Exclusive Interview with Nicola Scott!
This morning you would have seen our interview with Earth 2 writer Tom Taylor. Now for a chat with the other half of the talented partnership that made that title a best seller, artist Nicola Scott. Also renown for her work on Superman, Teen Titans and Birds of Prey, Nicola is one of the best artists of this generation.
G-Funk: We are at Oz ComicCon 2015 and we are talking to comic book artist Nicola Scott. Hello!
Nicola Scott: Hello.
GF: How are you today?
NS: Today I’m really tired because I didn’t sleep at all tonight.
GF: Big party?
NS: No, I was in bed at 10:30. I just didn’t sleep. I don’t sleep in hotels.
GF: You were worried about getting this wonderful commission done (note: the commission was for me!).
NS: I was. I used to do about fifteen commissions a show. I don’t know how I used to do that. These days I’m lucky if I can get three or four done.
GF: That’s a huge amount of work though.
NS: It is, but you work fast. I just spend to much time talking now.
GF: I’m glad you’re talking to us.
GF: We spoke to you last year, and one of things we talked about was how you got into the business. Starting about as an actress and a model before moving into comic book art. I was hoping to ask you about gender in pop culture and comic books because it seems to be a hot topics. Is that something you’d like to talk about?
NS: I generally don’t participate in the conversations. Partly because I’ve had a pretty cruisey experience, but at the same time the people who are having a hard time, I’m entirely supportive of them. I don’t know why I’ve had a cruisey time. Part of it is luck, part of it is because I was older when I got in to it. I’m also pretty loud and pretty bossy, so maybe I can be a little intimidating. I’ve not had lot had a lot of aggressive behaviour aimed at me. My head space is “I dare ya,” partly because I’d ignore you anyway, partly I’ll tell you to “fuck off”.
I’m not interested in people’s bad behaviour, and I don’t participate in people’s bad behaviour. When shit goes down, if I’m involved in any way, even if I’m just on the side, I’ll get in there. But when it’s happening to people and I’m not involved in the conversation, I’ll support them but I won’t get involved in the conversation. If anyone looks at my facebook feed and my twitter feed it’s all pretty light and ridiculous. Any time anyone starts to have a serious conversation, I get bored. You’re derailing my fluff with you’re serious, just go away or stop talking.
GF: That’s a positive attitude!
NS: It sounds really mean!
GF: No, it’s great!
NS: I get really disappointed when people are assholes. Any side of argument: just knock it off.
GF: So how do you work with Tom Taylor?
NS: By slapping him around a little. I’m kidding, Tom’s a real sweetheart!
GF: Watch out, he’s right behind us now…
NS: I dare you, Tom! I dare you!
GF: The collaborations between the two of you have been really good, and you’ve been moving higher up the DC hierarchy and handling the big name characters. Where are you heading next?
NS: I didn’t resign my exclusivity with DC, I let that lapse last year. Now I’m currently working on a creator owned project I’m on with Greg Rucka, which we’re announcing later in the year.
GF: Can you tell us anything?
GF: It will be a comic book?
NS: Nothing until it’s announced probably, but it’s something we’ve been talking about, slowly but surely developing for about five years. We’re both super excited about it. I’m about a third of the way through the second issue. I’m painting the whole thing and it’s a lot of fun. Nice an different.
GF: With a lot of your past work there’s been a large focus on female characters. You’re well known for your Wonder Woman art. Is this a particular preference or what people come to you for?
NS: Wonder Woman is my favourite character and she’s the reason I decided to get into comics. She was my first superhero. I’ve never quite grown out of the excitement that the reality of her gives me. She’s always been a part of my personal agenda, to draw as much Wonder Woman as possible, almost every writer I’ve worked with knows of my love for Wonder Woman and finds a way to sneak her into a story whenever possible so I’ve had a lot of opportunities to draw her. That and the fact that she’s one of my favourite characters, and being a female artist, a lot of people gravitate towards me when it comes to their fandom of Wonder Woman.
GF: You’ve seen the Wonder Woman coming up in the new movies?
GF: Do you have any thoughts?
GF: I kinda love the outfit. I’d like to see one that isn’t so filtered. I’d like to see what those colours really look like. Certainly in Man of Steel movie the colours were a little more vibrant than they were in a lot of the stills. I’m hoping that’s the case with the movie. I think Gal Gadot looks amazing. I like that they’ve gone when a non-American actress, that they’ve gone with someone who’s naturally going to have an accent. Even though she’s quite a slim girl she’s done a good job of building herself up. I think the costume does a good job of giving her a real physicality.
