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If you see some Sailor Moon influence in Cara McGee's art, you're not imagining things (or just biased if you're an anime fan). Manga and anime were some of her first influences as a kid — and continue to be throughout her fun teen take on Black Canary in collaboration with The Princess Diaries author Meg Cabot.
Back when McGee was reading manga, Viz and other Japanese publishers used to put out floppies, or single issue comics, of Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball Z that you'd be really lucky to find in a bookstore. Forget trying to unearth an entire graphic novel. She loved that style of drawing so much that she was even willing to buy untranslated manga from her local comic shop just to make out the story through the art.
The artist first got into superheroes when she caught X-Men fever in high school.
"I was obsessed especially with Nightcrawler… Gambit," she told SYFY WIRE. "Gambit would be one of my dream projects, honestly; I would kill to do a Gambit run."
McGee's latest comic definitely sounds like a dream project. She is currently working on Black Canary for DC's Young Adult line, which is particularly exciting for her because not too many kids in that demographic are familiar with the character (who is one of the oldest DC heroines).
Black Canary did have to get a makeover to be more relatable for a YA audience. She feels it is important that young girls are actually allowed to cosplay this character. Black leather jackets and fishnets just weren't going to do it, so McGee aged down Dinah's hardcore wardrobe to something more appropriate for junior high, giving her an ultracool bomber jacket with a black canary embroidered on the back.
"She's like everything I wanted to be in junior high," McGee admitted. "She's this cool kid with really good friends who love her and she's so earnest. She just wants to kick butt and do right by her parents and her friends, and she dresses really cool."
To find out about McGee's drawing process and those awesome pens she uses, watch on!
This article was contributed to by Elizabeth Rayne.