Joe DelBeato Interview
October 26th, 2011
Joe DelBeato was one of the artists who worked on the MASK comic books.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
After attending a year at Hussian School of Art in Philadelphia, PA, I began doing advertising illustration work for clients like the franklin institute & south jersey gas co.becoming bored with the advertising work I applied at dc comics in new york and began working for them .at the time i was offered to assignments at the same time . They were robotech defenders and mask. If you recall robotech were giant war robots piloted by humans. at the time they were being marketed in the u.s. as put together models. Needless to say, I was drawn more towards the detail and coolness of matt trakker and co.
Favorite movie, TV show, food and book?
I really liked 3 of the 4 Indiana jones movies and watch most of the stuff on the history channel. Seafood is by far my favorite food and read anything by Ludlum.
What style of art do you feel you are best at?
I feel my best style of art is black &white illustration. Pen &ink in particular.
Besides your own work, what is your favorite piece of art? In the comics field i love anything by Alex Toth. Really dig simonson, chaykin, & art Adams. dick Giordano and wally wood have been big inspirations. Parrish, mucha, & Flagg outside of comics.
Can you let us know some of the other works that you have done?
Tons of toy related work for marvel, dc, coleco, Hasbro, & Mattel. Besides regular comics this would include coloring books, sticker books, story books, in pack books, and development drawings.
GI Joe, sectaurs,inhumaniods, animax, visionaires, air raiders. Chuck Norris and his karate commandoes, avengers, cloak & dagger, justice, and others.
Can you describe your process for creating a comic book like MASK?
When doing a book like mask, details are everything. Because there are figures and vehicles to compare to the art has to be right. Dead on for it to be successful. At the time, some of the toys were still incomplete. Some of the figs. were molded plastic prototypes without color. Bet you collectors would like to get ahold of that .a memorable story for me involved the boulder hill play set .i had taken the public bus into Manhattan that day from south jersey. I was given the boxed play set at the office. As you may know it’s a pretty big item. So returning on the bus with that and my art portfolio was quite a mission not to mention a conversation piece.
How were the storylines picked out? Did you have any say in them? Did you work with a team of other artists?
The cover subjects were already decided by the editor Andy Helfer. The first issue cover was an intro showing the vehicles with trakker imposed in the sky. The 2nd issue dealt directly with the story inside. Number 3 was a good vs. evil, venom vs. mask, and issue 4 was a deep shadow effect .just good guys.
I was 1 of a 3 man art team picked my dc editor Andy Helfer. I worked with Mike Chen on this one. We had worked together prior to mask, on Atari force pakrat series. Dc had received a lot of good fan mail on the pakrat series, so they teamed us again for mask.
Are you a fan of the show or the toy line at all? If so, how was it working with a subject matter that you enjoy? What aspects do you like about the show or toy line?
All in all i think it was a neat little concept and i enjoyed being part of the creative force behind it. The TV show was done well as were the toys. I feel i did some of my best work on the series. You may have seen elsewhere at this site that i am selling some of the original art. Here is your chance to own some of 80s American toy history. Enjoy