Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

Mike Wieringo Tribute Book / Heroes Convention

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

Many artists contributed to finish Mike Wieringo’s last comic, which he was working on when he passed away so suddenly. Sanford Greene and I did a page for it. Marvel and Wizard both have preview links up for the book (included at the end of this short entry). Also, the original page for the book will be donated to the Hero Initiative at Charlotte and, I believe, will be auctioned off there. Mike and I both loved Heroes Convention and the Drum family for their wonderful, hospitable, pure comic-book show. I hope to see everyone there!




Jazma Interview

Sunday, June 8th, 2008

Richard Vasseur of Jazma Online has just posted an interview with me! If you don’t want to read my boring prattle, he actually has interesting interviewees (sp?) as well! Thanks, Richard! Here’s the link: NAM Interview!

Quick Update

Friday, May 9th, 2008



First Look at the New Indy Inks!

My current status: Working on “Indiana Jones and the Tomb of the Gods” for Dark Horse. Steve “Great” Scott is penciling. The four-issue miniseries is getting mucho buzz, which is nice. So far, we’ve had the cover of Previews and a nice Newsarama interview with Steve…


Likely happenings: “Legion of Superheroes in the 31st Century” coming up with the inestimable Sanford Greene and also, some Jim Shooter authored mainstream “Legion“…turns out Sanford is definitely Legionnaire material!

Also, some interesting news related to “Batman: The Dark Knight” movie…Also, several projects written and/or edited by me in the offing…Stay posted, as they say. ;)

Interview with Me on the Subject of “Good Girl Art” for CPA-APA by Dewey Cassell

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008

My friend Dewey Cassell has kindly granted me permission to reprint here his interview with me for the prestigious and very long-running CPA-APA ‘zine. Dewey made some wonderful art choices to accompany the story, as well, which are absent here. Thanks for the kind interview, Dewey! Without further ado, the article:

Interview with a Vampire (Artist)

Even accepting a fairly broad definition of the terms “modern” and “good girl”, Nathan Andrew Massengill may not be the first name that comes to mind when you think about modern good girl artists. Nonetheless, as you will find in this interview, conducted with Nathan via email in July 2007, the talented inker has broad experience in the genre, past and present (and pun intended.) I had the pleasure of making Nathan’s acquaintance in the mid-1990s, when he was working on Harris Comics’ Vampirella and living in rural North Carolina. I have enjoyed seeing him over the years, mostly at conventions, and following the progress of his career in comics. Today, he lives in Atlanta and is inking a new Wonder Girl mini-series for DC Comics. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start at the beginning…

Dewey Cassell: When and where were you born?

Nathan A. Massengill: Hickory, North Carolina; a Pisces born right after the 60’s, which is why I have never been cool.

Cassell: When did you start drawing?

NAM: I was always drawing. I have comic book pages, with panels and superhero characters that I was working on in Kindergarten.

Cassell: Did you receive formal art training?

NAM: I went for two years to the Joe Kubert School of Art, which was, and remains, a fantastic school. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the field of comic art.

Cassell: Who is your favorite modern good girl artist?

NAM: Well, I think Dave Stevens would come to mind as one of the greatest good girl artists, but certainly no artist has had more influence on my own career with “good” girls than Adam Hughes. This would involve classifying Howard Chaykin and Mark Beachum as “bad girl” artists, but they are also favorites of mine.

NAM: (Cont’d) Of course, there are “definitive” artists for each character, an artist who sums up the mental image of a character in a person’s mind. For instance, I think José Gonzalez when I think of Vampirella.

Cassell: What “good girls” have you drawn over the years and which was your favorite?

NAM: I was lucky, because the first major work I did for DC was on Wonder Woman, who is the ultimate Good Girl, rather, Good Woman, and my favorite superhero character. I had inked the character Jaguar for Impact Comics before that. I’ve worked on Storm, Phoenix, Batgirl, Supergirl, the Legionnaire girls, Fire (in Checkmate), Spoiler (as a brief female Robin in Detective), Siryn in Deadpool, Catwoman, Black Cat, Kitty Pride, Vampirella, and more I am sure. Now, I am doing the new Wonder Girl mini-series, so I am back, in a way, on the Wonder Woman franchise.

Cassell: How did you get involved with Harris Comics’ Vampirella?

NAM: I got involved when Ed McGuinness requested me to ink him on the launch of the Vampirella Strikes! series. It was a fantastic time (just the end of the big-selling mid-nineties days for comics) and the opportunity to work with Meloney Crawford-Chadwick, a truly great editor.

Cassell: How did you feel about inking such an iconic character?

