Stars galore was the convention scene as the artists of DC made their way to celebrate all things that are made of comic wonder. As a regular visitor to conventions, I was no stranger to the brightly colored cosplaying world but it was my first time on the other side of the rope getting up close and personal with the stars themselves. At Oz Comic Con last weekend, I had the privilege of meeting two amazingly talented DC artists, Nicola Scott and Freddie E Williams II. They took the time to answer a few questions for the fans about their work for the legendary company DC.
Lets start with the lovely lady Nicola Scott.
- 1. What’s it like working for DC?
For me the experience has been really smooth and really satisfying. DC was the company I wanted to work for when I decided to draw comics and it has been a really supportive environment for me to be in, ya know? And the reason I have been there for such a long time has been because I’ve had really good working relationships with everybody, with all the writers and all the editors that I’ve worked with. I’ve had a really good time, I’ve felt like I’ve been generally looked after and considered and I get to work on all the characters I loved when I was a kid. So I’ve had a great time.
- 2. How do you feel about finishing Earth 2?
Kinda sad to leave the characters that I have been working with since the very beginning. You know there’s a whole lot of them that I really am emotionally invested in but I felt like the time was right. I had been on the book for over 2 years and with the oncoming weekly it was gonna go from like a nice little bubble of me and the writer and the editor to a big, big bubble of a whole lot of writers and whole lot of artists and a couple of editors and that in itself, can slow you down a little bit, sort of being aware of what everybody else is doing, it can limit the scope of what you’re doing and it was just a good opportunity to say, “Okay I’ve done my bit, now it’s time for everybody else.”
- How was earth 2 different from the Superman you worked on?
Well the Superman that I worked on was the New 52 Superman and I wasn’t the lead artist on that. I was kinda killing time until Earth 2 was ready ’cause I knew that was part of the second wave and so even though I did half the first arc, when you’re not the lead artist you kinda, just sorta following the lead and while it was a huge treat and privilege to be able to work with George Perez, it’s really nice to have that credit under the belt, him being sorta of one of my biggest influences in art, and you know a huge honor to be working on Superman. It was very much a case of just picking up the pieces that are already established and just taking the baton and running than sort of being emotionally invested in the creation of bits and pieces. So there was a little bit of that where with Earth 2, it was very much my baby from the beginning.
- You said above you have some characters that you are emotionally invested in who are they and why?
I feel like the character that I was really drawn to the most where probably Jay Garrick and Alan Scott just because they were our first two characters. We were following their stories, you know, we were introduced to them before they were heroes. They were our two leads and they were sort of a nice counter balance to each other and I feel really quite attached to both of them.
- What would be your dream comic to draw by the way in DC?
Well my favorite character is Wonder Woman and I want to at some point in my career have a nice long, chunky run on a Wonder Woman series but it would all come down to being paired with the right writer on the right story. You know if it was a total dream I’d be able to do my any universe Wonder Woman origin story that’s sort of a little bit of a deviation from what I presume is the current universe origin, but I’ve got some things to say about the character.
- Do you enjoy doing covers more than internal work?
I like the internal stuff.
Oh so covers are just like a frosting on the cake?
Yeah a little bit but there are plenty of books that I have worked on that I haven’t done the covers and a lot of the time it’s been by choice. For me the real fun is the storytelling you know. I know a lot of people get into comics because they wanna draw the splash page, but for me I like drawing the splash page but I like drawing it because of the context of the story of the pages around it.
That makes sense.
Yeah I like all the characters other stuff, splash pages are rarely about characters.
- Literally you have been drawing a picture as we talk and you have succeeded quiet well. How long does it take to draw a page roughly?
A page of art? I average 5 pages every 7 days.
I think that’s very reasonable.
Well the nature of a monthly book is it comes out once a month so you gotta produce a book’s worth of work once a month. 5 pages every 7 days, because I work 7 days a week, is how I stay on track.
- Any spoilers on what you might be working on next?
No, like my last issue of earth 2 is out. The thing that I’m working on at the moment I can’t say anything about because I’ve signed an NDA.
Oh that’s more than understandable.
Which is a little bit exciting.
So I’m just going to assume that the new Lady Thor turns out to be a man?
Ah, possible no idea why not! Why not that would be amusing for everybody
- What advice to do have for aspiring artists out there?
Be persistent and be self-critical. You’ve gotta really know what your limitations are and then work to better them and that would be it.
