Getting Closer (Part 3): Alex Sinclair talks "The Intimates"

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CBR's spotlight on DC Comics/Wildstorm's "The Intimates" continues today with editor Alex Sinclair. Though many know him from his award winning colorist work on DC Comics' "Batman" and lush coloring on "Superman," he's been making a name for himself as an editor over the past few years. Sinclair took some time to speak with CBR News about "The Intimates" and explained why Ben Abernathy isn't onboard the project anymore.

"There was a little editorial re-shuffle done and I was given 'The Intimates' as a result," Sinclair explained. "Ben Abernathy has done an amazing job of getting this book rolling so I feel kind of guilty taking over something that is this good and in as great a shape. Okay, maybe not that guilty [laughs]."

Having seen a fair share of teen superhero books in his time, Sinclair is confident in saying that this book isn't another "Gen 13" or "Teen Titans," because of, he says, "The characters. Jim and Joe came up with some pretty unique characters and placed them in a very cool setting. It's not a book about teenage superheroes running around being side-kicks or trying to prove they are not side-kicks. These kids not only have to deal with the regular teen angst that comes along with high school, they also have to hone their super powers. This book is very character driven and all of them 'feel real. I think I knew a few of them when I was in high school."

All editors treat books differently and he says that one of the first things he realized was that all of the creators involved are giving 100% to "The Intimates." "I came to the party a little late so at first I had to sit and watch what Ben had gotten going and make sure it got done right and on time, take care of the last few details," explains Sinclair. "Joe loves this book and likes to be involved in every step of the process so much that he should get an assistant editor credit along with his writer and co-creator one. This helps keep me on my toes and it's not a bad thing having the writer help make sure everything is dead-on.

"I edit books according to the talent attached to it. Some books require a more hands-on approach where I have to be on top of the talent every step of the way while others kinda edit themselves and I only need to handle the details. Joe makes this book very easy to edit since he's so involved with the whole process."

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The cast of the series, as described in detail by writer Joe Casey and co-creator Jim Lee earlier this week, is much more eclectic than the standard superhero series and Sinclair feels it adds to the unique feel of the book. "What I like about these characters is that I can't say that Punchy is just like (insert favorite hero's name here)'s sidekick from this other comic book. It's more like 'Punchy is just like my good friend from high school, Sam Percy and Vee reminds me of Summer Serrano, etc.' They are real kids with real problems and now they have to learn how to deal with that and their powers and what their code name is.

"Also, the info scroll is one of the coolest things around. Most of the pages have a panel of information, almost like a set of footnotes, at the bottom that fills in the blanks; helps develop characters or simply gives some teen-appropriate tips. Joe must go nuts writing these every issue because there are so many of them and each one has at least 2-3 notes. It's an ingenious way of helping the story-telling without having to use actual panels to do so."

Working with Lee, Casey and series artist Cammo has excited Sinclair, who says this is a team full of people he admires and it makes a huge difference. "Jim's always great to work with. I would work with him on anything and I am working with him as his editor for the first time--so far it's been about the same--a lot of excitement and tons of awesome art. I am a fan of Joe's Wildcats and am very happy to be working with him on Intimates. This guy is so passionate about his work that it's a little infectious. Cammo and I worked together as penciller/colorist on 'Swamp Thing' a couple years back. We became good friends and I am very pleased to be working with him again. Maybe I'll finally learn some of those Italian cuss-words that Jim says he never learned...And Sandra Hope. What can you say about Sandra beyond her being one of my favorite inkers in the industry? She's like the older sister I never had [laughs]."

There's also a lot on Sinclair's plate, from coloring "Superman" and "Identity Crisis," to editing some exciting new books. "The 'WildStorm Winter Special' is a book that I am very proud of. It's an anthology that features some great characters like Zealot, The Authority gang and Deathblow! We have guys like Bruce Jones, Wil Pfeifer, Tom Peyer and Allen Warner who wrote some very cool stuff. And the art is amazing--Josh Middleton, Cary Nord and Dave Stewart, Carlos D'Anda and Scott Iwahashi. Did I mention it has a Michael Turner cover?! This book hits stores in November so look for it. I am also editing WildStorm's new ongoing series: 'Majestic.' The Dan Abnett/Andy Lanning writing team has come up with some great material that brings Majestic back to the WS universe. We even have Superman and The Eradicator guest starring in the first issue. Neil Googe and Trevor Scott will blow you away with the art. There's a couple more things in the horizon, but I think I've said enough."

If you're excited about "The Intimates" and want to see it live a long life, Sinclair has a clear message: do not wait for the trade paperback collection. "I've always loved reading the monthly titles. As cool as it is to have the collections, it never really feels like a comic book when it's thicker than 48 pages or so. Nothing beats flipping through a comic book; reading it; re-reading it; and filing it in anticipation of what will come the next month. I still do it even though I get to read scripts months in advance and sometimes on the books that I work on. Very rarely do trade sales support a monthly enough to keep it afloat. It is so important for people to support the monthly sales especially during the launch of a book. Once it proves itself to be the hit that we all know it will be, maybe you can wait for the 4th trade...but then you won't know what craziness Punchy is up to."

And you better get off the fence about the series because Sinclair is about to knock you off with his recommendation for the series. "It really is different. Not because it's a new property and all new books need to be. It's different because the characters, the story and it's presentation are fresh and unique. You like these kids and wonder what you would do in that situation. You look forward to the next info scroll wondering what the hell Joe came up for that one or if he's going to top himself. You read it because you want to get to know the characters, not because they go out and save the day, but because they need to learn how to and you want to be there to see how they do so."

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