Getting Back In The Game

claudbannerRecently these drawings started popping up on my Facebook from my pal Claudio Paola, although I have always known Claudio to be a comicbook guy I had never seen him draw anything like this. The pictures were awesome fun and started to come out on a daily basis. I just had to holler at him and ask what the story here is. And of course I had to share it with the world!

N1- Lets kick off with the most important question! For how long have you been a nerd?

C-  Well this is an easy question! How old am I? 26 years old. Yes, that’s how long I’ve been a nerd. But in all honestly I became obsessed with super heroes the moment my older brother showed me a picture of Wolverine he drew when I was around five years old. I was instantly hooked to all super hero related things and one thing led to another. I stayed away from sports and focused on drawing and comic book and comic card collecting.


“Sports are lame bub!”

N1- Other than comicbooks and trading cards what else tickles your nerd fancy?

C-  I’m into so many ‘nerdy’ things. I started drawing super heroes first and mainly the X-Men, Spawn and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. But I have so many nerdy interests now that it’d be hard to name it all. I’m absolutely obsessed with Nintendo. The first time I played NES, I never put the controller down and I still play with the same console now as I did twenty years ago! I really love the fantasy realm with elves, orcs, chaos, Dungeons & Dragons. I’m a huge board game fan! “Hero Quest” (a fantasy board game) in all reality is what made me and shaped me to be the person I am. My older brother was kind of a nerd as well so I followed and did whatever he did. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be the nerd I am today.

Na na na na na na na na Batman.jpeg

“Na na na na na na na na”

N1- Aha so your brother is to blame! What about these drawings? How did they start?

C- These drawings were influenced by a friend of mine who asked me to illustrate a children’s book for her that she wrote. Many people saw my talents in this work and told me I should peruse my art and illustration again because they saw a potential future. I actually stopped drawing when I went to OCAD for film. I was always known in high school as the guy with the sketch book and I drew constantly. I would fill a sketch book once a week. Then first year of university came and when I jumped into the film industry, I never looked back at drawing except for mandatory life drawing classes and story boards. So it’s only been over the last few months that I jumped back into drawing and I thank my friend every day for asking me to illustrate for her cause I’ve found what I’m good at and most of all, what I love doing.

Green Lantern

“I fear nothing! Not even being played by Ryan Reynolds!”

N1- And the style?

C- I chose this style mainly because it’s simple, vibrant and kids find it very attracting. After illustrating that children’s book, I realized that’s the style I want. It’s absolutely different than what I have ever done. People see this work and ask if it was done by me because they’ve never seen this style come from me before. I in all honestly would love to draw and make art like Todd McFarlane! He is a genius and I love every page of an Image Comic. However I know where my skills lie right now and Id hate to say it, but I lost A LOT of talent over the many years of not drawing. I used to draw what you see in Spawn comics all the time. Now I’ve got to start from scratch pretty much and sharpen my skills because it’s still a dream of mine to draw like I once did. Though I am taking a liking to the “chibi” style of super heroes and figures in general so we’ll take it one step at a time. Who knows what I’ll be drawing tomorrow?

N1 – Too true my friend, very happy to hear you got your groove back, think you will ever stop again?

C- No, I won’t be stopping soon. I put my film career on hold to peruse illustrating because I enjoy it more. No rules, no people to deal with, just me, my paper and pencil. It’s hard to get into film if you don’t have the funds or connections. Who knows, maybe I’ll be able to sell my art and get back into film. Maybe I’ll use my illustration and films skills to make an animation. Who knows where the future leads.


“Bring it on!”

N1 – Who is your favorite character that you have drawn thus far?

C- This is a tough one because I love them all. But if I had to pick one, I’d have to pick my most recent Wild C.A.T.S team picture. If you’re asking for a single figure, then I’d pick my Psylock. Actually, I can’t answer that. I’m torn between so many! I like them for their own reasons! There is a huge improvement with my skills in each illustration. At first I drew egg and sausage shaped figures and now I’m applying more and more detail like muscles and gear to them. But this is probably where I’ll stay because as detailed as it may be, it’s very child-friendly and I’ve always enjoyed seeing happy children. My six year old cousin loves super heroes because of the Marvel Super Hero Squad TV show. I actually used that style as a reference for my work because it is detailed yet so simple and kids love detailed simple art. My little cousin is also a huge influence on me because once in a while he’ll make me drawing of Batman and Spider-man! He’s adorable and I’ve drawn so many things for him as well so we exchange pictures some times.

