While the current stories in Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps are building toward the Blackest Night event coming up later this year, artist Ivan Reis is already there.
As he sat in Artist's Alley at New York Comic Con, the Green Lantern artist was in the midst of working on Blackest Night, which will kick off with issue #0 on Free Comic Book Day in May.
Reis started drawing comics professionally when he was only 14 years old, working in his home country of Brazil. Five years later, he debuted in American comics with Ghost for Dark Horse. Over his career since, he's worked on comics for various publishers, including Marvel and DC, but really caught the attention of fans with the epic space battles he drew in the DC mini-series Rann-Thanagar War in 2005.
Since becoming the regular penciler on Green Lantern with issue #10 in 2006, Reis has been chronicling the saga of the Green Lanterns and other energy-wielding corps, teaming with writer Geoff Johns for the top-selling title.
After Reis drew 43 pages for Green Lantern #25, the much-anticipated final issue of Sinestro Corps War in 2007, the artist told Newsarama that it was the biggest and most important comic he'd ever drawn.
But as we spoke to him in New York, it became clear that he now believes his work on Blackest Night will become even more important. As the Brazilian artist talked to us at his table on the convention floor, his friend and fellow-DC-artist Joe Prado translated many of the questions and answers as Reis struggled to express just how excited he is to be working on Blackest Night.
Newsarama: We've noticed that you have a few issues coming up where there is another artist on Green Lantern. Are you working ahead on the series?
Ivan Reis: Yeah. There is another artist on Green Lantern. But I am doing future issues and then doing all of Blackest Night, all except some of the tie-ins and specials. I will be working on the whole story until the last issue.
Ivan ReisNRAMA: How has it been working on the Black Lanterns? Have you designed some of them?
IR: Yes, I am designing some. Ethan [Van Sciver] is doing some. And I think Joe Prado is doing other Black Lantern designs.
NRAMA: Oh, you're doing some Joe?
Joe Prado: Yes, I think so. Because I did some of the Green Lanterns for Secret Files and they liked it.
NRAMA: What issue are you working on now, Ivan?
IR: I just did my last issue of Green Lantern, which was issue #38. Now I'm working on Blackest Night. I'm have to do a little bit for Blackest Night #0 for Free Comic Book Day and then I am starting on the first issue of Blackest Night.
NRAMA: Since you know the story, is Blackest Night as epic as we've been led to believe?
IR: Yes, it's epic. I think it's the biggest story I'll ever work on.
NRAMA: Bigger than Sinestro Corps War?
IR: Bigger than Sinestro Corps War. It's bigger because Sinestro Corps happened in the Green Lantern series, but now Blackest Night is more than just Green Lanterns and is a series and event on its own.
Blackest Night #0NRAMA: You said you're doing all the issues except some specials and tie-ins?
IR: I might not do all of the specials is what I mean. I will do all the Blackest Night issues. All of them. And then I will probably do some other tie-ins.
NRAMA: Knowing how many characters were involved in Sinestro Corps War, and since you say Blackest Night is bigger, this must be a huge challenge for you coming up, isn't it? A lot of work ahead?
IR: It is hard work. I will get busy all year. But the deadline is good because we are starting early. I think this will be easier to finish all the series.
NRAMA: As your career on Green Lantern has been building toward this event, what's the experience been like for you working with Geoff on Green Lantern?
IR: I love working with Geoff. I was working with him on the first thing was the Vision for Marvel. And with his scripts and the way he writes, it was love at first sight. And I feel so free and happy to work with Geoff Johns because he's a big fan. He's a nerd. And me too! I work as a fan. When I read these scripts I say, "Oh my God! I can't believe it!"
JP: Yeah, he calls me every time.
IR: I do! I call every time to Joe Prado. I say, "Joe! You can't believe what will happen next!" I get so anxious and excited to work. And when I do the pages, I wait for Geoff's reaction. The feedback from Geoff. Because I know he will get as excited as me.
NRAMA: So your excitement kind of feeds off each other? You're excited about what he writes and he's excited about what you draw?
IR: Exactly. It is so much fun to work with Geoff. And if I can work with him for 10 years, I'll do it.
NRAMA: On Green Lantern?
IR: No, unhappily, not on Green Lantern for me after Blackest Night.
NRAMA: You're finished with Green Lantern after Blackest Night?
IR: I don't know about in the future; I might come back some day. But the Blackest Night will be the last thing for me in Green Lantern. And next, after Blackest Night, I can't talk about. But it will be together with Geoff. It will be a great thing.