Babs Tarr, 24, the Mount Pleasant native has come a long way in her art, going so far as to capture the attention of DC Comics and becoming the official illustrator for the next volume of Batgirl comics.
Tarr’s take on the character is said to make her “more fun and flirty” than she has been in the past. Tarr is trading in the characters traditional and sensual body-hugging spandex for a black leather jacket and bright yellow combat boots as the story takes her to Burnside, a trendy neighborhood in Gotham that is reminiscent of Brooklyn after she loses all of her possessions in a house fire.
This change wants to give Barbara Gordon some fun since her character has been through so much lately and fallen on hard times. The story, which is due out in October, will get a little lighter after her dark times of tracking down villains and recovering from paralysis. Batgirl’s crime fighting skills as she takes on a Sherlockesque path, becoming her own type of detective as she continues her education as a graduate student.
As for Tarr, she grew up in Mount Pleasant and graduated from Bishop England High school in 2006. She spent many days reading and drawing manga and learned oil paintings – alongside the business aspect of art – from fellow Mount Pleasant artist Paul Silva.
Initially Paul and his wife wanted Tarr to be a model when they first set eyes on her in a Barnes & Noble, but the moment he saw her art, his perspective changed towards helping her expand her talent giving her painting lessons and employing her as his assistant, selling art at the Charleston Farmers Market. For Tarr, this was a great opportunity and gave her the self-assurance she needed to become a professional artist in her right, leading her to study illustration at the Maryland Institute College of Art. However, the school only offered one class in comic book-style artistry.
Comics was never really a direction she thought her career would take, but when Cameron Stewart, Batgirl writer, asked her if she would be interested in drawing Batgirl, an apprehensive Tarr said yes, sending her illustrations to DC alongside Stewart’s story. And the rest was history.
“For so many years, I’ve been drawing for other people and it was great. It paid the bills, and I learned a lot about collaborating…but I was working on art that was not mine. DC saw my work and said ‘Yes, we like that.’ It’s my style. It’s beyond what I’ve ever imagined…It’s cool that DC has embraced the funkier side of comics.”
- Babs Tarr to “The Post and Courier”
Source: The Post and Courier