|DC Comics Cover Insert from the February PREVIEWS Catalog|
Like many of us, Jason Fabok had always dreamed of drawing Batman. As the artist for Detective Comics he is living that dream as the series approaches it's amazing 900th issue.
Detective Comics #19 (FEB130159) is a special oversized 80-page comic in which Batman is challenged by the "Mystery of the 900!" PREVIEWSworld talked with Jason about the special anniversary issue, how he draws Batman, working with writer John Layman and much more.
PREVIEWSworld: You took over as the artist of Detective Comics with issue #13 and have already put your stamp on Batman with some eye-catching work. How would you describe your drawing style?
Jason Fabok: My drawing style is very reminiscent of my heroes David Finch, Jim Lee, and Ivan Reis. As a teenager I read Jim Lee's Hush and was instantly attracted to his art style. I love books that have big, bold, iconic art with larger than life heroes, so that's something I've always tried to work into my art. I also love using contrasts in black and white to create composition and draw the eye to certain things on the page.
Personally, I love a big, tough, dark Batman, so using lots of shadows and making him a big visual presence on the page comes naturally to me. Batman should always feel intimidating both to the villains on the page and the reader.
Storytelling wise, I tend to work in a more cinematic widescreen fashion. Having a background in animation, I love framing my artwork as if you are reading storyboards for a film. Widescreen panels also give you the ability to break the panel into 3 parts and use the rule of thirds in composition.
In the end, I'm still learning and trying to get better with each page. I want each book to be better than the last and stretch my skills in order to grow.
PREVIEWSworld: Detective Comics #19 is a Special Anniversary Issue that celebrates the astounding 900th issue of the series. How does it feel to be drawing this landmark issue?
Jason Fabok: Surreal! That is the only word to describe it. Knowing the amazing history of the book and what it has done for the growth of the comic book medium, I can only say I am honored to have this opportunity. When I was a child, I always dreamed of drawing Batman, so being apart of his legacy like this is a dream come true. We're packing this book with some awesome stories and great art and we hope fans will enjoy this special issue!.
PREVIEWSworld: In the February PREVIEWS catalog we saw the fold-out cover for issue #19 that had the tagline "What is the 900?" and showed some Manbats flying behind the Caped Crusader. What can you tease about the 900?
Jason Fabok: Batman is going to face a very big enemy in this book that is threatening Gotham. I can't say much, but John Layman really packed this book with a bunch of really awesome things for me to draw. He stretched me both in design and detail and helped me to produce some of my best work yet. Looking forward for fans to read this one.
PREVIEWSworld: Every DCU title in April is WTF Certified. How shocking will the WTF moment be in Detective Comics #19?
Jason Fabok: Let's just say we get to see a classic character make his DC New 52 debut. How's that for a teaser?
PREVIEWSworld: Since issue #13 you have made good use of the Rouges Gallery (Penguin, Poison Ivy, Clayface.) The more villains the better?
Jason Fabok: Sure! Bring them all on! John knows I'm a Batman fanboy, so he's been giving me all sorts of great characters to play with and draw. The Penguin has easily been my favorite to draw. He's always been one of my personal favorites ever since I saw the old Adam West Batman movie as a child. He's a character who may not be physically threatening to Batman, but he can hold his own with his schemes and plotting. I've also really tried to bring some humanity and feeling into his character that sometimes get's covered up when artists tend to draw him as a penguin monster. I'm really looking forward to what John throws at me in the future!
PREVIEWSworld: You have also introduced us to one of the Penguin's henchmen, Ignatius Ogilvy, who is now trying to make his mark as Emperor Penguin. Talk about what it's like to develop this character?
Jason Fabok: Ogilvy has been a blast to work on. He's a scheming henchman that has shown he's worthy of Penguin's throne. Design wise, I wanted to mix a modern street thug with the classic Penguin motif. His hair is based off of Royal Penguins who have a yellow tuft of hair on their head. The costume is a mix of The Penguin's look with clothing designs from Edwardian Britain. In the end, I think we created a fun character that fans have connected to and that I love drawing.
PREVIEWSworld: Finally, how has it been working on Detective Comics with writer John Layman?
Jason Fabok: John is simply the perfect kind of writer for the style of comics I love to draw. He understands where I'm coming from as an artist, and I feel I understand where he is coming from as a writer. We communicate well and he keeps delivering these great scripts with all sorts of twists and turns! Our goal was to create a fun comic that anyone could pick up and read. Something that reminded readers of the classic Batman stories in the past.
John is giving me all sorts of awesome visuals to draw and I hope I am delivering the best book I can. As long as fans like what we are doing, we will continue to ramp things up. John has some big plans for our next arc of Detective that I am so excited about as an artist.
I also wanted to thank all of the readers for giving us this opportunity to entertain them. I've been recieving many wonderful and encouraging notes from them, and this only spurs me on to produce better books each month. So here's a big thank you to the fans, a big thank you to DC Comics for this opportunity and a thank you to Bob Kane and his wonderful creation of the Batman! To 900 more!!