For "Rebirth," DC Comics recruited Rafa Sandoval to be an artist on Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps alongside GLC staple Ethan Van Sciver. Six months and almost a dozen issues later, and Sandoval has proven himself a workhose, doing seven issues in six months.
Sandoval, who has spent the nine years as an exclusive artist for Marvel, DC, Valiant, and now back at DC, sees this new working arrangement "sharing" a book with another artist and agreeing on consistent designs as "a good time."
After this week's Hal Jordan & The Green Lantern Corps #11, Sandoval will return to the book for February's #14 to welcome Kyle Rayner into the title for "Quest For the Blue Lantern." Newsarama spoke with Sandoval about his work on the title, the ups and downs of being part of a team of artists on a bi-monthly book, and his aspirations for the future.
Newsarama: Rafa, what are you working on today? What specifically is on your drawing board?
Rafa Sandoval: No problem, thank you! Right now I’m one of the regular pencillers in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps. We just finished an issue and I’m currently drawing the cover for issue #14.
Nrama: And you’re doing that on a rotating basis with others including Ethan Van Sciver. How has that been for you?
Sandoval: Working with Ethan is great, we have a very fluid relationship and constantly talk to make sure character designs and things like that remain consistent. The truth is I had worked with other pencillers but never from the beginning of a book. But it’s fun, I’m really having a good time.
Nrama: You had a taste of this before “Rebirth” with Green Lantern #51 earlier this year. Did that help you get up to speed with all things Green Lantern?
Sandoval: Yes, for sure, it did help me to warm up for what was to come. The character himself would end up looking different but it did help me to get familiar with the Green Lantern universe.
Nrama: So what's been the hardest part of drawing this book?
Sandoval: In the beginning I had a bit of a hard time trying to convey Hal’s personality but it didn’t take long for me to figure that out. Right now, some characters in the Green Lantern Corps give me a hard time every now and then, their shapes and body structures are hard to figure out. I’m slowly getting used to them, though.
Nrama: Can you say what characters are the hardest?
Sandoval: I think the most difficult character for me to draw is Catwoman. I love her but she’s very flexible and sexy at the same time, and finding a balance isn’t easy at all for me.
Nrama: And conversely, which are the easiest for you to whip out with your pencil?
Sandoval: The easiest ones are my favorite characters, of course. Superman, Green Lantern, Flash, Spider-Man… I’ve drawn them so many times over the years that I’ve gotten very comfortable with them.
Nrama: Is there a particular GLC character you're looking forward to drawing most?
Sandoval: I always loved Green Lantern but I must admit I never paid much attention to the Green Lantern Corps. I have lately fallen in love with them, especially with Guy, John, and Kilowog, I really like the dynamics in their relationship.
Nrama: In your career, you have pretty stably worked for one company at a time - Marvel from 2007 to 2012, DC from 2012 to 2014, Valiant for a year, and now back with DC. What have you learned from being under these company-exclusive contracts?
Sandoval: Well, exclusive contracts are pretty much the same in all three publishers. It’s great to be able to sign them because they allow you to enjoy your work knowing you will be working with the publisher for a long time and that you don’t have to worry about what will happen after the current issue is finished.
Nrama: Are there other characters with DC's "Rebirth" you would be interested in drawing?
Sandoval: Yes, of course, quite a few. I love the Justice League, Flash, Batman, etc. But really, Green Lantern is one of my favorite characters ever and I’m having the time of my life drawing this book. Another reason why I’m loving the book is the creative team I’m working with,
Nrama: Big picture, what are your goals for yourself in comic books?
Sandoval: My goals include drawing my favorite characters and hopefully working with a few of my favorite writers. I’m currently scratching off a few names off my list because Green Lantern is one of those characters and Rob Venditti is one of my favorite writers!
Nrama: So where do you want to be in five years’ time?
Sandoval: Keep drawing comics! In addition to drawing superheroes, I would love to someday draw a personal project, something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.
Nrama: Last question then, do you have a specific story idea for your personal project?
Sandoval: I have got quite a few ideas for my personal project but nothing is in stone yet. I love sci-fi and it would be fun to mix it with other genres… sci-fi and zombies, for instance. It’s something I have yet to sit down and really think about it though I would be open to creating something from scratch with a writer.