On the occasion of Aquaman #7 hitting the stands today, we're having a chat with Aquaman penciller extraordinaire Ivan Reis and returning contestant inker Joe Prado!
The Aquaman Shrine: The last time the Shrine chatted with members of DC Comics' Aquaman Team was prior to the conclusion of the Trench storyline in issue #4. Since then, three more awesome issues have come out, Aquaman has generated some truly stellar sales and the book has been nominated for multiple Eagle Comic Awards. So tell us: How do you guys feel about the series now that the initial six issues have come out and you are launching a new series arc? Has the reaction to Aquaman been all that you imagined it would?
Ivan Reis: The reaction was better than I thought...we are really proud with this book. We are giving our best to this series and we really want to give to the reader a reason to keep buying this book and show that any character can be great and cool if it is done with respect and passion for what you do.
Joe Prado: Honestly the fans reaction has been far better, not to say overwhelming, than we thought! I think that we gave our absolute best on these first six issues, and now we're gearing up for more...and trying to do even better work than before! We're really excited, motivated and looking forward to...well...have more fun working on Aquaman! Because I gotta tell you, from my point of view, one of the best things on the book (besides all the awesome possibilities that the character and his history gives us) is the synergy that the team has! We are all very happy and having a blast. We talk every single day.
Everybody pitches in, everybody gives ideas for the series. Geoff, Ivan, Rod, Pat (McCallum, the editor), Sean (Mackiewickz), and myself. So it's a true team effort, like comics are supposed to be! AND WE'RE HAVING A BLAST!
AMS: We've seen the five new character designs for The Others--Kushina, Prisoner-of-War, the Operative, Ya’wara & Vostok-X--what was it like collaborating on creating the look for these new residents of the DC Universe? Did it take you back to when you were working on the designs for the Black Lanterns & New Guardians in Blackest Night?
IR: It was awesome to be part of the creation of the Others. Geoff always comes with the first idea about what he wants...after that we start to collaborate on the character...and it took a lot of emails and a lot of ideas. We could create other "The Others" with the ideas we didn't use!
JP: It's a constant back and forth of ideas! The characters start to take shape after each and every conversation. And about taking us back to the time we designed BN, BD, etc--well...it seems we’ve never left those days! Almost four years ago! LOL! There’s something about our way of working that we can never settle til we finish what we have in mind. The challenge to outdo ourselves keeps us on our toes. Sometimes each conversation about a single character has 50-70 replies! And have the chance to come up with fresh, all-new characters for DC is always a dream come true! I, personally, LOVE to design characters! Well, you guys know that by now, right? ;)
AMS: We sure do! The designs for The Others have a "noir" feel to them--is that accurate from your perspective and if so, is it on purpose? Is there hope that each of the characters will continue to develop, perhaps even beyond the Aquaman book?
JP: You're totally right! From the start Geoff called for a Noir/Pulp kinda vibe for them! We cover pretty much all the bases there with the Wild/Savage/Tarzan type that Ya'wara is. The All-American Hero with POW, the mysterious Shadow/The Bat type we have on The Operative, and the Buck Rogers/Sci-Fi Hero with Vostok-X. And there's more to them than meets the eye. Be SURE of that.
Geoff came up with such great plot, and back-stories for all of them, that it's gonna blow people away! For me it was particularly fun, because I LOOOOOOVE this kind of characters. I grew up reading Tarzan, The Shadow, Flash Gordon, Jungle Jim, Buck Rogers, X-9, you name it. And yes, I think we have a very good possibility seeing these heroes after this arc! At least, our idea is for them to stick around for a while! Sssssshhhh! Can't say much! :)
IR: As Joe said...it was a Geoff's idea...the most important thing to know about them is that they are characters from before the age superheroes as we know them...they aren't called "superheroes."
AMS: At least not yet...as Aquaman fans yourselves, how does it feel to be part of the character’s massive resurgence? Between the new Aqualad, Siren, and now The Others, you guys have made your mark on Aquaman in a very short span of time!
IR: I'm really proud and honored with this book and for working with a team we really can trust...we are always talking about possibilities to make the book better and better.
JP: I feel honored! Really! Always loved the character, so it's very rewarding to be part of this! BLUSH! ;)
AMS: We've said this before, but think it bears repeating: Aquaman fans could not have asked for a more enthusiastic and personable creative team at the helm of our favorite hero's ongoing adventures. The effort & heart that you guys (and Geoff, Rod, & Pat) are putting into Aquaman is palpable and we thank you for that! Where can fans catch up with you in person this year to say hello and chat?
IR: Thanks a lot for trust and belief in us...really...we had a lot of people, when they knew we were going to work on Aquaman, they said: "AQUAMAN...seriously...why?" We answer with our best work, and the belief that a good comics can be made from any character, not just the big franchises.
JP: COME. ON..! Blushing... AGAIN! LOL! ;) What can I say? We’re passionate about what we do, about how we do it, and why we do it! There’s no hidden goal, or anything, just a sense of doing everything we can to deliver a great and entertaining story with characters we love, to the fans!
This year is gonna be full of trips (hopefully it doesn't mess with our schedule...I'M KIDDING, PAT & SEAN!)! Ivan and I are attending to some shows together--Boston Comicon in April, HeroesCon in June, NYCC in October (and Rod Reis is joining us there), and then, Lille Comics Festival in France, in November. BUSY YEAR!
IR: And Rod Reis will be at Chicago C2E2!
Aquaman #7 is out today both in print and digitally from DC Comics so be sure to let us know your thoughts on the issue...and check out the Shrine on Saturday for our full recap on the Comics Weekend post!
A big hearty "splash" of gratitude to the Aqua-Team for taking the time to chat with us again, thank you Ivan & Joe!