Phil Smith is managing editor of Top Cow Productions, Inc. He self published a comic book 8 years ago with J.K. Woodward and thanks to Fiona Avery, Renae Geerlings and Matt Hawkins has a job in comics. Phil Smith also designs the trade paperbacks and art collections for Top Cow. He has a bachelors degree in illustration and design.
Phil will be making a writing debut in June - Witchblade/The Darkness/Angelus Trinity: Blood on the Sands.
He agreed to answer 5 Quick Questions
1) What would you say is your greatest achievement in comics?
Honestly I feel I have not achieved much. Of what I have had the pleasure of working on was designing and editing The Art of Marc Silvestri. Bridget Silvestri complimented me on it, and Steve Firchow told me it was the best thing Top Cow had ever done. It was easy, make Marc's art as big as possible and 'surprise" people like love it. It was easy, the stuff was great, I just had to stay out of the way. Of course my first writing work is coming out in June. Witchblade/The Darkenss/Angelus-TRINTY: Blood on the Sands, a one-shot featuring all three of the Top Cow Universe trinity. really looking forward to it. It is a period piece (13th Century Arabia) lots of blood, treachery and high adventure.
2) Who was your favorite writer or artist that you worked with & why?
Writers I would love to work with in any capacity (even getting their coffee or tea) That is a toss up. I have to limit it to comics writers so with that said I have to give it to three: Alan Moore, Grant Morrison and Joss Whedon. All for different reasons. Moore for the depth. Morrison for the mind expansion and Whedon for the humanity.
Artists. If it were me writing and who would I like to see illustrate my stuff? Got to give it to Marc Silvestri, Whilce Portacio, James Jean (for a cover), Gary Frank and Rags Morales. Frank and Morales have an amazing ability to capture emotion and dep th in their work which is something I try to get across through story. Of course my old buddy J.K. Woodward with whom I self published 8 years ago is someone I would like to work with again. Jim is terribly underrated and is ready to break out big.
3) What character you have never worked .., would you like to do & why?
I am a relative newcomer (8 years in so far). At the day job as editor at Top Cow of course I am very attached to our own stable. There is one character from Paul Jenkins Universe crossover named Tilly Grimes. I have been pitching for her to get a series for 6 years. She is a clairvoyant. I am a mythology buff and I wanted to create a series for her that parallels the curse of the Greek seer Cassandra. Blessed to know the future but cursed for no one to believe her. Sounds like good conflict to me. From outside Top Cow, hmmmmm. Longshot from Marvel. The Ann Nocenti and Arthur Adams story made a big impression on my adolescent mind. I would love to write that as a new limited series.
4) Who are your influences?
For comics writing, the three writers above certainly. From prose, Frank Herbert, J.R.R. Tolkien, Kurt Vonnegut and Charles Bukowski. I could go on with Larry Niven, Joan D. Vinge and the whole pantheon of Science Fiction greats. For design I have to go with Alphonse Mucha. The backcover to The Art of Marc Sil vestri is an homage to an illustration of his. For art, with power I have to go with Frank Frazetta, hands down. From the grotesque to sublime H.R. Giger. Often times when working with an artist as an editor I go online and send Giger and Frazetta reference and suddenly the artist gets it. John Howe is also in my consciousness when considering an approach to art or design.
5) What hero or villain would you like to change if you could and why?
Longshot. Take him back to his roots and focus on what makes his character so novel. His power only works when his intentions are true. It is simple but the way Nocenti and Adams played with it, magic. That is how I remember it. For villains...Galactus. I had an Exiles story featuring Galactus I submitted years ago. He is the last of his kind forced to destroy to survive. I could do a lot with that.