To many of us – myself included – Joe Madureira is living the dream. He’s made a name for himself in comics with titles like Uncanny X-Men and Battle Chasers, and he’s known for putting out quality video games like the Darksiders series. The only thing missing is competitive burrito eating, and then he’d be living out a very literal dream I had last night. Recently, though, Madureira left Vigil Games to return to comics. What comic, you ask? We chased Joe Madureira down to get some answers on what he has planned for his return to comics, when we’ll see new Battle Chasers, and what Marvel characters are going to appear in his new book.
NERDIST: So, tell us, what’s going on in the wild world of Joe Madureira these days?
JOE MADUREIRA: Drawing. Lots of drawing. It feels good!
N: Recently, we saw you do an awesome stint on Avenging Spider-Man. Will you be returning to that book?
JM: Thank you! Avenging was a lot of fun. Unfortunately, I’ve moved on to a different Marvel title, and while it isn’t the Avenging Spider-Man, it does feature Spidey (and this time he’s teamed up with Wolverine… and Elektra!). Spidey will always have a special place in my heart, and I usually jump at the chance to draw him, so let’s see what else comes down the pipe after this project.
N: You recently left Vigil Games. What prompted the exit, and will your primary focus now be on comic books or still games?
JM: The short version is, I spent over 7 years with Vigil and THQ, and I felt like we’d accomplished what we set out to do: built a game studio from the ground up, completed two killer games, and created a successful game franchise with Darksiders. As incredible as that experience was, and as much as I love the games and the studio, looking at the next couple years of my life, from a creative standpoint, I just wanted to do something different. There were other projects over the years nagging at my consciousness, and after completing Darksiders II, I felt the time had come to start focusing on them. I wish I could say more!
N: You’ve worked as both a comic creator and a video game creator – two careers our readers would kill for. Do you find you prefer wearing one hat to the other or are they intertwined?
JM: They really are two of the absolute coolest jobs in the entire world. I feel blessed to be able to do both. At this point, I don’t think I could choose just one. For the foreseeable future I will continue to develop games, but I’ve got a couple comic book projects in the works as well. So — intertwined for as long as I can manage!
N: What’s a piece of advice that you know now that you wish you had known when you were first starting out?
JM: It probably seems like a no-brainer, but either of these career paths is A LOT of hard work. Doing both is borderline insane. To this day when people find out I work in games, 9 times out of 10 they’ll say something like, “Whoa, I wish I got paid to sit around and play games all day.” Most people just don’t get it. Just because it’s fun work doesn’t mean it isn’t hard to do. Especially if you want to hang with the big boys and release AAA content. I’m actually sort of glad I had no idea what I was getting myself into or I might have chickened out!
N: Has there been any talk about resurrecting the Cliffhanger brand?
JM: Hah! No, not really. Whenever I run into Ramos or Campbell at a show we will sometimes joke about it. But nothing serious. Battle Chasers, Crimson, Danger Girl, and Steampunk will always have a special place in my heart!
N: I have to ask – will we ever see more Battle Chasers? People have been dying for a wrap-up after the cliffhanger of #9.
JM: That’s probably the question I get more than any other (except maybe how to pronounce my name). It’s a tough one. I still love Battle Chasers — that world and the characters, and I have to be honest, when I’m working on comics that aren’t BC, even something as awesome as my childhood dream like Spider-Man, I occasionally feel like… “WTF am I doing, why am I not drawing Battle Chasers right now?!” Let’s just say I’ve thought about it a great deal over the years. I do have some projects I need to do before I get back to it, but it’s on the bucket list…
N: What projects are you working on currently that you can share with us?
JM: Well, the Marvel project I’ve already mentioned should be announced very, very soon. All I can say is that it’s got Wolverine in it, Spidey and Elektra. And Ninja. Lots of Ninja. Gamewise, I can’t say much at all, but I will definitely spill the beans as soon as I’m able!
N: What comics have you been reading and/or games have you been playing and enjoying recently?
JM: Man. I haven’t really had much time to read many comics lately. I dug up my old collection to pore through Frank Miller’s amazing Daredevil and Elektra stories. And Paul Smith’s run on Uncanny X-Men, which had some definitive Wolverine moments for me. Sometimes the old stuff motivates me more than what’s out right now. Though, admittedly I’ve been dying to just spend a weekend and a small fortune at the comic shop and just get caught up on everything. Game-wise, believe it or not I’m still coming back to Skyrim and its expansions, and playing old JRPG’s like Chrono Trigger and Suikoden. God, I feel so stuck in the past.
N: Last, but not least – what’s in your ideal burrito?
JM: Mmm… chicken, grilled jalapenos and onions. Avacado. And more rice and queso than I should probably eat in a year.