Ande Parks has worked as a comic book artist for close to twenty years, inking titles such as Daredevil, Ant-Man, Superman, Wonder Woman and Nightwing. Parks has worked for every major American comic book publisher. He is best known for his four year stint on Green Arrow, with frequent collaborator Phil Hester and writers Kevin Smith, Brad Meltzer and Judd Winick. Parks’ bold style garnered him nominations in both the Harvey and Eagle awards.
In recent years, Parks has turned to writing. He has written three graphic novels for Oni Press: Union Station, Capote in Kansas and Ciudad. Capote in Kansas was named a Notable Book by the state of Kansas- the first graphic novel to be so honored. Ciudad, which was released in December of 2014, was developed with Joe and Anthony Russo, the directors of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Parks has authored the Green Hornet and Lone Ranger franchises for Dynamite, and has written Daredevil for Marvel Comics. He has adapted three Jonathan Kellerman novels to the graphic novel format for Random House. Parks is currently inking Batman Beyond and other titles for DC.
Tell us about yourself. Tell us a little about your work.
I’ve been making comics as an inker for more than two decades now. About halfway through that journey I started writing them, as well. As an inker I’m best known for working with Phil Hester on Green Arrow, Ant-Man, Nightwing, Batman Beyond and more. I’ve also inked Tony Moore, Rick Leonardi, Marley Zarcone and countless more.
As a writer, I’ve written several creator-owned graphic novels, including Union Station, Capote in Kansas and Ciudad. I’ve also written the Lone Ranger and Green Hornet franchises for Dynamite.
I’m currently working on some new writing projects, and still inking my pal Phil Hester.
Tell us about your experience with comic books. What is the first comic book you remember reading? What is your favorite single comic book story?
I read comics as a little kid, then fell away from them for awhile. I rediscovered them at a crucial time… there was a lot of turmoil in my family life and I was in Junior High, which is a unique torture in and of itself. Anyway, I found an Iron Man (issue #119) at the local 7-11, and I was hooked. Comics got me through a lot. I’m still grateful, and still trying to pay it back in my own humble way.
The first comic that made a difference in my life was Detective Comics #442. It’s an incredible comic. It opens with a Batman story by Goodwin and Toth, and ends with chapter 6 of Goodwin and Simonson’s Manhunter. In between it’s stuffed with amazing reprints. It’s the first comic that ever made an impact on me, and I still have my original copy.
My favorite single comics story is a tougher one. Today I’d say… Captain America #112, by Lee and Kirby. It’s not a super conventional choice. Kirby supposedly banged out the issue in a weekend because Steranko was late in his final issue. Anyway, this is a completely joyous comic… full of energy. Tomorrow, my answer would probably be different.
What was the first convention you ever attended? What are your most vivid memories about that show?
Chicago-Con, 1983. It was still being held in a hotel downtown then. Most of my lasting memories involve me standing around like a total dork, just staring at and listening to the creators I admired. In those days, you didn’t even know what these people looked like! Gil Kane blew my mind, as did Chaykin. It was all just incredible.
What comics, books, TV, and movies are you enjoying right now?
I hate to be that guy. but I have not been reading comics as much lately. I’ve been working on writing prose, so that’s what I’ve been reading. A lot of Michael Connelly and the like. I do enjoy comics by Jason Aaron and Tom King. And I love indie stuff by Bunn and Hurtt, Ted Naifeh and many others. I really enjoy walking through artist’s alleys at cons these days, discovering small press and self-published stuff. There’s such passion for the art form in those books.
What are you looking forward to most when it comes to Cave Con’s inaugural event?
I always enjoy getting to see my fellow creator people. It’s a pretty solitary line of work, so hanging out with peers is a rare treat. And I love going to a con in an area where I haven’t appeared before. You get to meet fans who you’ve never encountered before, and that’s awesome.