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Keeping Kara Real: An Interview with Adventures of Supergirl's Cat Staggs

Keeping Kara Real: An Interview with Adventures of...

By Tim Beedle Friday, April 8th, 2016

Supergirl’s debut season will come to a close this month on CBS, and while it’s pretty easy to miss Melissa Benoist’s pitch perfect performance as the Girl of Steel, Supergirl’s exploits will continue well beyond the show’s season finale.

ADVENTURES OF SUPERGIRL is a digital first series based on the show that continues the exploits of Kara, James, Winn, Alex, Hank, Cat and the rest of the National City crew. Written by beloved Supergirl writer Sterling Gates and drawn by a vibrant slate of artists in a mix of styles that feel perfect for Kara’s world, you can download new digital chapters every other Monday. But if you prefer your comic books to feel more like, well, books, you’re in luck. Adventures of Supergirl will soon be available in print at comic shops everywhere featuring the remarkable cover illustrations of Cat Staggs (who previously helped bring the life of Kara’s cousin to the page in our bestselling SMALLVILLE comic series). Over the past several years, Cat’s quietly become one of the best cover artists out there with illustrations that honor characters’ comic book roots while giving them a new layer of realism.

How real? Well, just check out this cover for ADVENTURES OF SUPERGIRL #6, which we’re exclusively revealing to you for the first time.



 

We had the chance to speak with Cat recently about the series, and in the process discovered some of the complexities involved with drawing comics based on TV shows, how Melissa Benoist may just be a Supergirl in real life and what it feels like to share a first name with Supergirl’s boss.
 

You were the cover illustrator for our Smallville comic book series for its entire run. So far, how has this project compared to that one?

Oh my goodness, how do you compare two dreams come true?! I feel so lucky to have been able to do both projects. I mean, I am a huge fan of both shows and Bryan Q. Miller and Sterling Gates are both incredible writers, so it's a total joy. I know that sounds like I'm not actually comparing them...but it's just true.

One difference is that this show is still on the air. Does that affect how you do your job?

I’m not sure it affects me so much as it does Sterling Gates. I know this book is running alongside the show, so the overall continuity must adhere much closer to the show, but I still think he has a big playground to explore.

I’ve noticed that many of the Adventures of Supergirl covers are more surreal and strange than your Smallville ones. Is that intentional?

Not really. I think it plays more into Supergirl is starting off as Supergirl and there are more alien elements in the story. Smallville, while in its own right was a mythological story, was very grounded in reality, and on Earth, for 10 years.



 

Your very first cover, with Supergirl flying above between a few National City skyscrapers, really captures the fun and spirit of the show. How hard was it nailing that design? I’d imagine first issue covers are always a bit difficult.

It really was. I wanted to capture the magic and feel of the show and the absolute joy their Supergirl has. From the beginning she was excited to be a hero. She wants to help make the world a better and safer place. She is finally being the Kara she has always wanted to be.

How has it been working with Sterling Gates? Do you interact with him much?

Sterling is AMAZING. He is an absolute joy to be around and his love for this character is contagious. That always makes it fun to work with someone. We are the Supergirl admiration society.

You tend to draw a lot of covers, but you’re also a phenomenal interior artist. Do you think you’ll get a chance to draw an Adventures of Supergirl story? Would you like to?

Thank you. I would love to and I am! I am working on a chapter right now!



 

You’ve met Melissa Benoist and she’s taken a really cute photo with your daughter. What’s the story behind that?

I have a friend who was writing on the show and he invited me to bring my wife and daughter down for a set visit. It was incredible. We had no idea we would actually see Melissa (we hoped we would!), but we ended up meeting her as she was on her way to wardrobe. She was one of the nicest people I have ever met. Our daughter adored her. Then before we left, she made sure we got to see her again in costume. I just…I mean, she was Supergirl! I tried to play it cool, but inside I was jumping for joy. Plus, our then 9-month-old was also in a little supergirl costume so it was just ridiculous cuteness as they played together. She's amazing with kids.

So as a Superman fan, what do you see as the differences between Superman and Supergirl. What are some of the ways she’s different from him?

I think Supergirl might be a little more of a loose cannon. Not that that is a bad thing. She may take more risks in a situation than her cousin.

Do you think they make each other better heroes?

I do, for the reason I just stated. I think her “let’s do this” attitude and his “make sure you look both ways before crossing the street” caution are mutually beneficial. She may allow him to take more risk and he would allow her to proceed with necessary caution. Both important characteristics in a hero.

Finally, how do you feel about sharing a name with Cat Grant?

Pssh, you should ask Cat Grant how she feels about sharing a name with ME.


ADVENTURES OF SUPERGIRL #1 will be available in print on May 4, 2016. The series ships bimonthly, so look for issue #2 on May 25!