Wild C.A.T.S

“Quick! Back to the 90s!”

N1 – Alright, what about which one was the FUNNEST to draw?

C- They’re all fun to draw in their own way. Because it’s been so long since I’ve drawn, each picture I create is an adventure. The Wild C.A.T.S illustration was fun because I got to research and look through all my old Wild C.A.T.S comics that I haven’t seen in over fifteen years. This was actually kind of a homage piece to me, my brothers and to comic book fans. Not to mention I don’t think anyone expected me to illustrate this team because let’s face it, no one knows who they are unless you collect comics.



N1- I see you are using markers, what colour do you think you use and replace most often?

C- Well first off I’d like to thank Prismacolor markers for being so awesome! My favorite color is blue and you can tell I use blue a lot in my pictures. I’ve had to replace “True Blue” and “Light Cerulean Blue” three times already! I actually went into a Curry’s Art Supplies store and when I was at the cash register, the cashier told me I have multiple of the same color and she wasn’t sure if I meant to grab three of the same marker. I just purchased professional marker paper that another friend of my told me about so I’m hoping to not have to replace markers once a week now.

Iron Man 2

“Oh, I AM…. Robert Downey Jr.”

N1- Well since you have been in the game since forever, I think its only fair to ask; what are your thoughts on all these new movies?

C- Honestly, I love it. Growing up as a kid obsessed with nerdy things and super heroes was ‘hard’. I remember alienating myself from kids and class mates because I knew they’d make fun of me if I told them I love comics. These days, it’s almost reversed. If someone says they don’t like comics or super heroes, you look at them funny. Not to mention film makers take the hottest celebrities and put a costume on them even if they’re horrible actors. Look at the Catwoman film. Horrible but you put Halle Barrie in the suit, you’ve got a block buster (or so they thought). But man, The Avengers! Get out of town! Robert Downy Juniors portrayal of Tony Stark I think is the greatest comic-book-to-film rendition. He himself made the super hero film franchise happen. His comeback to film was perfect timing and I think Iron Man is that much cooler now because when I think of Iron Man, I think funny, witty playboy R.D.Jr.

N1- OK, most important question! Is Hulk really the strongest there is?

C- Yes. Let no one tell you different! Hulk is just awesome! If it wasn’t for Hulk, I wouldn’t have ever liked comics. Now I’m not talking about the Hulk himself. I’m talking about Wolverine’s first appearance in the Hulk comic. Wolverine is my favorite super hero of all time and if Hulk never introduced him, I never would have seen the drawing my older brother made of Wolverine which made me love comics and nerdy thing. Thanks Hulk for all these years of smashing.


“Hulk beat cat-claw man!”

N1- Last question. If you could party w any of the characters you have drawn thus far… who and why?

C- This is a great question! As much as I’d love to party with Wolverine, I think it’d be a little too dangerous, boring and depressing. So I’d have to say Spider man is the one person I’d want to party with. He’s funny, witty, everyone loves him and he probably knows some wicked hang out spots in the city! Plus, he can always take me home if I’ve had one too many drinks!


“I would at least call you a cab!”

N1- Thanks for your time bud! Hey, any words of wisdom you’d want to leave to the internets before you head off?

C- I’ve learned that if you are good at something and you know it, don’t let go of it. Being an artist is a God given gift that so many people wish they had. A friend told me recently that it’s rare for someone to make a living doing what they love. I let it go for a long time and I lost a lot of what I’ve learned. Now I’m returning to what I truly enjoy doing and it’s going to take some time to be that person I was and more!




Wise words. I’m sure we can all take something from that. So keep reading those comics, playing those games, and doing what you do! Be sure to also check out Claudio’s Deviant Art page! for more great work and to send him some love!


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