Sunday, April 12, 2009

Aris Asks Chris Batista

Chris Batista has been drawing comics professionally for 15 years. His pencils have been seen in Steel, Spaceknights, Legion, 52, Robin and is currently working on Last Days of Animal Man with Gerry Conway due out in May from DC comics.

1. Do you think that black book full of Star Wars and G-Force drawings will ever resurface?

I will never see that sketchbook again. I wasn't even a professional at the time. Why the hell would you steal a non pro's sketchbook. Bastard...

2. When did you start drawing?

I've been drawing far as long as I can remember.

3. How did you break into comics?

I took a course taught by Klaus Janson at SVA. He got me an interview at Marvel and I got an 8 page X-factor script.

4. Have you ever been intimidated by some one you thought was a better artist?

The list is way too long for those artists that intimidate me.

5. What was it like working on Steel?

Very Scary. My first series. I was still very raw and didn't know a damn thing about how tough it is do a series. You gotta start somewhere.

6. Do you think most fans understand the work it takes to finish a fully penciled comic page?

I think some do realize what it takes but most don't have a clue what it takes. Whatever is needed, the artist must provide. Trips to the library, endless hours on Google.

7. How long does the average page take you?

Every page takes it's own amount of time. Some go very fast while others can be so damn slow. Crowd scenes can be a drag if you're not drawing the same person over and over.

8. What do you think about comics that ship late?

It's a harsh reality. Sometimes it's for a good reason. Look at Bryan Hitch. The amount of effort is clear. Other times, not so much.9. I am big Rom fan, looking back what do you think about the Spaceknights series?

Spaceknights broke my heart. My original pitch was very dense and heavily Sci Fi. I wasn't allowed to write it and they weren't going to give me my choice of writers (DnA). The writer that was chosen just didn't get what I was going for. It came across as very corny and dated. I wanted badass aliens and advanced alien cultures. I wanted to push the envelope. I was crushed every time a script came in.

10. If you weren’t drawing comics you would be?

An actor or a prostitute. Kinda the same thing I guess. There is also a career at Burger King waiting.

11. If I were to tell you, you draw the best G-force, you would say?

I would have to get in line after Alex Ross.

12. Who is your favorite member of G-force?

Toss up between Mark and Jason.

13. Was Keeop retarded?

He was special and would f@#% you up.

14. Who are some influences on your work?

Jerry Ordway, Michael Golden, Alan Davis, Yasuomi Umetsu, Kevin Maguire and many others. These are the main ones.

15. What made you finally ditch the shades?

My work with the government was finally done and I could just be a civilian.
16. You have done some great work over the last 15 years or so. What run or work stands out in your mind as your favorite (For me it’s Legion )?

It would have to be Legion as well.

17. You are working on Animal man, when is that coming out?

First issue hits in may.

18. Can you tell us anything about the project?

It's set 15 years in the future and Buddy is losing his powers. Then denial sets in. Gerry Conway will be writing.

19. How are your pages coming along?

Not as fast As I would like. I've been very nitpicky lately. I need to pick up speed like I've done in the past.

20. What’s next after Animal Man?

Maybe some Booster Gold. The editor and I have been talking over some ideas.

21. Who are some characters you would really love to get your hands on?

Mr Miracle, Shazam, Legion, Adam Strange.

22. Do you want to take a stab at a creator owned project?

I would really love to at some point.

23. Do you remember Digger bringing a machete to School of Visual Arts?

Love that that Digger.
24. Why do you think inkers and colorists are “unsung heroes”?

They are certainly not as recognized as they should be. I've got the amazing Dave Meikis on Animal Man. I've also had the awesome Cam Smith who's now slumming on Bryan Hitch.

25. What about letterers?

I will always remember John Workman during Walt Simonson's run on Thor.Just plain beautiful.

26. Where comics better in the mid to late 80’s?

Yes and no. The standards were certainly higher in terms of what was expected form an artist. Some of those old stories don't age very well. Some are just plain timeless.....Micronauts 1-12 anyone?

27. Any advice for aspiring comic artists?

Do your research. The more real your world is, the better your characters are going to look. It ain't fun but it's very necessary.


  1. Thanks Andres, I try to keep them simple and fun. Keep posted, Your interview goes up Friday!!!!

  2. Neat interview. Miss Batista on Robin so bad T_T