Interview: Venom Artist Ryan Stegman Talks My Hero Academia

As we announced last week, Funimation UK has collaborated with Venom comic book artist Ryan Stegman to create a one-of-a-kind poster in celebration of the release of My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission, which you can catch on the big screen right now!

And don’t forget, if you live in the UK and Ireland, you can enter the competition HERE to win Ryan Stegman’s My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission original pencil art! But we figured you’d want to hear a bit more from Ryan as well, so we talked to him a bit about his art, love for anime and, of course, My Hero Academia!

Take a look at the quickfire interview below.

Can you tell us a bit about how you got to where you are today?

Stegman: I wanted to be a comic book artist for as long as I can remember. I was always super into drawing and just loved comic books, so it seemed like a perfect fit.

During high school, I got very serious about doing this for a career and read as many books as I could that would help me to become a better artist. At about 22, I started drawing comics professionally and I haven’t looked back since!

What would you say is your favourite anime? 

Stegman: My favourite series is Neon Genesis Evangelion. It has so much depth and really is just a great piece of fiction in general. The themes and ideas in it blew my mind when it initially came out in America.

The artwork you have done for My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission looks amazing! How did drawing Deku and Flect Turn compare to your french comic book cover featuring Shigaraki and Dabi?

Stegman: For the Shigaraki and Dabi cover, I was going for a more horrific vibe. Because let’s face it, those characters are frightening! On this one with Deku and Flect Turn, I went for a battle scene.

Battle scenes are my favorite thing to draw, so this was a ton of fun. It’s still pretty dark, but that’s sort of what I bring stylistically to most things I draw. And My Hero Academia, while fun, can also get very dark and I think that’s part of its charm.

Is there a My Hero Academia hero that’s particularly memorable for you?

Stegman: I’m a big Deku fan. I know, boring answer, but my all-time favorite comic book character is Spider-Man, and Deku has so much in common with him. I’m drawn to these characters that get knocked down again and again, but always get up and fight for what’s right.

Are there any other inspirations from heroes/comic books that went into the My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission Drawing?

Stegman: Everything I do is inspired by everything that has come before me. So, while I can’t pinpoint specific characters or anything, I can say that I tried to channel many of my favorite artists here.

You’re currently best known for the work you have done on Venom. Who do you think would get most use out of a Symbiote in the My Hero Academia universe?

Stegman: All Might with a Symbiote would be pretty great! Man, now you’re giving me ideas for stuff to sketch just for fun. All Might with a Symbiote! I gotta do it now.

If you could design a hero in the My Hero Academia universe, what Quirk would they have?

Stegman: I’d like to see a Hulk-type character in the MHA universe. A big smasher. Mainly because I like drawing things getting smashed so that would be a blast to draw within the confines of MHA.

What do you wish you were told before you pursued art professionally?

Stegman: Enjoy the journey! In retrospect, I have a fondness for everything I went through to get to where I am. But there were a lot of difficult times along the way where it didn’t seem “fun”.

If I could have just known that I needed to have perspective and step back and look at what I was doing, and the strides I was making, I could have avoided a lot of heartache!

Finally, what would you say to people who are beginning their own art journey?

Stegman: Pretty much what I just said. It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. Read the classic poem “Ithaka” whenever you’re feeling down about your journey and remember what it’s really all about!

The fun doesn’t end here, My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission is in cinemas right now! Have you seen the film yet? Share this post and let us know! And stay tuned to Funimation for even more great anime content like this.