The Mod Cabin recently had a chance to sit down with Vertigo/DC Comic book illustrator Mitch Gerads to talk about beards, comics and his upcoming book The Sheriff of Babylon.
TMC: Where are you from?
MG: Originally from MN. Just moved to AZ a few months ago!
TMC: What got you interested in comics?
MG:I have two older brothers who I idolized growing up (Still do) who were both pretty into comics. I would sneak into their rooms when they were at school and read* all their comics.
Before I knew how to read.
TMC:How did you become a comic book artist?
MG:I used to be a graphic designer/illustrator for a firm that worked with General Mills and Nabisco. I specialized in all the great kids cereals that are basically just candy bars in a box, haha. I worked there for about five years before I was a casualty of a mass-layoff. I really took that time on unemployment to give my long-time life goal a real shot and long-story* short, it worked!
*There was a LOT of ramen dinners in the longer version of that story.
TMC:Who is your favorite bearded comic book character?
MG:Just recently there was a run of Superman with Clark rocking a big full beard with longer hair and I just thought he looked cooler and more manly than he ever has before. Superman has always kind of been that ultimate male ideal and the beard just accentuated that in a great way. Alas it was short lived.
TMC:You mentioned you were bearding up some of your characters, can you show us some?
MG:Sure! Over the course of the three Volumes of THE ACTIVITY I slowly gave all the male characters some pretty great beards. It’s a special operations book and what’s more badass than combat beards? Unfortunately on THE PUNISHER I never really got to take Frank beyond the “scruff” stage. The series right before mine by Marco Chechetto and Greg Rucka famously had Frank rocking a beard so I didn’t want to just do that again, even though I REALLY wanted to.
TMC:What classic comic book character do you think should have a beard?
MG:Superman definitely needs that beard back. I would love to see a classic Nick Fury book with Nick rocking a great salt + pepper beard.
TMC:Do you plan to introduce more bearded comic book characters in the future?
MG:Absolutely. My new book, THE SHERIFF OF BABYLON (From Vertigo Comics/DC Comics. Starts this December 2015) takes place in Baghdad circa 2003. The Iraqi people are no strangers to beards so I’m sure I’ll get to draw some in there. Also toying with the idea of giving Chris, one of our leads, a beard that develops from stubble over the course of the book.
TMC:Tell us about yourself, what motivates you, what excites you. What are you all about?
MG:I’m married to a smart, sexy, beautiful woman. I have a cat named Numchucks. I have an immense respect for our military. I love reading. I’m big into craft cocktails and great food. Telling stories that matter, that teach, that thrill, that pay respect, those things motivate and excite me.
You can purchase Mitch Gerads’ books The ACTIVITY and The PUNISHER here. The SHERIFF of BABYLON starts this December 3rd, 2015 from Vertigo/DC Comics.