Fan Expo Toronto will be taking place this year between September 3rd and 6th, and Graphic Policy had the opportunity to talk with a few of their featured guests before the beginning of the convention. Craig Yeung joined us to talk about his accomplishments in the medium and who he might like to draw one day.
Graphic Policy: Who are some of the comic artists of the past that inspired you and your artwork?
: Am I limited to comic artists? haha. I derive a lot of influence from all over from Bouguereau to Bob Peak, Terada to Robert Mcginnis, Mucha to Coby Whitmore. I’m kinda all over the place. In terms of comic art, I guess I was initially influenced by the Image founders, that’s kinda the era that I grew up with. Artists like Jim Lee, Silvestri, Turner, but nowadays I like artists like Alex Raymond who did strips and had to draw without the benefit of color. There’s also a slew of incredible artists working today that constantly raise the bar.
GP: Are there any particular series, characters or stories that you have worked on that have been especially memorable?
CY: Runaways will always be dear to my heart. We had an amazing creative team and management believed in the project from the get go. It was one of those few opportunities where they let a new title grow it’s own following. You don’t see that often with the big two.
GP: You have worked on a lot of big name projects, but is there one that no one knows about that you think deserves more praise?
: There’s a couple projects I’ve done recently that I’m particularly proud of. One is an anthology of short stories “Girls Night Out”, written by Amy Chu (Soon to be writing Poison Ivy League for DC and another project for Aftershock Comics) and colored by Juri Hayasaka-Chinchilla. It’s a slice of life story that revolves around an elderly woman with dementia. It’s a more down to earth story and relies on those quiet moments. Also adapted by Amy and colored by Laura Martin, I just finished a story for the Baltimore Museum of Art. It documents the life of Princess Miao Shan and presented by the Asian Art Gallery in the museum as an interactive comic to supplement the information about some of their artifacts displayed. It’s kinda cool seeing comics used as a teaching tool.
GP: Among your recent works is the comic version of the Arrow television series. Is it easier to draw when you have real life people to base your illustrations from?
CY: For the Arrow series, since I was inking it, the heavy lifting was done by Joe Bennett. I did occassionally refer back to character screen shots, but Joe did an awesome job capturing much of the likeness. I personally find it easier to keep consistency with the work if I have real people to base off of.
GP: When you draw a certain group of characters on a regular basis, do you find that you start to like certain characters more or to get an affinity for them?
: I think this is definitely the case, although I think it comes down to how the character is built through the scripts that give you that affinity. For example, some of my favorites is Molly from Runaways and Felicity from Arrow.
GP: Aside from characters is there a specific genre that you prefer? Fantasy or sci-fi? Post apocalyptic or dystopian?
CY: I like them all, although anything sci-fi tends to be more intense when drawing because of all the tech. I’ve also been a huge sci-fi fan over the years, I think Syd Mead had a big influence on that. However, it’s difficult to find a good sci-fi story these days. I think it’s because we have such amazing special effects today, we expect so much more.
GP: Are there any characters that you would like to get a chance to draw? Or maybe one that you have worked on already and would to get more opportunity to draw?
CY: I think maybe on a main Spiderman title. I’ve worked on a few offshoots before ( Marvel Age Spidermans), but I grew up reading Amazing Spiderman and Peter parker, the spectacular spiderman so I think it’d be cool to work on one of the main flagship titles.