Spinning The Web: Talking to Web Artist Roger Robinson

Talking to Web Artist Roger Robinson

August sees the heroes of the Red Circle (a.k.a the Archie Comics heroes) hit the DC Universe in a series of four one-shot specials, but in September, their ongoing adventures begin in two series: The Shield (with Inferno appearing in a co-feature) and The Web (with The Hangman appearing in a co-feature).

Here at Newsarama, we’re going to break down the four creative teams of the Red Circle heroes, and today we’re starting with The Web artist Roger Robinson who provided artwork from his blog.

Newsarama: Roger, you've been a working cartoonist for a little while now, working on everything from Azrael to X-Men and everything in between. How did you originally break into comics?

Roger Robinson: My case is a little unique. I didn't get my first gig like other artist, at a comic con or sending samples to the submission department at DC or Marvel. I was very fortunate to meet Steve Donnelly of Creative Interest Agency through an old friend of mine that he represented in '93. He was impressed with my comic samples that he wanted to represent me. He got me my first comic gig, 6 pages from Hardcase #1 for Malibu Comics and then my first whole issue, Hardcase #4.

NRAMA: You started on The Web one shot and are staying on with the ongoing Web series. How did you get the job?

RR: The last few years, I was working in the game industry as a concept and cinematic artist on the cancelled Flash game and SplatterHouse. There were massive layoffs at the video game company that I worked for, so I called up Joey [Cavalieri, editor]to see if he had any work. Since we worked together back in the Spider-Man 2099 days, he welcomed me with open arms.

I penciled Brave and the Bold #25 for Joey, and he was very pleased with the issue that he offered me The Web one-shot and then The Web ongoing series.

NRAMA: Had you been a fan of the Web prior to getting the assignment?

RR: I remember reading The Web when it came out through DC Comics imprint Impact Comics and it was pretty good. J Michael Straczynski is giving a really cool spin on the Web. I think the readers are going to like it.

NRAMA: As you mentioned, Joey Cavalieri is your editor on the series, what did he tell you he wanted from the series?

RR: Joey is very trusting on what I bring to the table so he really didn't say anything. I know that Joey wants me to bring my strong storytelling sensibility to the book.

NRAMA: J.G. Jones did the character designs for the Red Circle Heroes. How much freedom do you have with the design on the Web in the monthly comic?

RR: Joey is pretty flexible as long I keep the core look of the character. There was a revised version of J.G. Jones design that was done by the cover artist Jesus Saiz. So when I was doing character studies, I reworked it more so part of the webbing of the costume worked around his muscle structure so the design of his costume would have some dimension to it. Joey seemed pretty happy with the modifications.

NRAMA: When talking about the Web you said "Instead of it looking like spandex, I gave his costume a carbon fiber look." How do you do that, and how well do your inker and colorist follow through with the carbon fiber look?

RR: Well, when I said "give his costume a carbon fiber look." I was referring to the character study that I digitally painted and I was thinking in terms if I designed the character for a video game or a movies, how would the texturing of his costume would look like. Ever since working in the video games, I approach character designs in terms of design, texture, and functionality and how they work together now.

NRAMA: I have only seen a few pages so far, but does the Web ever cover his eyes with the goggles or do they just hold his hair in place?

RR: Yes, the Web's goggles are functional and he does use it for night vision and infrared heat signature. You'll definitely see the Web using his goggles in the one shot issue.

NRAMA: Finally, as someone who's probbaly best known to DC fans for his Batman work, when approaching the Web visually, how does he differ from other Batmanesque heroes?

RR: I'm still approaching the Web in a noir style but the yellow of his costume will pop out the shadows. It will give the Web a really cool graphic style to him.

The Web #1 is due in stores September 23rd.

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