Chicago Comic-Con 2010: J. Scott Campbell

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At Chicago Comic-Con, J. Scott Campbell discussed the ultimate Danger Girl collection and other upcoming projects.

BROKEN FRONTIER: You’ve been doing mostly covers these days. Are you pretty happy with that or have you been getting an itch to do interior art again?

J. SCOTT CAMPBELL: Oh, I’ve been getting an itch for doing interior art for a while now. And actually, I’d be lying to you if I said there weren’t interior projects in the works. It’s one of those things where I’m hesitant to say what they are because I don’t want to create an expectation of when they’re going to come out. But what I can say is that I absolutely have that itch and it’s actually being scratched. Hopefully, you’ll hear more about that sooner rather than later. I know that’s very vague and cryptic but it is in the works.

BF: Now that IDW is releasing the ultimate Danger Girl collection, are you getting new fans who hadn’t read the original material?

JSC: You know, I don’t think it’s quite hit the streets yet. It’s been delayed a couple times but it should be coming out any moment now. But I am anxious to see if people approach me with that sort of attitude. If maybe they didn’t see it the first time. I know it’s going more to comic book stores than bookstores so I’m not entirely sure what the potential of that is. A lot of people over the years have discovered Danger Girl through Barnes and Noble and so forth but I’m not sure how much that will translate with this new version. But it’s always interesting when you hear from new fans.

BF: A lot of your recent cover works have been collaborations with Nei Ruffino. What was it about her art that first made you think the two of you would be a good team?

JSC: We initially did a project together, one of the Return to Wonderland covers, if I have that correct. I was unaware of her work but I just really liked the combination. I thought that she brought an extra spark and a unique approach to color that didn’t look like anybody else. And I had had this calendar idea in the back of my mind for a while to do fantasy and fairy tale characters and I thought, “If the potential is what I think it is with her, I think she’d be great for this project.” So I shortly after that approached her about the concept of doing more of that type of thing but with some of my specific ideas, not necessarily Zenescope’s. And she was up for it and ever since then, I’ve just found that she brings a look that the fans really respond to and that I really like. I love her energy. She’s not like a lot of people in our industry who approach comics feeling kind of tired or doing the same old, same old. She still has that spark and excitement for what she’s doing and it comes through in her work. And she has a tremendous work ethic and always comes through. With that combination, it’s hard not to want to work with someone like that.

BF: Do you still keep up with what WildStorm Comics has been doing with Gen13?

JSC: Not so much really and that’s not a slight against them. I don’t make it to comic stores that often and in recent years, comics haven’t been my recreation because I do it so much as a living. So unless they were to send me comps or something, I wouldn’t be really aware of it. I would be curious what’s going on with it but I also know that it’s a different person’s era now so it’s up to them to find their way with that book. Would it be what I would do? Most likely not but that’s not what it’s all about.

BF: Your art style has become a lot more dynamic in recent years. What would say is the biggest change you’ve gone through artistically?

JSC: You just get more confident with what you’re doing. You weed out the things that aren’t working. You refine the things you were having trouble with. It’s just a constant assessment of what I’m doing. I think it’s just a natural process.

BF: You’re probably getting tired of being asked this question but what’s the status of the long-rumored Spider-Man project that you were working on?

JSC: You’d almost have to refer back to question #1 to get a hint about that.

BF: Do you have any interesting stories or anecdotes about your early days on Danger Girl or Gen13, or forming Cliffhanger Comics?

JSC: Oh wow, I’m sure I do but I’m the worst at having them off the top of my head. One thing that just came up today that was kind of funny was the Gen13 “Draw Your Own Cover.” Someone might dispute this but I’m almost positive we were the first to do that, to do a sketch cover. It’s such a mainstay now of comics. When this came up, it hearkened back to the original Gen13 thirteen covers. We had twelve ideas and weren’t sure what to do for the last and I think it was Jim Lee who thought of this. “Why don’t you just make the last one look like a blue line board and we’ll draw on it?” And now it’s like everybody does it.

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