Comics are a collaborative medium, despite the fact that often, either the writer or the artist on a given book will get more attention than their partner. But aside from the rare creators who can do it all, it takes a real team effort to make a great comic book. In the latest episode of SYFY WIRE’s Artists Alley, Cat Staggs explained the basics of how an artist and a writer develop a shorthand while working on a title together. Staggs also shared her insight into Crosswind, a creator owned comic she shares with writer Gail Simone. As you’ll soon see and hear, Staggs put a lot of thought into the subtleties of Crosswind's body-swapping tale.
As she speaks, Staggs draws a sketch of Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel, while explaining her art process. She also talks at length about her decision to utilize light and shadow on this particular drawing. Additionally, Staggs touches upon her comic book origin story, which began with drawing trading cards.
“I started in trading cards, doing card art for Topps for various properties,” says Staggs. “I did mostly Star Wars, but also did some Marvel and DC. And I did a lot of one-off illustrations for Lucasfilm and some work on the website. [It] used to have a... kids section, and we would do instructional illustrations [and] breakdowns on how to draw Star Wars characters.”
In the video, Staggs also takes a look back at her very first comic book gig.
“My first job in comics was actually Phantom Lady and Doll Man for DC,” relates Staggs. “I was asked by Jim Lee to submit some things, and he then found the project. It was nice to cut my teeth on that.”
For more comic book memories from Staggs, including her long stint on Smallville Season 11, check out the full video!