Lucky Number Seven: An Interview With Superstar Comics Artist @JamalIgle

Komplicated: Escapism

Lucky Number Seven is a a brief interview with someone interesting in the public eye, chopped into easily consumed tidbits of data for your brain space.

This time we sit down with superstar artist Jamal Igle, who just dropped the pint sized powerhouse Molly Danger on Free Comic Book Day …

KOMPLICATED: Question #1: You’ve brought the world Molly Danger, now with the fine folks at Action Lab Entertainment. For readers who haven’t bothered to hit Google, could you tell us what Molly Danger is all about and just why jaded, overloaded fans should check her out?

molly danger splash image

Well, Because it’s fun. It’s the story of a superhumanly strong, immortally 10 year old girl who fights giant robots, shape shifters, cavemen and old fashioned superheroics. Molly really is the story of a girl trying to find her place in the world. Molly is the protector of Coopersville, New York, with all that entails. Since the first time the Supermechs showed up 20 years ago, Molly has been there to stop them with pluck and vigor. Yet in spite of all the accolades and love she receives from the public, she’s a lonely little girl. She doesn’t have a secret identity or a family of her own, and all she knows about herself is that she’s Molly Danger and always has been.

KOMPLICATED: Question #2: You’ve had quite a storied career and worked for almost every publisher people talk about. When your recently-expired DC Comics exclusive was announced, you were called at “triple threat” — “scary talented, super reliable and one of the nicest guys in the business.” Do you consider that the key to your longevity, or will you tell us where the bodies are buried?

I’d like to think so, at least I hope it is. I really don’t know where the bodies are hidden, LOL. I’ve always been about the work over everything else. As a result, I usually steer clear of inter-company drama and gossip. Now, you can’t avoid it, conversations happen and things tend to leak but it’s never been what I’m about. It doesn’t serve a purpose to me. Since I was a kid, I was, as we were all told, that as a black man in this country I have to work harder to achieve the same things as anyone else. I really took that to heart, especially when you become a part of the entertainment industry. There’s so much competition that I felt the only way I could compete was to make myself indispensable. it’s the same advice I give to up and coming artists, “Make your work idiot proof, don’t give an editor an excuse not to hire you.”

KOMPLICATED: Question #3: A lot of your work takes you to conventions and disparate locales. Could you tell us the strangest or funniest thing you’ve experienced at a convention?

Well the funniest thing would probably be San Diego last year, doing a signing with Gene Simmons at the IDW booth. It was a glimpse into the life of a real rock star. Girls flirting with him, guys yelling stuff, so many flash bulbs going off it was ridiculous.

KOMPLICATED: Question #4: With production values as high as yours, you likely could have sat down with almost any publisher and taken a meeting. What led you to bring your work to an iconoclastic upstart imprint like Action Lab? Feel free to include the word “Princeless” in your answer …

Molly danger cover

I’ve actually known the owners of Action lab since before ALE existed. I contributed to the Fracture Kickstarter, I was what they were doing in terms of production. I saw what they were doing with books like Princeless and Double Jumpers and really felt like this was the place to take the book. I also hoped that my presence would help bring attention to what they were doing.

KOMPLICATED: Question #5: The discussion of race keeps cropping up in the comics field, and we’re sorry but we have to push for an answer, regardless of the possible fan reaction. We have to ask — Daxamite or Kryptonian, and why? Also, while we’re here, where does Venture rank in terms of Superman analogues?

Daxamites are technically more powerful but their weakness to lead, which is far more common than Kryptonite, eliminate their effectiveness. Also you have to remember that Daxam is a xenophobic society, they rarely ever go off-world. So I would give the edge to the Kryptonians. As far as Venture goes, he has the edge over both because his powers are mana-based and magical in nature, so he’d wipe the floor with either of them. Venture is literally “The hero of a thousand faces” that Joseph Campbell wrote about.

KOMPLICATED: Question #6: What other new projects are you working on where fns can see your work? What’s next for you? Given the wide variety of characters and properties you’ve worked with, what do you consider your undiscovered country? what are the top five things you haven’t worked on that you want to conquer?

I’m doing work for IDW on G.I. Joe, covers and interiors on issue 6, doing covers and pin-ups for other companies. I have a project coming up that will be announced soon that’s going to be fun. I’m also planning for Molly Danger book two to begin production in January 2014.

KOMPLICATED: Question #7: Finally: who’d win a free for all battle royale: your character Molly Danger, Brandon Thomas’ Miranda Mercury or Warren Ellis’ Anna Mercury?

In terms of power and experience, Molly has the edge over them, but I admit I’m biased.

A true craftsman and gentleman who is really pulling off the Jor-El robes. How about four preview pages from the Free Comic Book Day edition of Molly Danger, huh? Sandy, can we roll that clip?

Molly danger page 1
Molly danger page 2
molly danger page 3
Molly danger page 5

[Source: About Me: Jamal Igle]


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