Sci-Fi Art Now Creator Interview: Max Bertolini

Max Bertolini’s cover for
Nathan Never #9

Max Bertolini is a self taught cartoonist, working in the comics business and illustration field. He’s the artist on the Italian comic Nathan Never, a 94 page, black and white comic, which means he spends half his day working in black and white and the rest painting in full colour, working on comic covers, Fantasy and Sci-fi books. “My mind is split in two, I would say,” he feels.

Sci-Fi Art Now: What tools do you mainly use to create your art?

Max Bertolini: I begin drawing the characters with a pencil that helps me to create the shades as well. Than I scan them into Photoshop and put on the colours.

Sci-Fi Art Now: Why?

Max: I began with oils years ago but finally turned to the PC because it’s faster and you can fix colours quickly. Now I have a lot of fun drawing with Photoshop, much more than traditional ways.

New Beginning
by Max Bertolini

Sci-Fi Art Now: What inspired you to become an artist?

Max: When I was a child I wanted to bring to life the characters that kept running into my mind. I wasn’t satisfied until I managed to draw them exactly. When I grew up I started enjoing all kind of art, not only comics and fantasy novels, and that helped me so much expanding my artistic views.

Thor by Max Bertolini

Sci-Fi Art Now: What was the most useful piece of advice you were given when you began learning your craft?

Max: I was given a lot of advice. The one I remember best was a talk with Neal Adams, that explained me the importance of photo reference among many other hints I had from him.

Iron Man by Max Bertolini

Sci-Fi Art Now: Which artists most inspire you?

Max: John Buscema, Neal Adams, Klimt, Martiniere, Sparth, Marko Djurdjevic and many other I can’t even remember.

Sci-Fi Art Now: What is the appeal to you of science fiction as an inspiration for some of your work?

Max: Sci-Fi is the place where anything can happen, so you can draw anything.

Sci-Fi Art Now: Do you have a favourite piece of work or project you have worked on?

Max: There’s a cover I made for an Italian comic book called Future War. I like the colours and the mood of the piece.

Future War by Max Bertolini

Sci-Fi Art Now: In your career, have you had any bizarre experiences while creating your art?

Max: Once I drew a background watching the reflection of my room on the monitor!

Daredevil by Max Bertolini

Sci-Fi Art Now: What most frustrates you about being an artist?

Max: That I’m never good enough.

Sci-Fi Art Now: What keeps you going despite the hopefully occasional frustrations?

Max: I have tons of stuff still to learn and I want to know them all!

Sci-Fi Art Now: What advice would you offer to anyone starting out as an artist?

Max: Learn to observe reality around you, never give up, study different styles of art, not just those you’re used too look at, and draw, draw and draw!

• Check out more of Max’s superb art at: Contact Max via

Check out more about Nathan Never on publishers Sergio Bonelli Editore web site

The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Explorer (previously known as Star Trek Magazine) and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of "Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies" for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.

Categories: Comic Creator Interviews, Creating Comics, Features


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