Artist Nicola Scott is known for lengthy runs on some of DC Comics’ biggest titles including “Birds of Prey,” “Teen Titans” and “Earth 2.” At July’s Image Expo, acclaimed writer Greg Rucka joined Scott to announce their new creator-owned series from Image Comics, “Black Magick,” which has actually been in the works since 2010 and will finally debut this October. “It’s a police procedural, but it’s not,” Rucka said at Image Expo. “It’s supernatural investigation, but it’s not. It’s a story of legacy and destiny, and bad things that go bump in the night.”
Scott joined CBR TV’s Jonah Weiland aboard the CBR Yacht at Comic-Con International in San Diego to discuss her first creator-owned series, breaking in at DC Comics and how her work has evolved and will continue to evolve as she gets deeper into “Black Magick.
In part one of their conversation, Scott explains how fan-favorite writer Jimmy Palmiotti has been a long time supporter of her work, and how that support eventually led to her first sit-down with CBR TV. Next she dives into the ins and outs of “Black Magick,” explaining how her collaboration with Greg Rucka came about and why it took so long to actually deliver the series to fans. She also discusses changing up her style, going for a different aesthetic that allows her to put more of her soul on the page.
On “Black Magick,” her new supernatural police procedural with Greg Rucka:
Nicola Scott: Greg pitched this idea to me about five years ago at this show and it hit all of my buttons. As he was telling me the beginning of the story and the end of the story and the twist in the story halfway through, I was just like, “Holy shit. That’s mine. Mine mine mine!” And he was like, “Okay, so when do you want to do this?” And I’m like, “Not yet, because I’m working on this at DC.” Then the next year I saw him and he was like, “Are you ready?” And I’m like, “No, I’m not ready.” I felt like I needed to get to a certain point at DC where I had made a mark of some description; that I was leaving not before I was ready. A couple of years ago I said, “I’m gonna be ready soon, so gear up.” And he did, and we did, and we’ve been developing since then. We started probably about six months ago and it is — it’s not quite a procedural. It’s kind of — that’s how we introduce the story but it’s not quite a crime procedural. It’s a witch noir.
On the evolution of her style and how it differs from her DC Comics work:
I feel like when I was trying to get work at DC I was trying to make myself as employable to them as possible. And when I was there, obviously I’m trying to draw specifically for each book while sort of maintaining my own style, but just sort of adapting how much line work I put down, how many shadows, this, that and the other. But I was losing skills. It was like, for about ten years now all I’ve done is work with a pencil and I’d really like to pick up a paint brush again. With this project in particular, one of the reasons why it spoke to me is because I could see in my head how it should look and it didn’t look anything like I was drawing. So I was trying to find — I spent a couple of months at the beginning — trying to find a happy medium that looked like my style, but an evolution that was really appropriate for the book that would really stimulating and fun to do. So that meant sort of picking up paint brushes, picking up markers, experimenting with different papers and brushes and such. I’ve had a really good time narrowing it down to what I thought was exactly right for the book and now I’ve got the slow process of actually achieving it.
In part two, Scott discusses her mindset when it comes to making art, and how she’s able to put neuroses at bay and sit down and do the work. She also discusses her dream project, and how it’s no secret to anyone at DC that she got into comics to draw Wonder Woman and won’t stop until she’s been able to leave her mark on the DC icon.
On being nice to herself when it comes to her art:
I have very little time for my own bullshit, let alone other people’s, so I’d much prefer to get on with it. I prefer that sense of achievement and being happy with what I’ve achieved, but I also know that if you overwork something you can totally fuck it up — that it’s finish point should have been like an hour and a half ago. It really is that delicate balance, and now that I’m sort of working in a new medium — not new to me, but I haven’t touched it for a long time — I am sort of finding out, “Okay, I need to know when I’ve finished.” “Have I finished? Maybe I’ll put a little more there.” “Have I finished? Yes…” I might put it away for a week before I scan it, then I can look at it again and go, “That looks done to me.”
On her dream project:
I think most people know, including the people that could give me the job [Laughs], I got into this industry to draw Wonder Woman. I have not yet had my go to really do something significant with that character. She’s appeared in almost every book I’ve worked on, because the writers know that I love her and can bring something to the table there, but I haven’t really had a substantial, meaty run doing the kinds of things that I feel like I can bring to the character that either I haven’t seen before or I feel has been forgotten about, and maybe I could elevate again.
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