Updated: Aug 13
This interview first appeared on Nerdlocker in 2011
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I am a child of the ’80s. I grew up watching the coolest cartoons (Voltron, Super Friends, Transformers), playing the best video game systems (Intellivision, Atari, Nintendo) with the best games (Pitfall, Frogger, Legend of Zelda), and of course watching some of the greatest movies ever made, many of which I had to sneak past my parents (Monster Squad, The Thing, Lost Boys)! Obviously those days are long gone (unless Doc Brown finally fulfills his destiny). Lucky for us though, we have a wave of popularity growing in that era of Nerdiness and even better we have a special brand of artists who have been able to capture that nostalgia with limited edition screen prints. In my opinion, Tyler Stout is in the top of that list of talent.
He has been creating specialized art for quite some time, but has recently hit the stratosphere in popularity. I have long wanted to find an excuse to post a Q & A with him, and thanks to the fine folks at Marvel Comics and Mondo, I found my in! Stout recently did the cover to the Captain America: First Vengeance #4 book, which completely sold out at my comic shop so I hope you already grabbed one. Now brace yourself as you are about to read some seriously heavy-hitting interview questions worthy of 60 Minutes (yes there were some downfalls to the 80s, like having to watch that because my parents watched it)!
Jimmy Palmquist (JP): How did you get started in the art world? And how did you find your niche in movie and concert screen prints?
Tyler Stout (TS): I started doing posters for a music venue called ‘The Showoff Gallery’ back in college, then moved to doing stuff for Graceland in Seattle, and Berbati’s Pan in Portland. And kinda grew from there. Been doing it for about 11 years now. Old man me.
Movie-wise, I was asked by the infamous Rob Jones, who is part of the group of guys who runs Mondo, to do a poster for a movie screening event they were putting on. It went well, I was asked to do another one, kept going from there.
JP: Where do you find inspiration and what are some of your influences as an illustrator?
TS: It’s pretty easy to find inspiration; open a book or turn on the tv or play a video game, it’s all pretty amazing out there. It’s just, like, a mindset, man.
But on a more serious note, I’m not sure where I find inspiration. I’m watching Metalocalypse season 3 right now and that is inspiring me at the moment. It’s awesome. Influences would probably be the same as inspiration, too many to list. But I really am digging on Katsuya Terada right now, my friend loaned me a book of his sketches and they are mind blowingly awesome.
JP: Who are some of your favorite artists?
TS: Too many to list. Lots of movie poster artists from the ’60s and ’70s, Drew Struzan, Richard Amsel, Geof Darrow, Tony Moore, Art Adams, Moebius, Bernie Wrightson, Frank Miller. Just too many.
JP: Most of us know you from your amazing screen prints. How did you become involved in the cover art for the recent Captain America comic book? And do you have plans to continue working in the comic book medium?
TS: The comic connection was set up by Mondo, which was cool. They handled all the business side of things, and I just had to provide the art. As for more plans, I’m not sure, it was a great experience so I wouldn’t be surprised if it happened again.
JP: If you could choose any comic book to illustrate, which one would you choose?
TS: Hmm…good question. Are you asking what comic I would re-interpret, or what comic I would choose to write/illustrate from scratch? If it was just re-imagining an existing character…maybe Batman. I have read many Batman stories that I’ve enjoyed. Or maybe I’d bring back Boris the Bear. If it was creating a comic…maybe a nice story set in the pioneer days of the northwest, settlers battling Bigfoot or something. That could be sweet.
JP: Star Wars or Star Trek?
TS: Is Lord of the Rings an option? I guess I’d choose Trek right now, I’m rewatching ‘The Next Generation’ and enjoying that.
JP: What do you do in your free time?
TS: Hang out with the family. Play video games. Track down The Thing memorabilia. Mow my lawn.
JP: Give us a Nerdy secret that most people don’t know about you.
TS: I had acne in high school and didn’t like taking my shirt off during gym basketball games.
JP: What is your favorite movie?
TS: Too many to list. I find myself watching a lot of Will Ferrell movies lately. Step Brothers. Blades of Glory. Loved Land of the Lost. Love Hot Rod. Not a Ferrell movie but still. In terms of all time best, The Thing is up there.
JP: What is your favorite video game?
TS: The Hitman series. Because I am a depraved lunatic that enjoys murdering innocent people and wearing their clothes.
JP: What is your favorite comic book or comic book character?
TS: Boris the Bear. Randy Stradley is my hero. Favorite comic book…hmm…I dunno. I re-read Alan Moore the most probably.
So as I follow up, I did rib Tyler about his Star Trek answer. He clarified that it was probably because he spent so much time working on the Star Wars posters for Mondo that he needed a break from that universe. I’ve since forgiven him.
To keep tabs on all of Tyler’s latest prints and happenings, as well as view a much larger library of his work, visit his website here and sign up for his newsletter. I would love to discourage you from doing this because his art is so hard to come by and I am obviously lessening my chances by inviting more people to join in the collecting, but it would be incredibly unfair and unethical of me to deprive Nerds of his great work.
Check out even more of his work in the gallery below.