Well thank you very much for you time.
My pleasure honey thanks for talking to me.
Then I had the honor of chatting to the man Freddie E Williams II.
- What’s it like working for DC?
It’s great, its lifelong dream come true, it’s what I’ve always wanted to do is work for DC and Marvel and I’ve worked for them since 2005 and I’ve worked on quite a few of DC’s very iconic characters. I was exclusive with them from 2006 -2012 so that was six years of just working on DC comics and now I’m also doing stuff for Marvel. But anyway, yeah I love DC they have treated me, really really well.
- That’s wonderful to hear, how do you feel about working the Movement series?
I was in as soon as I knew that Gail Simone was the writer. I have wanted to work with her for quite a while and so I agreed to it even before really knowing much about the premise but once I had agreed, Gail emailed me all these like character bios and about the type of world that she wanted to build and it was very fully formed, you know. Most of these are brand new characters and its like she had written them, it’s hard to describe, but they were fully fleshed out it’s as if they had years and years of conception already because that just how good of a writer she is so and then once I read it I was like this is actually going to be really fun and enjoyable series. I wish we had a year but it was really good and really fun.
- I read it and wanted more but how does the Movement compare to the Infinite Crisis you have worked on?
Let’s see, that’s polar opposites really. The Movement was about ground level characters that had like a social agenda, their powers were being used in a different way, it wasn’t like the typical superheros baddies of the week or something like that. It was much more grounded and less fantastical, hugely different. It like comparing an apple to a solar system. It’s kinda a weird thing to compare.
- Well that’s awesome, so what is your favorite character from DC?
Superman, it’s always been my favorite character always been Superman, yeah.
- What would be your dream comic to work on?
Superman and Batman meet the Ninja Turtles and then they stop over with the X-men I guess? Something like that haha!
- Nice and easy and good one to choose, who’s been the best team to work with?
Creative team? Let’s see, I don’t know I’ve worked with some really great writers, my very first project at DC was finishing up 7 Soldiers Mr Miracle. I was working with Grant Morrison, who’s an amazing writer. I ink myself then coloring was Dave McKay who is an amazing colorist so quite an introduction and made the biggest impact on me aside from that anything I have worked on with my wife she’s a great collaborator, she does really great coloring and color selection and that’s probably it.
- That’s a really epic collaboration right there! As a man of many talents what do you enjoy doing the most?
Let’s see, wow, the hardest part of the job is the rough layouts. The composition work takes up the most brain power. It looks the most “simple” if somebody were watching the entire process, but it’s the most difficult. But my favorite is probably the part in the roughs where you’ve struggled for a couple of days to get it kinda working well, it’s the first step in the process are what I like to call scribbles which are almost indistinguishable. I almost have a hard time understanding what I’ve drawn. They are really, really fast bad drawing, to just get the ideas out of my head, like quick notes to myself of what to do later and then when I go back through and I’m using Adobe Photoshop to adjust things, it’s the point where you feel like all hope is lost because the layouts aren’t really clicking and then when they do click you feel this elation of “Okay I’ve got a handle on it, it’s gonna be good, now I have to worry about popping this moment to make it bigger and purposely making these other moments smaller and more intimate,” but you’ve got the flow down and that’s probably my favorite.
- How long does it take to draw a page roughly?
It’s about a day, give or take depending on the complexity, but I never start a page at the morning and finish it by the evening , I hardly ever do that. It’s like I’ll work on the rough for the entire issue which I call wire frames which are tight breakdown drawings for the entire issue. Then I’ll do inks for the entire issue. I’ll do it as an assembly line so I’ll be doing like three or four pages of something a day mostly the wire frames because it’s not as detailed on the page then I’ll go back though and ink two or three pages a day and then it’s up to about a page a day.
- What advice to do have for aspiring artists out there?
Be really, really persistent and don’t be afraid to make a lot of mistakes. Get yourself some good paper Bristol board so that you can just keep drawing and sketching over it and erasing and drawing some more and enhancing the lines until you find the right line you don’t have to draw the right line the first time, just scribble sketch a lot until you see the type of shapes you want and keep enhancing those. So in other words don’t be afraid to fail and be messy and then you will eventually succeed as long as you have persistence.
Thank you very much for your time.
Thank you very much.
And that all she wrote folks! stay tuned for more fun loving interviews coming your way!