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Sandbox Spotlight: BUTCH MAPA, Comic Book Artist

THE CONVENTION COLLECTIVE: Thank you for joining us in the Spotlight, Butch! How did you get into art and why did you want to become an artist?

Butch Mapa: You know when you’re a kid and people keep asking what you want to be when you grow up? I always drew my answer—doctor, scientist, astronaut, despot—and eventually just got pretty good at the drawing thing.

Then I discovered the Ninja Turtles and the X-Men, and then soon I was drawing my own folded up, stapled comics. Lost them all eventually; the world will never know the EARTH-SHATTERING DELIGHT that was…The Mutant Men™! 

TCC: Which artists inspire you? And they don’t have to be in the medium you work in, either…

Butch: When I see a cool style, like a child, I just want it for myself! That’s probably why I switch styles up so much, I get inspired by so many comic artists—Ivan Reis, Stuart Immonen, Sean Gordon Murphy, Stuart Immonen, Bryan Hitch, Tomm Coker, Stuart Immonen, Ed McGuiness, Jim Lee, Stuart Immonen… 

TCC: Can you tell us your greatest fan moment, interacting with a personal hero of yours where you may have gone a little weak at the knees?

Butch: All the Image founders would have me burbling like a little boy. I saw Todd McFarlane and chatted up Rob Liefeld at SDCC a few years ago. Just missed Marc Silvestri, too. I’d like to get some art from all of them, even stick figures! 

TCC: What is your favorite fandom? Who is your favorite comic book character/movie/tv character?

Butch: I might legit be the world’s biggest CLOAK AND DAGGER fan. Loved them ever since a friend lent me some issues from that old Strange Tales series from the 80s. Love their relationship, their struggles, and their visuals. I’ve got the comics, merch, toys– even co-hosted a podcast when they had a TV series for a bit. 

TCC: Outside of the ones you create for a living, what characters/stories do you like drawing the most in your spare time?

Butch: The little bit of fan art that I make is all taken up by pro-wrestling, which is my second favorite hobby. NJPW, AEW, and Impact fans, hit me up!

TCC: What’s your working routine? Do you work regular set hours and days, keeping certain days free for personal time, or do you find you create any time the muse takes you?

Butch: I try to keep a regular schedule, but things can vary by a few hours on either end. Usually I’ll just set a loose goal for each day and go from there. I rarely schedule work days, as I just listen to mind or body (and…heart) when they tell me to take a day to rest.

TCC: When you’re creating, what do you use for background noise? Some artists use music or podcasts, some use a TV show that they just can listen to in the background. What do you use?

Butch: High energy music when I need an energy boost or when I’m doing pencils and layouts. Podcast for when I ink—Last Podcast on the Left, The Lowe Post, and Hardcore History are some faves. But I need some kind of noise either way—its weird when things are quiet.

TCC: What was the first comic con that you remember attending? And, indeed, what was the last?

Butch: First was probably some local show, last was SDCC 2018, which was my first convention outside of the Philippines! Quite a step up!

TCC: What’s your favourite element of a comic convention? And which bits could you easily leave behind?

Butch: Hanging out with other creators is the best thing, especially friends who I’ve known for awhile. As for con, uh, cons, I’m a fairly big dude, so it’s tough when there are too many people around—don’t wanna flatten any cosplayers!

TCC: At a convention, when you’re not behind your table or doing the things you have to do at a con, which corner of the show would we find you in?

Butch: Probably scrounging through back issue bins. My ASTRO CITY run isn’t going to complete itself, ya know!

TCC: A lot of creatives are also taking to crowdfunding – such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo – to generate income from their work. What’re your thoughts on that?

Butch: Crowdfunding is terrific! It’s a great alternative path to traditional markets, along with webcomics. Anything that gets creators paid and more ideas out there is a good thing.

We just successfully funded one– for BLOOM #1, from Hero Tomorrow Comics, it was a success, quadrupled its funding goal, which was thrilling. Do follow me on Twitter or Instagram, as we will be releasing all 4 issues in 2021!

TCC: What projects have you recently finished? What are you working on at the moment, what projects are coming up that you can talk about? 

Butch: My short run on the Avengers is being collected as MARVEL ACTION: AVENGERS: OFF THE CLOCK. Check it out for some all-ages Avengers fun!

Other than that, I’ve decided to get involved with pitches this year, something I’ve avoided for most of my career. Aiming to do a pitch a month with some sweet writers, and maybe write one myself!

TCC: How do you stay connected with fans? Do you use a mailing list or newsletters, are you active on social media?

Butch: I’m pretty active on Twitter (@butchmapa) and Instagram (@tutubee) —follow me and let’s talk comics, wrestling, Trek, Magic, and NBA!

TCC: Where can people see an example of your art online and find out about your rates? 

Butch: I’ve got art and contact information on my website, www.butchmapa.wordpress.com.

TCC: Thanks, Butch, for your time! 

Butch: Thanks Dan, my pleasure!

We at The Convention Collective want to showcase the very best in creative talent. Are you a creator who would like to be featured in our weekly Sandbox Spotlight? Leave a comment here, or reach out to us at admin@TheConventionCollective.com

Dan Berry
Dan Berry
Dan Berry is a man of mystery, an enigma that flits from convention to convention like a spectre, like a spirit. His interests range far and wide: he cannot be determined, he cannot be defined, he cannot be contained. He's like the wind. He also is a Sagittarius and enjoys a nice Italian.

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