CBR News spoke with Johns from the floor at the Javits Centre to discuss the new ongoing series, but had to get ahold of Manapul at his home in Toronto, as the Canadian artist was too busy drawing “Adventure Comics” to attend the crowd favorite con.
CBR News: Obviously, you must be thrilled to be on “Adventure Comics.” Was your run on “Legion of Super-Heroes” with Jim Shooter what landed you the job?
Francis Manapul: Probably (laughs). I’d been talking to Dan Didio through out the summer conventions on what I could do next after “Legion.” We had bounced around a few ideas on characters and titles, but most importantly I gave Dan a short list of writers I’d really like to work with. Geoff Johns was at the absolute top of my list, and to my surprise, he wanted to work with me, too. Big thanks to Dan for making it happen. We then talked about what books Geoff was working on and where my services would be best suited. Initially, I was really bull headed for another book, but the more we talked about “Adventure Comics,” the more I got excited and the more in tune the book was with where I was going artistically.
Have you enjoyed planning and plotting with Geoff Johns? What’s he like as a collaborator?
It’s been fantastic. After the San Diego Comic Con, I went down to L.A. and visited Geoff at his office and we just talked a lot about the characters we were going to use, their motivations and the vastness of where we could take this book. What amazed me was how open Geoff was with the collaboration, and how he wanted to incorporate my strengths into how the book is paced and how the story is told. Geoff being an artist himself knows how to get the best work out of his collaborators, and that means a lot to me.
We don’t have too many details to go on yet, but what can you share with us about the series? Are there plenty of opportunities to draw lots of characters?
Yes, there will be a slew of familiar characters, as well as a few new ones. I can’t really say too much about the story, but it will have a very classic feel with Geoff’s modern touch. This book will be epic. And yes, there will be a lead character in the book, but I better shut up now.
We do know Starman is in the book. What’s great about drawing him?
I haven’t really had a chance to draw him beyond what was on the teaser cover. That said I’m really looking forward to drawing more of him.
Can you share anyone else who you will be drawing?
All the characters on the cover will appear in the book. I’m looking forward to drawing more of Krypto. I’ve based him on my family dog so it’s been great fun.
Describe your art on the project. Will it be reminiscent of your “Legion of Super-Heroes” run? Or is it similar to your ‘Origins and Omens’ back up in “Adventure Comics” #0?
It will be more like what I’m doing now with “Superman/Batman” and what was seen in ‘Origins and Omens.’ I’ve been having an insane amount of fun inking my work. Using the brush has been liberating for me, and with every new page I get more and more comfortable using water color, ink wash and gouache. You can track my progress at http://manapul.deviantart.com/, where I usually post the process work of my pages.