We recently spotted Jay Leisten, while hot-air-ballooning high above the Andes mountains in Peru, and here’s what happened:

Q:  What’s it like working together with Kieron Gillen and Greg Land (on Uncanny X-Men)?
A:  Its been great so far. Kieron really understands the group dynamic. Its a big part of what made his creator owned work so strong. Greg & I have worked together for years so weve developed a synergy over the years that allows us both to focus on our strengths.

Q:  When you first began inking Uncanny X-Men, which character were you most comfortable with, and why?
A:  Probably Wolverine. At conventions hes easily the most requested sketch and I love rendering metal and hair so I can always lean on that.

Q:  Now that the Uncanny X-Men series is well underway, which character have you become most comfortable with, from an inker’s standpoint?
A:  As time has gone on Colossus has become my favorite because I get to do all that grey tonal work for his armor. 

Q:  Tell us a funny Steve Kurth story?
A:  Wish I had one. We chat online but havent gotten to hang out in person for more than a few minutes.

Q:  Captain America is more fascinating than ever before, thanks to a creative team which includes yourself, Ed Brubaker, Steve McNiven, and Giuseppe Camuncoli.  How does a dream team like this come together?
A:  Well, I can only answer that from my perspective. Steve & I had done a few things together like a Witchblade cover & some Old Man Logan, and after the OML pages I mentioned to Steve that I’d be up for a project with him should the opportunity arise. Once Cap got started I came in on issue 2 at Steves request. Cammo came in to help us out for the final issue of our arc and really did a good job trying to mesh styles with Steve & I.

Q  When you aren’t inking comicbooks, what are some of your favorite ways to unwind?
A:  Well, during football season we have a get together to hang out, and I also attend a local drink and draw group from time to time.

Q:  Do you have a favorite brand of ink, or is one ink really just as good as the next one?
A:  I normally use Dr Martins Black Star which is insanely expensive, but lately I have switched to Dr Martins Bombay. Ink is very important, especially when I am doing grey tone work as the black has to be really solid or the scanning will fall apart.

Q:  What room temperature is best for inking?
A:  My office is in a walkout basement room & I keep it around 70 or so. If its too cold or too hot it can cause the ink to get jelly-like or if its too humid the ink will bleed into the paper making fuzzy lines.

Q:  Which single comicbook issue have you inked, which you are most pleased with?
A:  I usually say Sojourn 19, but I was also very happy with Uncanny 540, so much so that I arranged to keep the whole issue of art.

Uncanny X-Men #540

Q:  As far back as you can remember, who were some of your favorite inkers from the days of your youth?
A:  Probably Al Williamson. He was amazing on JRjr.

Q:  When was the moment that you knew you wanted to be an inker?
A:  I started to notice the influence guys like Scott Williams, Batt & Danny Miki were having in thier respective studios and was trying to be either a penciller or inker. I wasnt getting as much traction
with my pencil samples so I decided to focus on inks and decided that some day in the future I’d come back to pencilling.

Q:  You open a bottle.  A genie pops out and grants you three wishes.  What are they?
A:  Tough to say. 1. That comics sales would return to their heyday. 2. That paper quality and art supplies would improve. 3. That I could get one of my creator-owned projects off the ground.

Q:  Your life story is being made into a feature-length film.  What is the name of the film, and which actor will portray you?
A:  No Free Lunch. My friends would say Quentin Tarantino, but I’d prefer James Roday.

Q:  You’re in a heavy metal band.  What is the band’s name, and which instrument do you play?
A:  Thats easy. I was in one. It was called Deadline.  I played bass live, but recorded guitar, drums & bass. I also wrote most of the music and lyrics.

Q:  You’re joining the UnCanny X-Men tomorrow.  What is your superhero name, and what is your mutant power?
A:  Captain Obvious. I would point out useless information and have access to my own internal wikipedia.

About Timothy Connolly

I'm a 1e AD&D loyalist who DMs sessions in Farmingdale, Old Bethpage, Plainview, and Huntington. Currently DMing the GDQ1-7 campaign. Co-creator of the Benchleydale And Beyond sandbox. Writer for Gygax magazine, & magazine, and the Brain Storm Think Tank podcast. Playtester for GP Adventures, Lesser Gnome, and Maximum Mayhem Dungeons.

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