It’s a sunshine afternoon on Oct. 6th. In the interview room at SHCC, VoiceVision Team had an impressive interview with the artist/writer on Wonder Woman and American comic artist and writer – Phil Jimenez. After we had a seat, Phil noticed the guard bracelet on reporter’s wrist at once. Wonder Woman’s exclusive equipment caught master’s vision at first. We both smiled from heart, and then we started our interview——
You said Wonder Girl (Wonder Woman’s sister) was the character that you identified with the most. Is she still the one?
First, let me say, that is an amazing first question. I have never been asked this before. So, what I used to love about, Donna Troy, the wonder girl, was one character trait, and she felt she had to be perfect for everyone. In the comic she was a perfect girl. In one issue, beast boy said, you don’t have to be perfect for us, we will love you even if you are not perfect. For me, when I was young, I tried to be the best at so many things, to hide many things at home and family. And I realized that many people like to do this, and they don’t have to. So that was a quality that I really like. I also like that she was good, a good kind person. I wish I was better and more kind. So those are the qualities that I got from that character.
You participated in the creation of the first release of DC Rebirth. Can you please share with us something about that experience?
Yes. One funny story. I was not going to take the job because I didn’t understand it at first and the deadline was very tight. So it took Geoff Johns and many people to call me, say please, please, please do this. And so I said OK finally. I didn’t know it was going to be such a big deal, and how many people were going to love it. And it became a wonderful experience. It was great to work with Geoff again who I worked with ten years ago. And I’m so happy to have worked on the project, because so many people liked it. But I wasn’t going to do it at first.
You put the image of the then-President Obama on Amazing Spider-man #583. Did the White House have any reaction to that? Will you put President Trump on the cover some time later?
If I never have to draw President Trump, I will be happy. He makes me very angry. I was invited to the White House twice. And I know that they thought the art work and liked it very much. What I loved was I need Michelle Obama, and his daughter’s their own characters, and I make the comic cover just like that one, just for them. And so I was able to go to the White House to give it to them. That made me very happy. My cousin worked in the White House and she said the cover was in the office behind her.
In your opinion, what are the similarities and differences between storytelling and drawing? Is it a common practice for an artist to give advice to a script writer?
Oh, I have strong feelings about this. My feeling is that the art tells the story in pictures. So I tend to think the writer and the artists as a team, and they will be there help each other, straignt similar crisis. So I am the belief, maybe it is because my ego is very strong, that one is not appoint upon the other, that we are all story tellers. That the words and the pictures are combined together. I believe in team work one is no better than the other.
Can you talk a little bit about your opinion about the diversity in reference to queer characters, in contemporary animations?
Oh, that is a lot too. In American Comics, we have seen an explosion of queer characters, but mostly in alternative comics. In the name of super-hero comics, we now have more than ever. But they are still limited because of the nature of the companies themselves. But now more than ever, for someone who is looking to see themselves in the comic book, there is something out there. It just might not be in Marvel and DC comics. IT mignt be a digital comic, it might be image, it might be from another country, but I am really happy to see more characters and more created work in them than ever before.
Do you agree that the character of “The Persuader” in “Fatal Five” is somehow like yourself? I think that one on Instagram can even be regarded as your self-portrait. I mean, do you deliberately depict the character after yourself?
Ha-Ha, that was not a self-portrait. I know the drawing. I drew it. I wish I looked that good. It was a chef head. So I think people thought it was me. But it was not me. He’s big.
As we know, you prefer the traditional pen and paper to digital drawing pad. What advantage do you think the pen and paper have?
For me, it is simply the experience. I’ve been inking digitally the past few months. And it is a different experience for me. I believe any artist should work in the medium where they get the best work. Either that artist works digitally, or traditionally, that doesn’t matter to me at all. I don’t prefer one or the other for anyone. I am just used to pen and ink. It is easier for me. Because I am used to it. But I’ve been inking more digitally, doing more design digitally. And it’s fine. I just have to practice with it more. If there is a single advantage it is that you have a real piece of art, a physical piece of art. when it was done, to put it on the wall or to sell, or to give it away. When you work digitally, there is no original art except a computer file. But I don’t think one is better than the other. I am just used to one, because I work with it so long.
What is the top super-nature power that you desire to have? And the reason?
This is a gig question. I like the idea of telekinesis, the ability to move objects with your mind like Phoenix. Because when you are as powerful as she is, anything you think, she can move molecules with her brain, so she can make the world look like whatever she wants to. She can mimic any super power. She can fly, she could change your clothes, she can … the buildings. So that will be my super power, to be able to move matter with my mind.
If you have the power, I think you can draw without pen and paper.
Yes. Ha-ha. I think I would quit drawing and try to make the world a better place. I will try to make the Donald Trump out of the White House.
And stop the shooting in Las Vegas.
After joining this round of SHCC, do you have any unique impression of this city and the Chinese fans here, comparing with other exhibitions of the like, say, SDCC, Flame Con, so on and so forth?
This is my first time to China, to Shanghai. The thing I am amazed by are the number of gifts that people bring which is so sweet. It is hard to describe.
And in United State, I think the people are very nice. I find the comic fans to be very nice people. In the United States there is an expectation and demand to: I can pure give you money and you draw. Here people have been so generous and so kind maybe they give you a gift which is so surprising. They seem so happy to be here. I’m also happy to be here. Everyone is so kind and lovely. I like the number of female fans, which is very exciting. In past few years in the United State, we see more female fans, here everyone I love it makes me excited . My experience here is people are very kind. Oh one thing, I am amazed at the number of sculptures and toys here. I don’t see that many in the United States. I see actors and many others. All of these groups with the 3D sculptures make my jaw drop. It’s beautiful. I don’t think I see it in the United States. Is that normal here?
I think some toys are only limited here, for the SHCC.
It’s amazing. Beautiful.
Most toys are made in China, that’s why.
Of course. Yes.
The United States have to import toy and we make it here.
Yes. Oh… I am stupid. Thanks for it. My thinking is: the people here are very kind. I am amazed by the number of gifts they give me. It’s sweet. And I love the amount of toys here.
OK, the last one. If you are required to create a new super hero modeled on yourself, how do you plan to do it?
Well, I would not. So this gets a little serious. I have a project, that is loosely based on my family, and I am very excited about it. Because it is a new way part of me, a new way to explore super hero, through a whole new set of characters. But I always thought I don’t want to see myself as a super hero. Because what I want of a super hero that are better than me. I don’t want to treat it like me, I want to treat it better, I can be aspired to be like them. So all the good qualities that I looked for, what I think I fail, I want those in my heroes. So most of the heroes I love and I create, are people that I want to be more like. I don’t want them to be like me.
Thank you very much!
Photo & Text by VoiceVision Team
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