NAM: Both Ed and I were very happy to be working on Vampirella, who is such a well-known character. I think we were looking forward to doing some very moody, gothic stories, but it turned out the stories were more sci-fi and traditionally superhero-ish than gothic. But still fun! (Nods to writer Tom Sneigowski.)

Cassell: Did you enjoy working with Ed McGuinness?

NAM: I worked with Ed for a number of years after that, on Wolverine, Deadpool, Cable, the Hulk, and even the Fighting American. It was one of the very best experiences of my career and I still love inking Ed when I have the opportunity. He’s simply brilliant.

Cassell: What was your favorite part of Vampirella? (So to speak)

NAM: Yes, that is a loaded question. There are two great things about Vampirella. First, her artistic heritage, from the nearly unparalleled stable of artists employed in the Warren days. Second, her unapologetic sexiness and outrageous costume. Making a great story for such an outré heroine is really the great challenge; I’d really enjoy writing a story for her one day.

Cassell: Why do you think Vampirella continues to be popular with fans?

NAM: Vampirella’s secret is her sensuality, with the under-the-surface niceness and odd vulnerability that keep her human (so to speak, as you say). I think she needs a certain racy edge, but at the character’s heart, she’s always a little lost and lonely. This combination of tough and tender are what makes the very best heroes.

Cassell: Did you read Warren Publishing’s Vampirella?

NAM: I have read them, and they are amazingly good. I was lucky enough to have access to a large collection of the original magazines, and that’s definitely the way to read them. It’s where I fell in love with – and eternal awe of – José Gonzalez’ work.

Cassell: How did you get involved with DC Comics’ Wonder Girl?

NAM: Penciler Sanford Greene and I started working together at DC on Batman Strikes!, then an issue of JLU, and then several issues of the animated Legionnaires book. Based on the success of those books, DC pulled Sanford in to redesign Wonder Girl and work on a six-issue mini. I, of course, am thrilled to be working with Sanford and on another series in the Wonder Woman franchise.

Cassell: What is the storyline of the Wonder Girl miniseries?

NAM: I know it related to the “Amazon Attacks” storyline running through the DCU right now, and that we are giving a new shape to the Cassie Sandsmark character, but I don’t have many other details. I know Robin plays a major part and there’s a Hercules character in it.

Cassell: What are the differences in inking Vampirella and Wonder Girl?

NAM: I always thought of Vampirella as more illustrative, but all the pencilers I’ve worked with on these characters have been very graphic, and I think we’ve been bringing that more modern edge to the characters. I really ink the penciler more than the character in these cases.

Cassell: Are there any unique challenges in inking good girl art?

NAM: Well, hair is usually a big one, as you want all the characters to have elaborate, lush hair. I think you want them to be physically imposing without being too buff; I know the editors usually want you to walk an impossible line there. I think only Adam Hughes has ever gotten Wonder Woman perfectly balanced between awe-inspiring stature and lush femininity. Mark Beachum can usually hit this goal as well, although his girls are always quite mischievous, to say the least, and might not make the “good” definition. I know any good girl artist has a certain struggle with the balance between heroic and sexy.

Cassell: Who has been your favorite artist to ink (so far)?

NAM: Mike Wieringo was one of my very favorites, as I was fortunate enough to work with him on the launch of his creator-owned Tellos series, but, honestly, I’ve been extremely lucky to work with some of the best artists in comics. My new pencilers, Steve Scott and Sanford Greene, are stellar talents and will make a huge mark in comics.

Cassell: Is there a good girl character that you have always wanted to work on (but haven’t yet)?

NAM: I’d really like to work on Sue Storm, as she is one of the best female superheroines. I’d love to work more on Wonder Woman and I had a great time working on an issue of editor Michael Wright’s fantastic run of the Cassandra Cain Batgirl, a very underestimated series. I’m also a big fan of editor Joan Hilty’s female Manhunter. And, of course, it would be great to do Vampirella again.

I think we’ll be seeing a lot more of Nathan’s art – good girl and otherwise - in the years to come. In the meantime, check out the new Wonder Girl mini-series, which will hit comic shops in September.

Article © Dewey Cassell 2007.

Inking FAQs

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008

For those interested in inking as a craft, I did write a personal Inking FAQs. Few things in comics are as confusing to the average and advanced fan/producer of comics as inking. What is it? What’s the difference between one inker and another? Where did inking come from? The FAQs attempts to answer all these questions, but it’s mostly about bringing some terminology into inking. Some critical differentiation, actually, but I don’t think it’s as boring as that sounds. At least, one may hope. ;) Get the FAQs here:


Claudia Black, Need I Say More? (Dragon*Con 2007 p2)