The one piece of Dawn of Justice promotion that she did was at Comic-Con last year when the three leads came out on stage just to wave. They didn’t even say anything! When she walked out on stage, and you can see it on youtube, when she walked about she has a real swagger! I thought she looks really powerful, she doesn’t look like a slight girl at all! She’s got a great smile, she looks as tall as the boys. I was convinced, I was thoroughly convinced. Now I just hope that the way they’ve written the character, and they direct the characters, is more than just kick-ass action girl – because there’s a lot more to the character than that. Certainly the thing that sold Black Widow in the Marvel movies is that there’s a lot more than just the action. It’s the character development, the great jokes, her opportunity to really shine in her particular skill set.
GF: Wonder Woman and Black Widow are quite well known even before the movies…
NS: Is Black Widow that well known generally, out of the comics reading audience?
GF: Outside of comics not so much.
NS: Wonder Woman, on the other hand, is iconic. That’s a big difference between DC and Marvel, particularly in Marvel’s slate of movies. Their big names were already bought out by Fox and Sony, the licenses, so they’ve had to start from scratch building some of their big names that don’t have a general audience profile. They’ve done an amazing job building those up. The one advantage Warner Brothers has is that everyone knows who Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman are. They don’t need movies to introduce them, we already know. We just need to know the current context. Which is why I don’t mind that they’re pushing a bunch of characters into one movie.
GF: They really are doing that!
NS: They really are, but I feel that once we see the movie it is, from everything I’ve heard, it is a Superman movie with a lot of Batman and everyone else is just peripheral.
GF: Is there any…sorry, I got distracted for a moment because a bunch of armed men just walked past. I think the zombie walk is starting. Is there female character form the comics you think we need more exposure to?
NS: Mmmmm…in a non-comics medium?
GF: Possibly someone we could bring to screen?
NS: I’m really looking forward to the Captain Marvel movie. Marvel are doing a great job with developing their individual characters and that has an opportunity to be really fantastic. I’m looking forward to the Supergirl TV series. I think what they’ve done with Green Arrow and The Flash is amazing. The Flash is, I think, by far the best comic book TV series at the moment. I think it’s amazing. It’s so charming and so funny, the nature of the development of his powers, and how they’re experimenting on it, it’s so invested in geekery and the science of it…I love it! I think it’s a really, really sweet show.
GF: They’re making stuff for geeks now, it’s amazing!
NS: It’s amazing. And they’re sticking to the source material, that’s what I’m looking forward to. I’d really love to see some Barbara Gordon. She’s a really interesting character. I’d love to see her introduced to the TV universe or the movie universe.
GF: The TV universe. That’s my preference. I’m enjoying Arrow more than Man of Steel, but that’s my preference.
NS: Oh yeah?
GF: Yeah, I think it’s better written. It’s got a good sense of humour, which the movies lacked.
NS: Yeah, I feel that the next movie, Dawn of Justice, will be more invested in the comic bookness of it. It certainly looks that way. I’m looking forward to the Teen Titans series that they’re developing. The line up of character is interesting. If they can cast that well and write that well and have really good character development that could be a fabulous show. Because it’s teenagers that’s a great entry point.
GF: It’s a whole new audience. And we have an audience gathered at your desk so I have one more question and we’ll let them come up. Do you have a dream project you haven’t gotten to work on yet?
NS: I haven’t had the chance to work on the monthly Wonder Woman book, other than a couple of issues here and there. I’d love a really chunky run, but it’s gotta be with the right writer and with the right treatment.
GF: When you say the right writer, who’s your ideal?
NS: My favourite Wonder Woman writer in modern history is Greg Rucka. He and I have tried to get a couple of Wonder Woman projects of the ground previously. At some point I’d love to but I don’t know what the chances are any more. But that said I really love what Brian Azzarello did, obviously I’m a huge fan of what George (Pérez) did, revamping the character in the 80s. She’s a character I think they’re only just now getting a handle on. Now they’re pulling back from war-monger Wonder Woman, which I don’t quite think is the right characterisation, something in the middle. I’m hoping that when Grant Morrison and Yanick Paquette’s Earth-One Wonder Woman comes out, from what I know about that it will bridge the gap and that will reset a little bit everyone’s perspective of Wonder Woman. I’m looking to a post-that era Wonder Woman. I want to be involved in that.
GF: I think we all want to see that. Thanks for talking to us. We’ve got some small fans, we’ve got Supergirl here so I’ll let you talk to them and we’ll see you at the next con!
NS: Thanks very much!
Interview photography provided by Emma Richardson Photography. Check out their Facebook page here.