A few quotes to whet your appetite
DC has come under some scrutiny recently for the number of women (or lack thereof) working in a creative capacity for them. You were working pretty consistently for them for a number of years, so I was surprised (and disappointed) that you weren’t one of the regular artists on any of their ‘New 52′ books. Were you offered a regular assignment or were you simply busy with other work?
Both actually. I was offered one book that seemed an odd choice for me. Really interesting but I didn’t think I was the right artist for it (turned out to be one of my favourites from the new line up and the totally appropriate art has had quite a bit to do with that). There was another book that was briefly in the mix too but again not quite what I was looking for. If I was going to leave my (then) current title I wanted it to be for the right book.
I consider them to be equals in many ways but they are very different people. Despite being alien, there’s a very relaxed human quality to Clark. He’s grown up being different but still fully integrated into the American culture, lifestyle and values. Diana, on the other hand, grew up amongst her own people, royal, special and celebrated.
Clark has come to understand that his power gives him a responsibility to mankind, Diana was made aware of her responsibility to her people from birth, before her powers were evident. This is all my theory anyway. It informs how I approach their body language and draw them in general.
There has also been a lot of debate over the sexualization of female characters like Catwoman and Starfire. What are your thoughts on the depictions of female characters in comics in general?
As a woman I can say undoubtedly that sexuality is a power in our utility belt. However, it doesn’t mean all women use it and even then, not all the time.
Catwoman, sure, her sexual presence is one of her primary weapons. That, and she can beat the sh*t out of you. But I’m also pretty comfortable with plenty of other female characters being sexy, sexually aware and/or sexually aggressive. But not all of them and certainly not at every turn. It’s very one dimensional. If a character is going to be proactively sexual in their nature there needs to be a motivation for it, a reason behind it. Really, I think a lot of the responsibility comes down to the artist. Incidentally sexy is something else altogether but it shouldn’t involve a broke-back pose or an arse-floss costume.
And her opinion on some of Diana's costumes;
I LOVE the classic costume in all it’s variations. It’s exciting, bold and glamorous, three things I don’t think Diana is trying to be but she is nonetheless. The Star Sapphire costume was ridiculous but standard for a Star Sapphire costume. I tried to make her wear it with some dignity.
There were a number of things I really liked about the “pants and jacket” look but none of them were the pants or the jacket.
The New 52 costume is pretty close to classic. I don’t mind it at all. I would prefer a red boot.
People often argue that male super heroes are also human perfection, but I would argue that they might be muscular and such, but they aren’t “sexy” because they aren’t presented that way… unless you draw them! Is that a conscious choice on your part? And if so, is it an example of “turning the tables” so to speak?
Men can be very sexy but I don’t often think it’s something in their control, like it can be for women. A man that’s too selfconsciously sexy tends to be a bit gross (to me anyway). A guy might know he’s sexy but as soon as he starts to “work it”, YUCK!
There are guys that have a natural sexual energy and some of those men are in the DCU. Dick Grayson, Roy Harper, Hal Jordan (?), Thomas Blake, etc. When I have the opportunity to draw any of these men I’m very aware of what I’m doing and it’s absolutely a chance to throw some equal opportunity ogling out. That said, if I were drawing Catwoman I wouldn’t be holding back on her either.
But desire is a very personal thing. Gail used to get more fan mail for our version of Bane than she did for Catman. Sexy doesn’t have to be obvious.
It's an interesting read to be sure.
And for legality, Nicola's pencils and Doug Hazelwood inks on a nice page from her Teen Titans run featuring Solstice, in a form I hope we get to see her back in.