Cliff Chiang talks BRAVE AND THE BOLD #33
Happy Monday, Source gang. Hope the weekend was pleasant and restful.
Let me be realistic here: We read a lot of comics on a day-to-day basis. Lots of great, exciting stories involving our favorite characters and some new and engaging ones as well. Every once in a while, you come across an issue that really cuts to the core of what made you get into comics -- and what kept you reading. THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #33 is one such comic.
JMS crafts a fun, poignant and entertaining story into one issue, masterfully illustrated by the very talented Cliff Chiang.
Sometimes it's easy to lose titles in the shuffle, with so many books coming out every week. But we wanted to steer you back to this one, because it's certainly a treat. We caught up with Cliff to share some of his thoughts on the issue and he was kind enough to share some of his pencils and inks.
Be warned, though. Some spoilers below. But why not just run out and pick up the issue? We'll wait. Click below for some lovely Cliff Chiang artwork and insight...
I really enjoyed drawing Batgirl in her original black and blue costume, and using the George Perez design for Wonder Woman. The story needed to feel classic, iconic, and somewhat timeless in that regard. However, JMS smartly updated a lot of the references so it's not a "flashback" issue per se. I like the idea that comics continuity is constantly happening and refreshing itself.
I was really looking forward to drawing the women in their civilian clothes; you never see enough of that in comics! Fashion is such a specific thing, and in a case like this, you can't just wing it. Unlike the costumes, the fashion had to be contemporary, or you risk it just being fake and bland. My fiancée was kind enough to round up a great selection of au courant dresses, and I picked the 3 that fit their personalities. So Wonder Woman, Zatanna and Batgirl are actually wearing designer dresses and shoes.
In a story like this, you can really go wild with little touches. Given the "Sex and The City" vibe of the script, I tried to inject as much of the
feeling of my hometown of New York as I could. From the taxis and the advertisements, to the karaoke bar, to the diner with the foil covered plants -- these are some of the things I associate with New York nightlife. On their own the details are minor, but the cumulative effect is a fully-realized, believable world, and you can allow yourself to be carried away by the emotional story.
The penultimate scene was probably the most intimidating for me to draw. I had to remind readers of Brian Bolland's brilliant work on "The Killing Joke" despite our vastly different styles, as well as inter-cut with flashback panels. I borrowed a trick I saw from a John Romita Jr. comic and staggered the panels to give a sense of the "camera" switching back and forth. I rarely do much rendering or cross-hatching, but for the double-page spread, it felt right, to help shock the reader with a different kind of reality. I'm really proud of how the book turned out and hope the readers feel as strongly about it as I do.