An Interview with Don Hudson
In early 2005, I contacted former Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD (2) inker Don Hudson via his column at the Comics Culture website. What follows is short interview via email about his work on the series. Humberto M. Ferre'

On his start in comics

I got my start as a high school intern. I worked in the Marvel Bullpen and It was excellent training! A few years after that, I joined the staff as a "Romita Raider". I did art correction for just about every book and I had a lot of interaction with artists and editors. To get
a few extra bucks, I did background work for a lot of inkers. I did a lot of learning in those years. Check out my work in Iron Man, X-Factor and Power Pack. You might see my name!

Iron Man (1) #239, featuring work by Don Hudson

Who are your artistic influences? Who do you really enjoy in the comics field right now?

I look at a lot of people in terms of influences...Gil Kane and Garcia-Lopez for Composition, Wally wood for lighting, Giordano for his great line work. There are so many artists that I love and I try to take the best parts of them all. As for todays artists, Bryan Hitch, Ryan Sook and John Paul Leon.

How did you come to join the art team for Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD (2); were you a SHIELD fan before?

I had been working at the original Valiant Comics as an inker then returned to Marvel. Doing a lot of fill in issues for various books. Mike Rockwitz and I were friends and he had the opportunity to see me ink a lot of different pencils. He knew what I was capable of and started me with Ernie Stiner. Ernie was really cool. I was a fan of Nick Fury and hoped Mike would improve the book after the creative staff change.

You worked with a number of pencilers during your time on the title, including Ernie Stiner, M.C. Wyman, and John Heebink. What was it like working with these artists and their differing styles?

Of all the pencilers on SHIELD, John Hebbink was the best. His art got better with every page and he had a clean line that was easy to follow. Real attractive figures and great composition. Ernie Stiners' style did not exactly fit into an action book and M.C. Wyman put a lot of action in every panel.

With at least three different writers during your run, what are your thoughts on the directions the SHIELD title took under the different writers?

Different writers....Hmm. Well, as I remember it after Chichester and Guice left, Rockwitz needed a team fast. Ralph Macchio was the group editor and suggested Scott Lobdell. At that time, Scott was looking for work and could start right away. I think that Mike never stopped looking for another writer. I was never fond of that period. It seemed like an uncomfortable transition time. In fact, you could see Greg Wright rewrite all the Lobdell continuity; changing costumes, getting rid of the Super Agents, etc. He had a lot more stories to tell but the book was cancelled and he had to wrap up the loose ends.

For issue #39, "A Hunger for Freedom", you took over as penciler; sadly the only time you worked on the series in that capacity. Could you tell us about that experience and why were you not able to stay on as penciler (a position you were announced for in the letters column of that very issue)

Hunger for Freedom was a fill-in issue that Mike needed right away. He was looking for a new permanent and I guess I was considered. I was doing a lot of inking at that time and I couldn't have done both pencil and Ink. I wish I had more time on that job. I'm not that happy with it looking back. Heebink was the right choice. He started on issue 42.

Any particular issue or issues that stands out in your memory; for better or worse?

I like Issue 45! Greg Wright had decided to write out the Super-Agents and this issue showed them as undercover Hydra agents. The book ends with a big brawl and a bloody Psionic battle! Nice drama!

You were one of the longest serving artist on the SHIELD team, next to letterer Philip Felix, but you were unable to work on the last issue. How did you feel about not being there for the final issue. How much advance warning did you get that the title would be cancelled?

I'm glad to have so many books under my belt! Mike Rockwitz and I were friends and he knew I wouldn't blow a deadline. I was sad when he took me off the last issue. It was double size or something and he wanted me to start inking a new book, The Secret Defenders. Not enough time. I guess that's the way the cookie crumbles.

What are your current projects?

I am currently working on a book for Moonstone called Genghis Khan; pencils and inks. I do more pencils these days. You can see my Western comic called GunpowderGirl and the Outlaw Squaw at COMICULTURE .comThe website is such a great resource for fans of comicbooks! I'm looking forward to seeing everyone at San Diego this year!


A big thanks to Don Hudson for taking time to do this interview!