Sunday, December 30th, 2007

Fade Into Black, Claudia Black

Claudia Black Signing at Dragon*Con 2007

Looking at Claudia, even from a distance in the signing lines at the Dragon*Con, you could tell why she was such a great actress. Waiting for people to come up to her in the line, she would frown slightly, and you’d find your mood plummeting. Then someone would text her something, and she’d grab her phone with that irrepressible energy she has, and her face would light up…and your world would suddenly seem like a choir of angels popped up on your shoulder. Her expressive ability is so natural and infectious…I’ve only seen it in a handful of actresses like Audrey Hepburn…and I never actually got to meet her. The funny thing you’d never know about Claudia in this picture…she’s like 8 months *very* pregnant! I was really worried about her attending the Dragon*Con in that state…She’s certainly a brave one! Anyway, the picture is crappy, but she still looks great in it, as she did in person. As a huge fan of Farscape (the show I consider the best sci-fi series yet done), and a massive admirer of everything Claudia does, it was a highlight of the show to meet her. End geek moment #2 here…

My Lexa-cellent Adventure (Dragon*Con 2007 p1)

Sunday, December 30th, 2007

Me and the magnificent Lexa Doig

Me and the Luminous Lexa Doig

I was never the world’s biggest fan of Andromeda, I’ll be entirely honest. It had some good seasons, and some good episodes, however. The best thing about the show was the utter likability of the cast. The best actual story concept in the show was the character of ‘Romi, short for Andromeda. Lexa Doig played Spock to Sorbo’s Kirk on the show, except, instead of a super-rational Vulcan, she’s a super-rational android. She’s kind of like a ship’s masthead come to life, a living personification of the warship Andromeda, brought to life Galatea-like by the ship’s engineer. Lexa was wonderful because she did not *look* like an android warship, but was instead a rather waifish and delicate-looking young woman. You get the sense, watching Lexa onscreen, that she is really beautiful. You meet her in person, and your opinion may change. She’s super-beautiful. The camera, surprisingly, doesn’t capture anything like her perfect skin and intense warmth. She is extremely accessible and charming, the picture of an ideal convention guest. I didn’t really get to talk to her…The design of the Stargate signing booths was horrible for any kind of interaction, designed for maximizing profit and not for interaction at all. I did see her briefly at the Pro Hospitality Suite, but she didn’t stay long and I didn’t have a chance to say “hi” there. Anyway, I insert the rather poor picture of her here (my apologies Lexa!) and encourage anyone who gets a chance to meet her not to pass it up! Now this geek moment is ended…

Self Portrait

Saturday, December 29th, 2007

Clipart Self-Portrait, Dialogue Mine

This is me. The image is clipart, the text mine…If you ever wanted to understand me (and I can’t imagine why you’d want to, but this is a blog!), here it all is in black and white. ;)

The Jenkins Klingonstmas Bash

Sunday, December 23rd, 2007

Weird but “Overly-Intelligent” *snort!*

Slytherins of Atlanta

(click on Pic for Credits)

I was fortunate enough to attend the bashorama (non-religion, only Klingon affliliation, holiday bash) at the Paul Jenkins mega-household. In attendance were the usual suspects of the Atlanta art crew, and due to a marked lack of attendance of spouses and GFs, the boys were up to even more mischief than usual. Many of the hijinx must remain unenumerated to protect the guilty. Some highlights of the party:

- Brian Stelfreeze’ racially-insensitive naming of me as “RGB white”…Astoundingly, this marks my first insulting nickname from Brian in a remarkably long association (at least, that I am aware of…), and I am inordinately proud of it. For those who don’t know, “RGB” is a printing term, and being RGB White would make me the whitest man alive…

- The Klingon-style holiday water annointing of Cully (almost RGB white) Hamner by the unimaginably charming Melinda and the slightly less-bold Sharon Scott, of Ms. America fame (former Miss Mississippi). His rage was legendary, and brought much honor to the esteemed clan of Hamner! Well, perhaps his rage was more Gremlin than Klingon, but we are not of a judgmental temperament.

- The selfsame Melinda proclaimed all us comics artist “Weird and Overly-Intelligent” (personally, I would just have stopped at weird), and Paul ruefully shook his head as all his “normal” guests left and the artists just wouldn’t leave. Why they invite us back, I have no clue.

- Their Corgi (also called “Hello, I will be the tripping dog tonight”) is absolutely the cutest ever. Of course, how can one fail to love a Corgi?

Got Zat?

Thursday, December 20th, 2007

“Got Zat” by Nathan Massengill, Dec. 2007

Zatanna, Pen and Ink with Digital Color, all by NAM 2007

(click for Full Size Image)

Well, by way of apology for not updating this blog as often as I would like, here’s my inappropriately-sexy holiday card. For those who don’t know, the character is Zatanna, a spellcaster who casts her spells by speaking them backwards. To all who read this, wishes for the truest and purest happiness!




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