Sunday, April 19, 2009

Aris Asks Jamal Igle

Jamal Igle has been drawing comics for 15 years and is currently artist on Supergirl for DC, he also teaches and lectures on comic art at the Art Students League in NYC.

1. Most people don't realise how long you have been a professional comic artist, when did you start drawing comics professionally?

About 1993, I guess. That's when I got my first regular assignment for a small publisher called Majestic entertainment

2. You graduated from New York's Art and Design High School and teach at the Art Students League, how important is formal art education to drawing comics?

I recommend it actually. I was always told that you have to know the rules first in order to break them and i think that's true. With superhero comics especially, there is such a reliance on knowing anatomy, perspective, and observation. You can learn to draw comics on your own, which is what happened to me. However, learning how to draw properly first was the best thing I could do for myself as an artist.

3. What were the first book you read that really made you a comics fan?

It was an issue of Captain America, I couldn't tell you the number but It was drawn by Paul Neary.

4. Creator's who's work influence your love of comics and art?

Steve Rude and Dave Stevens.

5. The work you are doing on Supergirl is awesome, how long do you see your self continuing on drawing duty?

I'll be on the book for a bit longer, there are some things being discussed but it's too early to discuss.

6. Would you say this is the best work you have put out so far?

Artistically i think Supergirl is the best work I've done so far.

7. On the average how long does it take to do one page?

Depending on the detail anywhere between 4 and 12 hours

8. You have a wonderful family, do you have your studio in your house? What are the challenges of working from home?

Yeah, i actually sectioned of a corner in the living room. With a 1 year old it's better for me to work at home so we have a babysitter during the day until 5 pm, I take over, feed the baby, give her a bath and put her to bed. I cook dinner for my wife and we relax for a bit. when Karine goes to bed I sometimes work during the night for a few hours. I try to spend as much time as possible with Karine and Catherine.

9. What character or title are you dying to get a shot drawing at DC?

You know, until recently I hadn't considered him, but I wove to try and do an Aquaman book.

10. As a professional artist are you ever intimidated by other artists?

I'm in awe of some artists, but never intimidated.

11. Can you give us any idea what's next for Jamal Igle at DC?

Something big but I can't discuss it right now.

12. You have drawn a variety of characters over the last 10 to 15 years, which title has been the most challenging?

G.I.Joe. I realized that sometimes you can be a fan of something as a kid , and not wanting anything to do with it as an adult. It was two of the most painfully awful issues I've ever drawn.

13. When you come on a title, do you actively try to tweak the character design or leave your own creative stamp on the character?

It depends, With Firestorm the changes were already in place when Stuart Moore took over the book, so I was allowed to change the costume. With Nightwing I tried to stick very closely to what was already established for the look of the character.With Supergirl I actively tweaked what I thought didn't work for the character design wise, again with DC's approval and encouragement.

14. Who would win in a fight....Supergirl, Mary Marvel or Powergirl?

Oh that's a tough one, but I'd give the edge to Supergirl.
15. What do you think can really be done editorially to reduce late comics? Can it be helped?

Not really, and I don't think that's the answer most people want to hear. Things happen, people get sick, people quit, some artists just aren't as fast as others.People Jim Lee or John Cassaday are late because they have other things going on outside of comics. It's just the way it is.

16. Do you think digital comics will ever completely replace floppies?

Eventually but not in the time frame some people think they will.In order for it to happen, it would have to be an across the board change to all of the publishing industry. Everyone, magazines, newspapers, prose books would all have to go paperless at the same time and you'd have to have an inexpensive E-reader that people would be satisfied with.
17. Are there any characters at Marvel, that given the chance you would love to draw?

Captain America and Daredevil.

18. Will Blackest Night crossover into Supergirl?

I don't know yet.

19. I have read a recent interview regarding some of your thoughts on creator owned projects, cost aside, you have to some ideas, any chance you will get to those eventually?

I'd like to think so. In some form or another, and It's just about the money.If I had the capital, You'd only see my once a year promoting whatever novel I was working on and then I'd disappeared into the woods like Big Foot

20. Is Supergirl an all ages book?

It's as much of an all ages book as Byrne and Claremont's X-men. it's violent in spots and there is some blood, although I try to keep it to a minimum.

21. If your daughter wanted to be a comic artist you would say?

I'd encourage her but I'd also let her know much work it is and how difficult it is to get into the business. It's doubly hard if you're a "Junior" like John Romita jr., Adam and Andy Kubert, or Leah Moore. She'd be unfairly compared to me or accused of being a recipient of nepotism.
22. Do you have any words of advice for some one reading this that has aspirations of being a comic artist?

Be patient, be open to suggestions and be a professional. Keep your commitments and your promises.
23. If you weren't drawing comics you would be....?

A Chef, maybe open my own restaurant.

24. By your estimation, greatest comic artist of all time?

Alex Raymond was the best, hands down.

Find out more about Jamal at his website and blog

And Make sure to pick up, good, action packed comics.

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