Amanda ConnerAfter a wait of a little over a year since the announcement, Power Girl is finally here.
The new series, starring Superman’s cousin (we’ll, technically, the other Superman’s cousin, which in the end, isn’t that important, but something that sometimes happens when you live in a world with multiple universes), is not only hero first ongoing series, but also a new series starring a female hero - and issue #1 hits comic shops today.
Written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray, Power Girl is illustrated by fan-favorite artist Amanda Conner, and we spoke with her about the series.
Newsarama: Amanda, you’re revisiting Power Girl after having illustrated a miniseries a few years back. What’s the motivation for the return?
Amanda Conner: I really love the character. She has so much potential, and there is so much personality that you can work with. And she's bigger than life, but not so iconic that she has to be perfect, so that makes her way more interesting. That, and the other reason is Jimmy and Justin had several really great artists lined up to do this book, but the artists kept getting yanked and put on other books. At around the fourth artist being yanked, I saw Jimmy getting extremely frustrated. I was slated to do another book but wanted Jimmy to remain ulcer-free, so I said I'd take on Power Girl. I'm still gonna do that other project, but right now, my priority is keeping Jimmy's head from exploding.
Power Girl #1NRAMA: Obviously there’s a stigma surrounding Power Girl’s appearance have you embraced that or taken a more conservative approach to the inherent cheesecake factor?
AC: Definitely embraced it. It's one of the things that makes Power Girl Power Girl. It's part of who she is as a character, and trying to deny it would be like deciding that you don't like someone's personality and telling them to change. I like how she seems to have a sense of humor about the whole cheesecake thing, and doesn't take it too seriously. Wait, did you say cheese cake factor, or cheesecake factory? mmmm.
NRAMA: Factor…factor. The first arc features the villain Ultra-Humanite, whom we haven’t seen in the DCU for a while, how was it trying to bring a talking monkey to life on the page and make him a true threat?
AC: That is pretty hard. I think the thing to keep in mind with Ultra-Humanite is that he is not only super intelligent, but also balls-out crazy. Smart and nuts can be a pretty scary combo. Add to that a lot of anger issues. At the same time you're gonna find out some things about him that make you have sympathy towards him, even though he's a massacre-happy maniac.
NRAMA: You’re known as an artist who brings a lot of emotion and character not only to the foreground but also the background. Has this book allowed you to do that?
AC: Yes. I try to imagine what most of us regular people would do and how we would behave in a world with actual superheroes, and apply that to Power Girl's environment. I don't care how many times you've seen it happen, you just couldn't possibly get sick of seeing someone fly through the air, and pick up cars and toss them.
Power Girl #2NRAMA: From what I understand there’s a lot of big action in the story, did you enjoy that aspect of the book or do you prefer the smaller moments?
AC: I like both. Action is always a blast, but I like the challenge of making the quieter moments incredibly interesting. I like the idea of letting the characters do the acting in a quieter scene.
NRAMA: Your relationship with Jimmy Palmiotti means you’re both able to discuss the scripts at great detail and look over each other’s work during the creative process. Is there any conflict that arises?
AC: Yes, although it's not too bad. Really, the only time we bicker is occasionally about work, and sometimes food. You should really hear our stupid arguments. By the end of our little tiff, we are usually cracking up.
NRAMA: And what do you know about Justin Gray...he never seems to be at cons. is he that mysterious? (laughs)
AC: He is mysterious. What I do know about him is that he has a lovely wife, a cute kid named Lucy, and a dog that thinks finger food is, well, fingers... I know he's not actually Jimmy in disguise, 'cause he has tattoos, and Jimmy loathes needles. Occasionally you will see him dancing on Jackass.
NRAMA: Touching on a topic that’s of interest to your fans, and more after the first issue of Power Girl hits, more than likely - where does one purchase your original art?
AC: I haven't become organized or caught up on work enough to put my art for sale online, or anything smart and savvy like that. Sometimes I will bring original art with me to the conventions. I don't always like to part with certain pieces, either. Your best bet is to keep asking when you see me at conventions. That is, until I get organized enough to sell it on the interwebs.
NRAMA: This book is your first ongoing monthly, what are the specific challenges for you?
AC: That would be trying to draw faster, and keeping up with deadlines, while maintaining the quality – and then trying to mix in some more sleep, some fun, and bathroom breaks.
Power Girl #3NRAMA: And last, we noticed you and Jimmy will be doing a signing at A Comic Shop in Orlando on Wednesday and a signing at Tates Comics Saturday May 16th in Lauderhill Florida, which is kind of rare for you two. What do you like about meeting the fans at signings and what are your "do's" and "dont's?"
AC: I love meeting the fans. A comic store signing is good, too, 'cause it's more quiet and intimate than a convention, so you get to talk to people a little bit more... all in all it's a pretty relaxing atmosphere.
As far as do's and don'ts go, when you have bagged comics, do take them out of the bag beforehand, 'cause if I take them out of the bag, I will likely get the tape stuck to your book. I'm clumsy that way.
I'm sure there are a bunch of other things I can't think of right now 'cause I'm so very exhausted. Wow. I'm blowing such a great opportunity to vent! I'm sure I will think of more handy and important do's & don’ts about ten minutes after we’re done…