Paul Fricke Inteview
What brought you to Impact?
Brian Augustyn, who was previously our editor for Trollords, the self-published comic I did with Scott Beaderstadt.
How did you find out about the Impact project?
Had you worked with Len Strazewski before the Fly?
Yes, Len replaced Brain as editor of Trollords when Brian moved on to DC.
Had you worked with Mike Parobeck before the Fly?
Yep. I inked a Secret Origins Karate Kid story Mike penciled, as well as the last several issues of El Diablo as a warm-up to The Fly.
What are your thoughts on the late Mr. Parobeck?
Mike was one of the friendliest, genuinely nicest people I ever met. He was dedicated to his craft and his art. He’d work tirelessly, spending hours and hours redrawing pages with which he was dissatisfied. He had a classic style, drawing from the best, and making it his own, even when it wasn’t in vogue. Many will be forgotten, but Mike’s work will stand the test of time.
What did you feel you brought to the series as the inker?
To reinforce the simple and fun style of the stories and of Mike’s pencils.
Were Mike’s pencils usually really detailed, or did you get the opportunity to add things as they were needed?
Mike’s pencils were simple, but everything was right, and everything was there. With most pencilers I inked, I tended to simplify and remove detail, while remaining faithful to each penciler’s style. Just my personal preference; less is more. Mike was the only penciler with whom I worked where I needed to add detail. I’d send him copies of newly inked art each issue, and he’d rave about some details I added around a villain’s eyes. It was fun.
Did you have any input into character designs for the series?
Nope. Mike’s job, based on Kirby.
What was your first introduction to the Mighty Crusaders (pre-Impact)?
I came across the occasional reprint while reading Archies Digests.
What do you think was the cause of Impact’s cancellation?
Good stuff, bad timing. I think the line was trying to recapture an innocence and simplicity sorely lacking in the industry at the time. Given recent popular trends, Impact, along with Mike and Len’s JSA, were ahead of their time.
How was Al Bigley’s art style as opposed to Mike’s?
Just different. Al’s stuff was all there, too. He was a bit more flamboyant and stylized than Mike. I always tried to remain faithful to the penciler, no matter who I was inking.
Overall, what did you think of the Fly as a series?
It was a lot of fun. I liked the character, the villains and my collaborators.
How were you told of the cancellation?
Probably a call from Paul Kupperberg, who had taken over the editorial reins.
Paul, I thank you for your time, and your willingness to help me out on this project of mine.