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Angel & Faith

Rebekah Isaacs - "Angel & Faith" Comic Book - Diaryofafangirl.tumblr.com Interview

Monday 11 April 2011, by Webmaster

Hey, Rebekah. Thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me. So although you’ve been doing pencilling for a while now, this is your first time doing anything Buffyverse. Can you tell us how you were approached about doing the art for the new Angel series “Angel & Faith”?

I’d never really had much contact with Dark Horse before, so when I got an email from editor Sierra Hahn asking me to do test work, it was kind of out-of-the-blue. But I found out later that she’d gotten wind of me through Brian Wood, who I’d worked with on DV8: Gods and Monsters, and who Sierra worked with during her years at DC. I did a couple test pages and several rounds of likenesses (I had a really tough time with them at first). They had the writers summit at Joss’s house a bit after and I think my samples were shown to him there. He must’ve liked them because I was offered the A&F job soon after!

Can you tell us anything about the new series?

Unfortunately, not anything that hasn’t been said since WonderCon… but for people who are still catching up, Angel & Faith finds our heros in London, in the flat that Giles gave to Faith in his will. Faith is helping Angel work through his guilt over what he did as Twilight, much in the way he helped her in the past. He finds a new sense of purpose in Giles’ old journals, and in tying up the loose ends that he finds therein.

What’s it like working along side Christos Gage?

Chris is great, and there’s good reason he was chosen for this book. He has a really great sense of character and drama. It’s been mentioned that we see Giles on page 1 as part of a flashback, and it’s a flashback that’s so beautifully sensitive to this character that we all know and love and miss that I got teary at the end. That’s just about the highest compliment I can give a writer, especially just a few pages into the first issue!!

Working on the new Angel & Faith series, do you try to make sure that the characters look like the actor and actress that portrayed them in the Buffy and Angel TV series. Or are you going to be drawing them with your perception of the characters?

The likenesses have to be recognizable more as the essence of the character than as a portrait of the actor or actress. Photorealism can end up looking stiff and fake, especially in sequential work where characters are interacting and reacting to things. Covers can be more photorealistic, I think. So I’ve been trying to become familiar enough with the character’s defining features that I can mostly draw them from memory, and then go back in and tweak things while looking at photographs if needed. So far, it’s working pretty well.

Do you have any artists that inspire you personally?

My favorite artists these days are Steve McNiven and Chris Sprouse. But I’m inspired by just about every artists I see on the stands today.

What’s your creative process before jumping into a new project?

A lot of costume and character design. There are several new characters and monsters being introduced in A&F and I got to design those, which was a ton of fun. For this series, I obviously had to work a lot on getting my likenesses down, not only for mine and my editors’ purposes, but also to get official approval from the actors being portrayed. All the likeness and design work took about a month for A&F, while we were waiting for the first scripts to come in.

How did you get into the comic book industry?

I went to the Savannah College of Art and Design, and I had made a lot of contacts through classmates and professors there. I got my first published work at Devil’s Due through a former classmate who was a staff artist there at the time. My first mainstream work, Ms. Marvel #38, came out New York Comic Con, where I met a few Marvel editors through another SCAD alum. DV8 came from meeting editor Ben Abernathy in-person at NYCC, who had received my portfolio previously from Vertigo editor Will Dennis, a good friend of SCAD. He recognized my work when I showed it to him at the Con and I got the job shortly after. So it was a combination of networking and convention attendance.

Are there any tips you could give to people who want to be doing the same line of work as you?

Draw every second you can. It’s not always gonna be fun and if you don’t have someone to financially support you, or have friends who work regular 9-5 jobs, it’s going to be especially rough, and can take its toll, mentally, physically, and socially. But constantly improving is the only way to get and keep work, and if you really love to draw more than anything else it’s totally worth it. Knowing people and going to the right conventions and posting your work on the right messageboards is only going to get and keep you in work if you can draw really well, and the only way to do that is to draw constantly. There’s not really a trick or a cheat to it, unfortunately.

How long does it take you to pencil an issue of a comic book?

I can pencil and ink an entire issue in 5 weeks… but I don’t complain if I’m given a longer deadline!

Do you enjoy drawing in your spare time? do you create pieces of artwork for yourself? or is it strictly work based only?

I would like to be able to but I rarely have time, and when I do, I have to let my hand rest so that I don’t have pain or cramps when it comes time to start on another page for work. Luckily, I get to draw really awesome stuff, including characters that I love. I basically get paid to draw fan art! So it’s a fair trade.

Do you have a favourite project that you’ve done so far?

DV8 was really great, and I really grew to love those characters. I also felt like I “owned” a part of it since I got to be directly involved in redesigning the characters so drastically. And Brian is one of my all-time favorite writers! Although I have to say, A&F has been an absolute blast so far, it being the only series I’ve done where I was really familiar with the story and characters BEFORE I got the job. I didn’t grow up reading comics, so although I love drawing superheroes, for the most part I’ve been learning about many of them as I go.

If you had the chance, is there a specific comic that you would like to do the artwork for?

I am a HUGE original Star Wars trilogy nut, so I would love to draw something set post-ROJ. I’m afraid I never got into the Clone Wars stuff because I didn’t like the prequels much, but I’ve heard it’s really good so I could probably be persuaded…

Also, if anyone ever wanted to do a GN adaptation of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, I would jump through some pretty major hoops to draw it. If you could work with anyone in the industry who would you want to work with and why?

A while ago my answer would have been Joss, but I can cross that one off I guess! My wish list is the same as most, I think; Vaughan, Ellis, Ennis. I really hope I can work with Brian again someday too.

Thanks again, Rebekah for taking the time to speak with me. So to wrap this up, here’s a few random fan questions for you.

What is your favourite comic book of all time?

Heck, it’s cliched, but Watchmen will always be my favorite for being the first “real” American comic I ever read — real meaning something that wasn’t a giveaway in a cereal box or in the funnies section of the paper.

How did you get into Buffy The Vampire Slayer?

Dating a giant Buffy nerd.+ I had seen and loved everything else Joss had ever done, but for some reason always held out on Buffy and Angel — I think my impressions of the original movie and the knowledge that it was set in high school turned me off at some point. My boyfriend Jon finally needled me enough that I caved about a year ago, and I’m glad I finally did!

Do you have a favourite season from the show? and a moment from that season?

I love the humor in Buffy so my favorites are the funny ones. The one I’ll always remember disarming me with how funny it was, especially since I had no idea what to expect going into it, was ‘Superstar’. But looking at the seasons as cohesive units, I like Season 5 the most.

Which character do you prefer. Angel or Faith?

It’s tough to choose a favorite because my reasons for liking them are kinda the same for both. I do agree with Chris, though, that Faith is probably the character that has grown and matured the most throughout the entire series.

Who is your favourite character from DV8?

Hector: Scruffy beard. Suit jacket. ‘Nuff said.