Eisner-nominated artist J. Bone knows he's got a good thing going as cover artist on "Super Friends." He gets to draw DC Comics' 'Big 6' [that's the 'Big 7' minus Martian Manhunter] on a monthly basis with no worry of what's going in the latest publisher-wide crossover because the title exists outside regular DCU continuity.
Probably best known as the inker on Darwyn Cooke's Eisner-nominated run on "The Spirit," Bone was also nominated for an Eisner in 2001 as a 'Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition' for his work on "Allison Dare" and "Solar Stella" for Oni Press.
Inspired by the Mattel toy line of the same name, "Super Friends" marks its two-year anniversary in February, and Bone is celebrating the occasion by contributing interiors, as well as the cover. The story features all of DCU's mad scientists - and there are a lot of them - and Bone recently teased sketches of the supervillains on his blog that had the forums and message boards buzzing.
CBR checked in with the artist from his own Hall of Justice in Toronto, Ontario to see what drives the self-professed Pollyanna, and found an artist so pure of heart, you'd want no one else introducing today's youth to Superman, Batman and the rest of the World's Greatest Heroes.
CBR News: You've been doing covers for "Super Friends" since the book launched, but you haven't done interiors since #18. Are you happy to be back "inside" for #24?
J. Bone: I got the script for #18 in order to do the cover, read that it was a Bizarro issue and e-mailed Rachel [Gluckstern], my "Super Friends" editor, mightily pleading to be allowed to draw the interiors. [Series writer] Sholly [Fisch] wrote such an incredibly fun story - as he does for every issue - that I could practically see the whole thing drawn before I even set pencil to paper.
As to #24, I am, indeed, thrilled to be doing the interiors. This issue marks two years of doing covers for "Super Friends." I've had so much fun drawing the covers for this book each and every month that I barely noticed the passing of time.
Right now I'm really happy to get the occasional interior and keep doing the covers every month. Dario [Brizuela] and Stewart [McKenny], the regular interior guys, do such a great job. Because I know the stories, having read Sholly's script in order to draw the cover, I like seeing how those guys approach the page and handle the characters. Doing covers also leaves me free to pursue my other illustration work.
From the solicitations and your blog, we see that #24 features all of DCU's mad scientists gathering together on Oolong Island. Did Sholly give you certain villains to use or did he let you go searching?
Sholly definitely supplied a list of villains, and pretty much every one of them has a villain spotlight moment in the story. I'm not exactly well versed in the extensive list of characters in the DC universe, so there were plenty villains I'd never even heard of. Many of them are incredibly alike in appearance. I tried my best to give each of them at least one unique physical characteristic in order to differentiate among the many bald dudes in lab coats. I like that Sholly pulls from old DC "Justice League of America" stories to populate the kid-friendly world of "Super Friends."
Who was your favorite to draw, and what do you like most about him or her?
On any given day I loved drawing Mr. Mind, Professor Hugo, The Ultra-Humanite, and the Terrible Trio - Fox, Shark and Vulture. I treat the trio as anthropomorphic, which I don't think is actually how they are in the original story. Hey, there's a talking worm, I don't think kids are going to have a problem with a talking shark.
But if you were holding a transmogriphier ray-gun to my head I'd have to pick...The Fox? No, Ultra-Humanite. Yeah... definitely Mr. Mind.
Do you have a favorite Super Friend?
Hmm... another possible toss-up. But I've got to go with Wonder Woman. I just genuinely love her as a character. I wish to heck Mattel would hurry up and make an action figure of her for the "Super Friends" toy line. We've got enough Supermans and Batmans already.