Cliff Chiang is the acclaimed artist behind Image Comics' Paper Girls (which just released issue #18), but he's also had a hand in rendering one of the most iconic comic book characters on the page: Wonder Woman.
In the latest episode of Behind the Panel, SYFY WIRE sits down with Chiang to talk about Paper Girls, his work on Wonder Woman (and how it relates to her wildly successful solo film), his history in comics, and more.
Good luck getting Chiang to admit which of the four main Paper Girls characters is his favorite; when it comes to the preteens that feature most prominently in the series -- Erin, KJ, Tiffany, and Mac -- Chiang doesn't have to choose one over any of the others. "The nice thing about the book is that we've focused on a different girl for each arc, and with this arc, it's Tiffany. Being able to find out more about her history, as well as seeing where she is in the year 2000, is really great. I don't have to play favorites, because with each arc, I get to really dive in deep on that character and try and figure out for myself what's so cool about them, and make that character live and breathe on the page."
Having the opportunity to dive into different time periods demands a fair amount of research, but for Chiang, that's half the fun. "Each time, it is a lot of research to try and figure out the hallmarks of any particular year," says Chiang. "I'm more or less the same age as the girls, so I remember pretty well what 1988 was like, and how different it was from, say, 1984."
However, even a more recent decade, like the early 2000s, doesn't come without its fair share of digging. "You forget that cell phones were giant, and maybe not everybody had one," says Chiang. "You feel like an anthropologist or a historian trying to figure out what pop culture was like."
You can watch the entire interview with Chiang above, where he goes into working with Brian K. Vaughan on the Eisner-nominated comic, and also touches on how the Wonder Woman movie relates to his work on the character.
Paper Girls #18 is available now.
Additional reporting by Carly Lane.