Artists David Lopez and David Navarrot exclusively explore Laura Kinney's new role in the Marvel Universe!
Laura Kinney, the hero formerly known as X-23, goes solo in ALL-NEW WOLVERINE, but her art team works in tandem to kick butt and take names.
David Lopez and David Navarrot’s designs for the book reveal a major affection for the character and her world, as well as a deep thought process for their work.
Marvel.com: David Lopez, what’s the typical way of approaching an issue like for you?
David Lopez: I work on a four week schedule basis. First week—maybe week and a half—I read the script and try to understand what the story is and how can I relate it to the reader. It’s all about the concept. Then I doodle little thumbnails on the printed script itself, just doodles that only I understand. After that I move to the computer, and I do a rough sketch of all the pages and place the balloons; leaving room for the balloons is vital. Read the story again, change some stuff; and then I do final layouts in rough pencils and place the masses of black and the basic grey work. That’s the tough part.
After that and [until] the deadline, I work with David Navarrot on final art. I work more on the main characters and he does the rest; it’s great because we have different design backgrounds; he’s great working on machinery and has a sleek sense for rendering. Basically he does all the hard work while I watch movies.
As to my everyday life as a guy working in comic books, that’s easy: I take care of my baby girl till the afternoon and the work until midnight. It’s intense.
Marvel.com: David Navarrot, how do you see your role on the art team? How do you collaborate with David?
David Navarrot: David and I try to keep the dynamic fluid and there are no strict roles. Once the layouts are done, we work on pretty much everything together. David has a lot of experience drawing comics and is a very good narrative storyteller. He is able to create characters that express emotion and have soul. We help each other try to achieve what the script demands.
We’ve been friends for years and get along great so it’s always a pleasure working with him. And he is very patient with me. In sum, Lopez is more into fashion, feelings and such. I’m the nerd who deals with weapon concepts.
Marvel.com: David Lopez, looking back at how you’d normally approach page layouts, is there anything you’ll try to do differently on ALL-NEW WOLVERINE?
David Lopez: This book is so full of action that we thought a manga approach to it would work, so we’ve been researching the works of Katsuhiro “Akira” Otomo, Masamune “Ghost in the Shell” Shirow, Hiroaki “Blade of Immortal” Samura, and Masashi “Naruto” Kishimoto, and brought them to our ground. We want to take advantage of the possibilities of working full digital so there will be a lot of heavy grey-work. We are having a great time working on this book so I believe that the readers will appreciate it—and we hope they’ll love it.
David Navarrot: The layouts are more of Lopez’s thing. I’m more into the details and final touches of the book. The tone I’m going for is like that of some manga artists he mentions, like Otomo or Shirow, from back in the 80’s. But obviously it will be different because we’re doing it for the American market.
Marvel.com: How much prep work—research, sketching, etc.—is involved before the pencils even touch the paper?
David Lopez: As much as I can, because that’s my weak spot. Navarrot and I are big fans of those animation bibles where you can see all the details of the preproduction, so we’re trying to do our own for this book. If you have time to think these things straight and you want to invest the energies needed on it, the final result is always better.
Marvel.com: You worked out several designs for Laura beyond her costumed look; why was it important to focus on her clothes and the way she wears them?
David Lopez: Laura is Wolverine now and a Wolverine book has its codes. We used to have Logan with his leather jacket and his cowboy boots and hat—he’d been living his adventures dressed like that for years—but with Laura we’re at a very sweet moment of her story. She’s starting her career as solo hero and she’ll have that kind of solo adventure, with that spirit, so I wanted to work carefully on her street clothes. It’s basically the same outfit as Logan but fitting more Laura’s background.
Marvel.com: Well, how did you approach adapting Logan’s classic look to Laura? What did you want to accomplish?
David Lopez: When I design a character’s clothes I always think of utility and “character.” I can’t see Laura on high heels, but she’s perfect with those gothic platform boots. When you dress a character you’re telling the people who he or she is and what their background is. For this particular one, Laura wears a cool biker’s jacket; I want to show her riding a bike at some point sooner or later—with pants that are resistant, but stylish, and the scarf can adapt to lots of different climates and situations. The shoes…I just hope she doesn’t need to use the foot claws.
Marvel.com: What do you see in Laura’s face when you draw it? Do you fill it with certain things, like anger for example, despite whatever her mood is at a given moment?
David Lopez: Laura has been through so much; she’s been living in the streets, she’s sold her body, she’s assassinated people—you know, lots of [expletive], but now she’s left all that behind. I mean, it’s there in her emotional backpack, but it’s not everything she is. This time she wants to take her own decisions and make her path.
I see her as someone emotionally distant with some temper; she looks like she’s disappointed, but it’s more against herself than the people around her.
Marvel.com: What can you say about the intriguing “Sisters” sketch? What’s going on with the look of the character?
David Lopez: I don’t want to spoil too much about the Sisters because they have a capital role in this book, but it’s taking a lot of pains to get a final look for them, and I even think we will be fine-tuning the designs until the day the book goes to print. This is more in the hands of Navarrot; he can find solutions to every design problem, his designs work. I mean, you can see how the straps hold the masks or where the protections flex. He’s awesome.
Marvel.com: David Navarrot, what do you feel is necessary for these designs, in terms of styling characters and tech, etc.?
David Navarrot: The style of the designs will be not too sci-fi, but will be kick-ass.
Marvel.com: And finally, gentlemen, you work a lot with color when you sketch and design; how important is color to that process?
David Lopez: Since I’ve started working full digital the use of color comes easier. I don’t need to scan stuff before coloring, so I can work with color from the very beginning. I use it as another tool to tell the story of the characters or the objects I draw. My respect for colorists has increased dramatically; it’s a very important work and when it’s done properly it can boost the look of a book very much.
ALL-NEW WOLVERINE slashes its way into the Marvel Universe this fall, and the All-New, All-Different Marvel news keeps coming to Marvel.com and our social channels!