In early November Aspen Comics made the announcement they were changing up the look of their heroine Kiani when Fathom: Kiani Volume 4 #1 arrives February 11th. Alex Konat, Giuseppe Cafaro, and Wes Hatman were tasked with updating Kiani’s look and the title’s overall design.
In the announcement Aspen cited the growing female audience, and the evolution of their fanbase, an honest and frank admission that I wish we saw more of.
Yesterday, we talked with Aspen Editor in Chief and writer of Fathom: Kiani, Vince Hernandez. Today, we bring you part two of the discussion, as we got a chance to send some questions to artist Giuseppe Cafaro about some of what went into the redesign and the latest trend of new costumes for characters.
Graphic Policy: So the big news is you’re redesigning Kiani for her comic’s next volume out in February. When did you find out about the change, and get tasked with the redesign?
Giuseppe Cafaro: So, yes, there’s a great project behind the new Kiani volume that started during the end of this summer. Vince told me about the idea to bring Kiani on a new cinematic view and I loved that new way from the beginning.
GP: How were Alex Konat and Wes Hartman involved?
GC: The whole “Fathom crew” was involved in this redesign. Alex drew the outfit for the first issue (that you can see also on his covers) and I’m drawing the concept outfit for the other issues. Wes is always one of the most important members of this project – he gives life to our ideas and pencils.
GP: What were the things you thought about when coming up with the new look?
GC: I was excited! Kiani is one of my favorite comic book characters since I started to read Fathom, and I’m so happy to have the possibility to work on these books and work on her redesign.
GP: Did you put thought into the utility and practicality of the outfit when coming up with the new design?
GC: Sure. There’s will be different environments and villains in this new story and her new design will be connected with what she needs to be the “bad-ass heroine” we know.
GP: What was the approval process like? How many versions were there?
GC: About the first outfit, we started from the design of Kiani: Dawn of War, beautifully drawn by Talent Caldwell. About the second design, I did 3 different versions and Vince approved one of those, but I think I’ll still do some little changes, with his supervision, on that new design.
GP: What are some of the character designs in comics that really stand out to you?
GC: I don’t like the classic “hero-suit” too much. I love a lot of the classic Image characters (Spawn, Witchblade) but I think that my favorite costume design is the Batman from “Batman: Noel” drawn by Lee Bermejo.
GP: With many of this year’s redesigns of characters practicality of the costume seem to be a priority. Why do you think this has become more of a focus of the artists today?
GC: I think that all redesigns actually come from generational change, not only in comics but also in movies and TV series. Sure, there are a lot of people who doesn’t like redesigns, but I think that it’s important to give new looks to our “heroes”.
GP: What comic projects do you have coming up?
GC: I’m working on Kiani interiors right now; I’ll draw all 4 books of this volume, as I did for the last volume. As for the future, I hope to continue to collaborate with Aspen Comics. It’s so fun and intense for me.