A firefighter turned comic book illustrator, Alpharetta resident Steve Scott has gone from engaging in real-life heroics to bringing adventure to life on paper. Scott has drawn the likes of the Hulk and the Justice League of America for most of the big comic book companies, and is currently working on Dark Horse Comics' Indiana Jones and the Tomb of the Gods, which coincides with the whip-wielding archaeologist's latest big-screen adventure.
How did you get involved in comic books? I was a firefighter for 16 years, and started drawing comics in 1995 with the company Malibu Ultraverse. For a while I had two full-time jobs, but I gave up comics for six years because it was too much work. I was a fire captain in Biloxi, Miss., during Hurricane Katrina, and since I was working, I didn't know if my family survived. I remember thinking, "If I'd been doing what I was passionate about, I'd be with my family now." So two years ago I gave up my secure job with benefits, and after that we moved to Atlanta, which has a wonderful community of talent.
What can you tell me about Indiana Jones and the Tomb of the Gods?
Tomb of the Gods takes place in 1936, before Raiders of the Lost Ark. Rob Williams is writing dialogue that really sounds like Harrison Ford. I'm doing a lot of research on Ford and Marcus Brody [played by Denholm Elliott]. My priority is to make sure I get 1936 right: what kind of clothing was worn at the time, that sort of thing. When you're a comic book artist, it's just you – it's not a whole movie production making sure it's historically accurate.
Since you've done many superhero comics and now are doing Indiana Jones, do you especially like drawing action scenes? As an artist, I get to play the director for my characters. Like other artists I've talked to, I really enjoy scenes with two characters talking. They have to use body language and facial expression, so they're basically acting. Action scenes are easier to do. Character A punches Character B, Character B goes flying.
Do you have more freedom drawing a character like the Hulk, who's been drawn by different artists for decades, than an Indiana Jones story, which has to look like the movies? The Hulk is 90 percent me just drawing what I know. Indiana Jones is drawing what I don't know. With Indiana Jones, my initial tryout sketches had to pass through Lucasfilm – they wanted to make sure I could capture Harrison Ford. Getting approved by Lucasfilm is flattering. I remember seeing Indiana Jones for the first time as a 9- or 10-year-old kid. I never imagined I'd be a part of it myself.