In May 2002, Joe Madureira was named one of the ten most influential comic book artists of all time in Wizard magazine. Despite the lofty tag, within a couple of years he was in the comic book industry’s version of the witness protection program.
Not that Joe hasn’t been busy with comics. He recently did a stint on Marvel’s "The Ultimates 3" with writer/guru Jeph Loeb, but his focus has been more on video games than sketch pads.
"I’ve been a fan of games since I was a little kid," said Madureira. "If I had gotten an ‘in’ before doing comics, I would’ve probably went that way."
The artist made a name for himself in the "Uncanny X-Men’s" Age of Apolcalpyse story line, then later his own popular but consistently late series "Battle Chasers." It was around this time that he began questioning his verve for the medium, calling "Battle Chasers his "last ditch effort."
"I thought ‘if this doesn’t help reignite the spark, I don’t know what will,’" said Madureira of beginning his own book. "I had to get to a point where I was just burned out on the whole thing."
It was then that he delved into the video gaming world. Annnd … they’re off! First with Tri-Lunar, then with Realm Interactive, where he worked on Trade Wars: Dark Millennium which evolved into Exarch and then was finally released by NCSoft as Dungeon Runners. After leaving NCSoft, Madureira founded Vigil Games with other ex-NCSoft employees ("We were like the A-Team, we just kept getting all the right guys.") Vigil was acquired by THQ in March 2006. And that’s the fast-moving world of gaming!
In terms of the differences between gaming and comics?
"One thing there’s a lot more of is meetings," says Madureira. He goes on to say that changes can be made a lot easier in comics, whereas "in games, it’s like ‘Oh I want to change something … but days [in comics] take weeks [in games]. There could be 12 other people that you have to tell."
Though his new video game project Darksiders will have a comic book and an online comic ("Hard to replace the paper, though"), Madureira says that he "can’t see a full return" to comics in the future.
"Honestly, I would love to sleep and have time with my kids."
— Jevon Phillips