Kris Anka returns to Marvel this week for the first of a two-part story in Black Cat. Felicia is one of the California-based artist's favorite Marvel characters, but this has become even more of a special arc as the former Uncanny X-Men artist is also drawing Wolverine.
Or rather, Patch. (You know, Wolverine's secret identity when he's in Madripoor.)
Newsarama spoke with series writer Jed MacKay about this thieves' tale in Madripoor on Tuesday, and now with the issue on-stands we talk to the person who drew it: Kris Anka.
Newarama: Kris, I was really invigorated when I learned you were drawing two issues of Black Cat. What made you jump at this chance?
Kris Anka: Honestly, Black Cat is one of my favorite characters in all of Marvel, so it was an easy choice. She's a character I've loved since the 90s Spider-Man cartoon so I jumped at the offer.
Nrama: We spoke with Black Cat writer Jed MacKay earlier in the month and he described #9 as "classy" but #10 "as "the most violent issue" of this series just yet. How would you describe what's going on here?
Anka: Oh, I very much agree with that assessment. There's a lot of set-up fun in #9, we get to explore some iconic places in Madripoor and spend time with Felicia. And then once we get to #10 we really crank it up and go all out with the Black Cat. There is so much in #10 that was stuff I've wanted to draw for a long time so it was an absolute blast for me.
Nrama: You're not just drawing Felicia, you're drawing Madripoor and Mr. Patch (spoilers: it's Wolverine). You've drawn Wolverine before, but when he's Patch does it offer you something new to draw and have fun with?
Anka: I mean first and foremost drawing Logan in a tux is a very novel concept. I get to play Logan as someone classy and reserved, as well as the massive ridiculous suspension of disbelief involved with a barely-a-disguise that somehow no one can see through.
Nrama: Speaking of outfits, for Runaways you drew up outfit notes for each issue. I know you’re only on Black Cat for two issues, but did you draw up something like that for this?
Anka: Yeah I got to do a little bit. Felicia is such a distinct personality, a woman who prides herself on the finer things, that you can’t just do any ol’ outfit for her, even if it's brief. I got to work up a few outfit designs for her and add my own flare to the character.
Nrama: For those curious, are you showing this kind of stuff in your Patreon?
Anka: I usually try to keep it as spoiler-light as I can, but I do usually toss up a few exclusive sneak peaks or works-in-progress of my projects. Just something special for those following me over there.
Nrama: This is the second two-issue stint you've done recently, after The White Trees. Is this kind of quick double-hit something you're fond of?
Anka: It's kind of a new experiment for me, honestly, but there were definitely some real-life factors that came into play with these decisions and the inability to commit to something longer.
Nrama: Last question - big picture, what do you hope people get out of your two issues of Black Cat? And do you have any tips for cosplayers out there who might be eying your designs here?
Anka: I just hope people have a lot of fun with it. There’s a lot in these two issues that were very much up my alley and things I was very excited to draw and I hope it comes through in the final book. I really tried to bring my own statement to Felicia, with the pony-tail and the comfy running soles for her shoes, so hopefully that resonates with some of the cosplayers.