We Talk Fables and more with Chrissie Zullo

Chrissie Zullo was discovered at the San Diego Comic Con in 2008, and since then she has made her mark in comics, especially with covers for the Fables universe.  Recently she turned some heads with a series of sketches with some unconventional pairings of heroes.  We got a chance to talk with her about how to design a cover, the new Batgirl and why Boba Fett is so popular.

Graphic Policy:  Can you describe how you go about putting a cover together?  And what elements you have to choose from the inside to capture the story or to capture the interest of a potential buyer?

cz03Chrissie Zullo:  It’s really a collaborative process between the artist and the editor. I usually read a script and if certain elements really stand out or a scene really captures the tone of the story, then my head starts thinking of what a good image would be based on these things. I usually send in three to five thumbnails to my editor, and it’s process of elimination and back and forth on ideas from there.

GP:  You recently turned some heads with a series of drawings on DeviantArt.  Do you think that modern comic artists need websites like that in order to be able to be seen and get work?

CZ:  I don’t know if it’s necessary but it certainly helps. I heard that editors are looking online at sites like Tumblr and seeing who stands out and had a large following. I guess any exposure to your art can’t hurt, so I try to put my art on a lot of online sites in hopes that more people will see it.

GP:  The last year has seen an influx in comics geared towards younger women, such as Gotham Academy and a refurbished Batgirl.  Is the time right for a shift in outlook when it comes to female characters?

CZ:  I think it’s a smart move, because a young female audience gravitates toward young female characters, and if you are trying to pickup new subscribers, a fresh start to a story is a lot less daunting then one 300 issues in. I personally really like seeing the new take on characters, especially the redesigns.

cz01GP:  One of your recent drawings was of the new design Batgirl and Spider-Gwen.  What is it about the two of them makes them fit together?

CZ:  They both came out around the same time, and I think a lot of people would love to see them be friends, or in a same story arc. It’s fun to mash up two things that don’t necessarily belong together but for some reason would make a lot of sense together. I just love the new wave of young, strong females in comics and the fact that they are becoming so popular is also really reassuring.

GP:  Another one of the drawings which you posted was of Quorra from Tron.  She is a bit of an anomaly, as she was only on screen for about 30 minutes, but the character has a dedicated following.  What do you make of that?

CZ:  Yeah true! She needed more screen time. I just loved her look. I guess it’s like Boba Fett- there are these really great designed characters in films that don’t get a lot of screen time, but get a huge following. For whatever reason, people gravitate toward them. Maybe it’s their mystery that makes them more popular.

cz02GP:  Speaking of new developments in comics, ever since about the past ten years, fairy tales have been more noticeable, and as a Fables veteran, do you think that fairy tales are here to stay or that they will become less popular?

CZ:  I think fairy tales are forever, because they are timeless stories that are usually told to teach a lesson or a moral. No matter what generation or time, fairy tales can be applied or relatable; I think that’s why they have lasted so long.

GP:  A large portion of your published work has been either super heroes or fairy tales.  Are there any other genres that you would like to draw?

CZ:  I’m a huge sci-fi junkie, and I’d love to draw more with futuristic designs or post-apocalyptic settings. I love the idea of the far distant future, so maybe anything like that would be a lot of fun.

Art courtesy of Chrissie Zullo