Tuesday, December 2, 2014
Graphic Policy Interviews Emanuela Lupacchino
DC has been doing a great job with publicity for Supergirl and the new direction the title is taking. K. Perkins and Mike Johnson have been interviewed on the usual sites, discussing where Supergirl is going and what new characters we are going to run into.
But I was glad to see artist Emanuela Lupacchino get interviewed by the site Graphic Policy. While Lupacchino predates Perkins and Johnson on the book, she is part of the new direction as well. And I have wanted to hear her thoughts about Supergirl and her approach to the character for some time. Here is a link to the whole interview: http://graphicpolicy.com/2014/11/27/we-talk-supergirl-with-ema-lupacchino/
As always I recommend reading the whole interview by heading to the site. But here are some of the questions that grabbed me and my usual commentary.
Graphic Policy: How did you get the chance to draw this iconic character?
Ema Lupacchino: From what I remember, It happened in just three seconds – Eddie Berganza asked me if I’d have liked to work on Supergirl and I said “YES”. I was really happy when he named “Supergirl” as the title I could have been working on, I love this character.
GP: Supergirl is fairly iconic in terms of her costume and her design, What do you do to put your own personal touch on this character?
EL: What I think is that the costume is not really important in order to define a character – the key is the attitude I give to her. I feel this responsibility every time I have to feature a specific character with the acting, the gesture, the expressions – it’s what describes him or her the most, the costume is just an outfit. This is what I try to give to her, a very specific temper and attitude. It can be a look, a way to move, a feeling. I want her to be as “real” as possible.
I am always glad to hear that creators on the book are fans of the character. So I was glad to see Lupacchino loves the character. I would love to know more of Lupacchino's history with Kara. Did she read the book before she came on board? Have a favorite version?
I also think that Lupacchino does bring a strength and feel to the character. It feels that her art has actually improved over her time on the book, becoming more expressive, as she grows with the character. I think I first felt that resilience and core in the panel above, just as Kara shed the red ring.
GP: In the most recent issue (#36), Kara is wearing Supergirl-blue nail polish, which is a nice touch for the character. Did you have any input into that?
EL: YES! It was me, I confess! I love blue nails, and since it’s more modern that the classic red one I thought it could be a smart way to show she’s living our timeline.
Whether it be blue (which I do think is quite fetching) or any other color, the very addition of nail polish shows that Kara is embracing Earth as her home. It is something very human.
It is small touches like this that add depth to any book. It also shows a dedication to detail by the artist. Thrilled.
GP: Also in the most recent issue Kara is thrown into some Kryptonian battle armor, which looked pretty amazing. What were your inspirations for the design?
EL: I was inspired by some pretty amazing concepts, mostly by Japanese illustrators I really love, like Terada for example. Japanese are the best at conceiving sci-fi technologies and I wanted to give a sense of futuristic tech on her armor, in order to help her feel light and comfortable at the same time.
GP: The series has generally been a mix between Earth based stories and outer-space cosmic stories. Is there a setting between the two that you prefer?
EL: Space, of course! On Earth, as our real world, nothing extraordinary really happens – but out there in the space, extraordinary things can be discovered: futuristic technologies, new worlds and races that are very exciting to draw.
I am hoping that the Battle Armor doesn't become the default costume. While it is very slick, I don't want Supergirl to be armored. Seems too '90s. Breaking it out now and then when the battle calls for it would be fine in my book. But how about something more classic ... or at least without the red crotch section.
GP: Speaking of outer space based stories, the world which you designed for the Crucible is pretty complex and amazing, between the different environments and an awesome looking space station. How much input did you get into the design of the planet?
EL: The idea of the Crucible as a bracelet orbiting on two twin stars was written in the script, and I think it’s a very cool idea. I spent a lot thinking about how to design it. You know, there were many factors to consider out there – the balance it should have with the stars’ orbit, the dimension, the details, the dimension of the ships outside. At the beginning I was working on some preliminary studies that didn’t really give the sense of its size, so I asked my friend Emiliano Santalucia to help me in figuring out what wasn’t really working with it. So he suggested to me to draw a huge diameter bracelet in which we can barely see where it ends over the stars. That worked perfectly, thanks Emil!
It is a great visual so I was glad to hear the development of the look. Beautiful.
I hope Lupacchino stays on the book for an extended period of time. Her art is just spectacular. And I love her civilian Kara as much as the hero flying into action.