazing. He was able to capture the spirit of fun adventure of the original Thor.
|Mighty Fine: Mag Neat-O|
Marvel.com: Many of your t-shirt designs juxtapose the serious tone of comics with silly puns. How did you come up with “Mag Neat-O”? Do you think the Master of Magnetism would approve?
Forrest Card: I was thinking one day of old phrases that no one uses anymore, and “neat-o” came up. For some reason I had Magneto up on my screen and it all came together. I thought, “That’s so corny. It’s perfect.”
If Magneto had the right publicist this would be the perfect thing to change his public image. It would be just the right new angle to get the kids to join his side. “Come join us, we’re cool and hip, and we got no rules, man. Unlike stuffy old Xavier. And we’ve got cookies.”
|Mighty Fine: Thodok the Mighty|
Marvel.com: Your “Tho-dok” t-shirt combines the squat contours of M.O.D.O.K. with the hammered awesomeness of Thor. If you were to acquire the combined powers of a Marvel super hero and a Marvel villain, what would they be?
Forrest Card: I would love to teleport like Nightcrawler, especially when stuck in rush hour traffic. I am not sure about the villain. I guess the ability to shape-shift like Mystique would be pretty cool also.
Marvel.com: Who is your favorite Marvel character to draw? If you were to put that character on a t-shirt, what situation would you draw them in?
Forrest Card: I love the character of M.O.D.O.K. He is so much fun to draw. The great thing about him is you can put him into any number of serious situations and because he is so weird he looks ridiculously out of place. His comedy practically writes itself.
I love playing with opposites. Magneto is a character who takes himself so seriously. I would love to take Magneto and put him in “The Office” as Michael Scott’s replacement. Doing horribly in a menial job with paper clips stuck to his face, being all stressed out about getting out his TPS reports. Frustrated at his computer because his powers keep erasing the hard drive.
|Mighty Fine: Magneto's Awkward Photo|
Marvel.com: The Marvel universe is filled with uncomfortable family units, which you capture in your “Awkward” family portrait of Magneto, the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. If you were to do more “Awkward” groupings, who would you include in them?
Forrest Card: I love the Fantastic Four as a family unit. I mean, they are already wearing matching outfits. They just need to pose together for the photo. I’d really like to see their Christmas card.
Forrest Card’s Marvel designs are available at welovefine.com.