Over on the Superman Homepage, there is a great interview with Supergirl artist Mahmud Asrar. Here is the link to the interview in its entirety:
If you are a fan of Asrar, you should definitely head there to read this. It is a great piece going over a variety of topics from his beginnings in the comic world through his current run on Supergirl. I picked out a couple of questions to cover here as the answers were interesting.
Q: You'd previously been hired to work for DC Comics on the "Brightest Day: Atom" oneshot and an Atom back-up feature in "Adventure Comics", how did you get the job of being the artist on the relaunch of "Supergirl"? What was the process behind that?
A: Right after the "Giant-Size Atom" book I started working on "Star Wars: Jedi - The Dark Side". While I was on that DC offered me the chance to do some covers for "Supergirl". This was for the pre-New 52 book. Later I was asked if I'd be interested in doing an ongoing book for them. They were being really vague and after a non-disclosure agreement I was filled in on the details. Turns out I was being offered to be a part of the New 52 with Supergirl. I was pleased as I was looking to do a single character book with a preferably female protagonist.
I can remember when Asrar's covers for the prior Supergirl comic came out, I was pretty impressed by them. In particular I thought this cover really stood out as being fantastic. It has almost a pulp or noir feel to it with Supergirl and the heroes literally being in the palm of the villain's hand (I still feel funny calling that guy Triplexxx).
So I am not surprised that DC approached him to do Supergirl for the new 52.
I am pretty sure this cover was going to be the cover for the Good Looking Corpse trade paperback, a book which ultimately was never released.
Q: There's always a lot of discussion regarding the sexualization of female characters in comic books. Many feel that the design of Kara's costume in the "New 52" is inappropriate for a teenage girl, especially from the waist down. What are you thoughts on this? And what do you like/dislike most about this version of Supergirl's design?
A: Truthfully, I completely disagree on this regarding Kara. Sure, there are obviously sexualized or overtly provocative costumes on some characters out there but I don't think Kara fits that category. Kara's costume and its purpose has been hinted at in the first and sixth issues. It's basically a training outfit. If you take a look at modern sports, you'll see that female athletes dress up pretty lightly. So in that sense, or any other sense, I don't think Kara's outfit is sexualized or provocative at all. Admittedly I try to draw her attractive but I aim to keep it tasteful at all times.
So I don't necessarily think that this costume is overtly sexualized, not in this day when Starfire, Dejah Thoris, and Emma Frost grace comics covers. I do think that the red covering of the 'crotch panel' and the intricate corners around that area do tend to draw the eye. To be honest, I'd be happy with a simply blue unitard with the S-symbol.
But I agree and am very glad that the book remains tasteful. There are no cheesecake poses or awkward anatomically impossible preening or even provocative points of view or panel angles in this book. There is nothing gratuitous or distracting. Instead we get straight up comic book action.
Q: Can you let us in on any upcoming Supergirl storylines you are working on or will soon be working on? What are you most looking forward to?
A: Right now I'm working on the zero issue. I'll be vague here to avoid getting sliced and diced by the DC legal ninjas but expect quite a few answers on Kara and her origins. It'll be a very gratifying issue for long time readers while being an excellent starting off point. Also we've got some surprising new, but maybe familiar, characters appearing in upcoming issues. You'll never guess who.
Hmmm ... another hint that we will see new but familiar characters in the future. I am going to restate my theory that Reactron will once again be a Supergirl rogue ... either as Zor-El's assassin (again) or as the 5th World Killer (although he might be a she in this incarnation).
Either way, echoes of Supergirl's history in this incarnation (as in the last and in Peter David's book) are always appreciated as they acknowledge her mythos.
Thanks again to the Superman Homepage for conducting the interview and letting me repost these questions here.