Jim Calafiore has worked in the comic book industry as an illustrator and writer for more than 20 years, working for all the major publishers, including DC Comics and Marvel. Among the comic books he has illustrated are Batman, Iron Man, Aquaman, and Exiles. He lives in Somerset, New Jersey. Visit his site at www.JimCalafiore.com
How do you pronounce your name?
A: Basically, it starts like “California”, but when you get to the “f”, you say “fury”. Calafiore is an Italian name, but I’m not sure what it means. I’ve gotten a lot of different definitions from different people. If there’s any fellow Italians out there who can give me a definitive definition…..
Who are your influences?
A: This is the toughest question I have to answer, since I’m not sure my style looks like anyone else’s on the surface, and definitely not like what I consider influences. I think the first comic book artist to effect me as a kid, like so many other people, was John Byrne and his X-men run. There’s a lot of other artists I grew up admiring in comics, Berni Wrightson, Barry Windsor-Smith, and definitely Richard Corben’s stories in Creepy and Eerie; the strip art of Windsor McKay; Maurice Sendak.
But a big moment for me was discovering Heavy Metal magazine while in junior high, and being exposed to the European artists; Bilal, Caza, Drulliet, and most importantly Moebius. He is my all time favorite.
What are your favorite comic book characters?
A: At MARVEL, the Hulk, Dr. Strange and the Silver Surfer (so you can imagine how much I liked the Defenders). At DC, the Metal Men.
What is your favorite movie?
A: I am a movie fanatic, so there’s no way I can pick a single film. But I can list three films that were discovered around the same period of childhood which had a big influence on me artistically: CITIZEN KANE, 8 1/2, and A CLOCKWORK ORANGE.