Word Balloon: Ethan Vansciver: Flash & Black Lanterns

Word Balloon: Ethan Vansciver

Flash Rebirth #1, second printing cover

On this edition of the Word Balloon Podcast, DC artist Ethan Van Sciver talks about the well-received (and now sold out) debut of Flash: Rebirth, drawn by Ethan, and written by Geoff Johns, as well as his recently released teaser images of Black Lanterns: Aquaman and the Earth-2 Superman for the DC summer event Blackest Night.

We talk about the first Flash issue, with minor spoilers about images and basic ideas of the plot so far. The topics include the artists‘commentary on the opening action sequence, comparing the attitudes of Barry and Wally when facing the Flash’s Rogues, Wally's eventual new costume, Barry's observations on the changing speed of the world around him, and more.

Ethan also discusses his thoughts that went into the Black Lantern designs for Blackest Night, and his respect - but slight jealousy - that Ivan Reis is drawing the story.

Some quotes from the conversation...

On Barry's origin stemming from the accidental lightning storm/chemical bath:

"It's close to a Marvel origin, do you think maybe it inspired the Marvel heroes? ...most DC characters are these self determined heroes...Marvel characters get into these stupid accidents, and if the two universes co-existed, the Marvel Heroes wouldn't have happened because the DC heroes would've prevented all the accidents from happening...Superman would've been in space to stop Reed Richards rocket 'What's wrong with you sir, taking your wife up here.' ...'Bruce Banner want to not wander around the bomb testing site?'...Daredevil look out for that truck!'

The strange Central City public sentiment of The Flash Museum as a tourist attraction:

"What's that all about? It doesn't have any artifacts of Flash's deeds...It's just big statues of the local murderers...like the citizens wouldn't be terrorized or embarrassed that their city gave birth to these killers?... I'm guilty of contributing to the myth and will continue to treat it as a warm and friendly place, but it's strange to me.

On returning to draw Bart (Impulse/Kid Flash ) Allen:

"Bart's so awesome. He is the character I drew when I first had my son...Bart being treated well is important to me...When drawing him as Kid Flash I've just aged him a little bit, I'm trying to keep part of that Humberto Ramos cartoony feel, and make him look familiar to Impulse fans ...I know him like the back of my hand.

On his future tenure on more Flash books:

I'm challenging myself to become a monthly artist...my attitude was I won't be a monthly artist...but I realized I'm a storyteller and I really want to tell a lot of stories... there are shortcuts that I could take but I refuse to take but the story will still be told well...I'm very snotty that way...(by being this way) I'm missing out on the opportunity to learn to draw quickly and well...there's a future for the flash, and the only person keeping me from being a big part of that is me.

So I'm going to try hard, and Flash: Rebirth is a great way to try... normally I might do eight quality pages a month while trying to maintain a happy family life, but on The Flash last month I did 17 good pages and a cover... that's closer to the monthly requirements an artist has to fulfill.

This weekend Ethan is heading on a Trans-Continental publicity tour to South Africa:

"A store in Johannesburg contacted me and said 'There are a lot of comic book fans here, but we haven't had anyone from DC to come over to see us.' It was really flattering, they chose me!...They sold tickets to raise money to fly us out there. So I'll be drawing free sketches. They sent over pictures of south African fans wearing Green Lantern shirts in Johannesburg ...really they put in a lot of effort to bring me over, and not only that, how cool is it to go to Africa?...It's a rare chance to step on another continent and to be able to bring my son who's 10 years old... it’s a privilege."

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