Home > Interviews, Rebekah Isaacs > Slayalive Q&A with Rebekah Isaacs for Angel & Faith #4

Slayalive Q&A with Rebekah Isaacs for Angel & Faith #4


Q&A with Rebekah Isaacs for ANGEL & FAITH #4

Hey all!

Rules are simple: Post ONE (1) question per member until I submit your questions to Rebekah. I will post a note to let you know when I send off questions to reopen the floor.

Keep it clean, keep it civil. Simple right? I’m accepting up to 20 questions this round.

This is a whole new era so be creative with your questions. Within reason, of course. No questions that are meant to simply further your agenda (especially in shipping!). Everything else is fair game, but be respectful of each other AND the artist who’s gracious enough to take your questions. Please also remember that Rebekah is the artist and not the writer; she may not be the best person to ask editorial or writerly questions.

Anyone who’s reading this and not a member, I’m accepting questions at wenxina[AT]slayalive.com. Feel free to send me your questions and I’ll add them to the queue with credit to you.

Alright… GO!

1. Bamph: Your art on Angel & Faith has been great. I really love it. Here’s my first question.

In the last issue of Buffy, we learned about the new species of vampires created by the loss of magic called zompires, as named by Xander. It’s been confirmed that we’ll also be seeing zompires in Angel & Faith. Have you drawn any yet and if you haven’t, are you looking forward to putting a distinct look on them when you do?

Rebekah: You can’t really tell, but I was asked to put one in the background of the street fight scene at the beginning of issue 2, but at that point the idea of how to make them look and act was pretty unclear.. I was asked to make them big and brutish. He’s the tall one with the slayer trying to strangle him from behind but mostly succeeding in taking a piggyback ride. I’m guessing the idea for how they would look and act changed a bit because Georges drew something far more vicious and feral, which I like. I wasn’t asked to draw them again until issue 8, I believe, which I just finished. I followed Georges’ lead on that one. I really liked what he did with the design and we need to keep them consistent. 

2. Morphia: Hi Rebekah

Your work is great. I really hope you get to draw Spike some day. I’d love to see your take on him. Now I’ve read the issue, I understand Angel’s weird fashion choices in the previous issue a little better.

My question is: you drew a really cool red-faced demon lady in issue 2. She hit Angel over the head with a barstool in the fight scene. I liked her a lot. Any chance you might use the character again?

Rebekah: Haha! You’re not the first I’ve heard say they enjoy seeing Angel getting the crap kicked out of him! Poor guy… You will enjoy the hell out of #7 then.  Your wish is my command; I will put her in the next scene she could feasibly make an appearance in. Won’t have a chance in issue 9 but but possibly in the third arc. Keep your eyes peeled!

3. FangedFourLover: What is your favorite aspect about Drusilla’s character and what’s your favorite aspect on drawing her?

Rebekah: I love how regal she is, even when she’s acting totally insane. That’s been my favorite part of drawing her, all her floaty, fairy-queen hand gestures and postures.

4. spuffyspangellover: What episodes do you use in reference to draw Drusilla from? Amazing art by the way. I would cry if you ever drew Spike haha.

Rebekah: They ran the gamut. Time was of the essence so I didn’t have a chance to rewatch many episodes, and mostly had to rely on screencaps, but one that I watched a particular scene from over and over was ‘Dear Boy’. Most of the screencaps were from Buffy episodes.

5. Moscow Watcher: Hey, Rebekah,

Amazing work, as usual! You’re spoiling us, getting us used to your brilliance!

Question: Was it in the script that on the panel where Angel asks Faith who he reminds of, there is a familiar photo of young!Giles? And – that there should be exactly one half of his body visible?

Rebekah: It wasn’t in the script, but putting the photo in view was a conscious decision on my part. The half-body thing was a coincidence, but possibly a happy one…

6. NickBridwell: Wow, crazy issue. You did some great art in this issue. I love the odes to Giles in Angel’s actions. I’m totally wigged out about the glasses thing. I don’t think a single fan is buying the glasses stuff, but hey..that’s for another time. My question: What character from Buffy or Angel would you most want to have the opportunity to draw in Angel and Faith? I’d love to see you draw Darla. Also, Wesley Wyndam Pryce is screaming for a comeback!

Rebekah: Haha, that’s okay! Faith is hardly buying it either. As for characters to draw in the future, Spike would be my first choice, but Wesley would be awesome. Darla will show up briefly in a flashback soon!

7. Wenxina: Hey Rebekah! Firstly, I’ll be receiving that splash page in the mail tomorrow! Color me excited (well, get Dan Jackson to do it… it’s a chartreuse-y hue)! Anyway, Angel-as-the-second-coming-of-Giles; how much did you reference Giles’ various mannerisms to get them down? I mean, some of the panels are totally Giles-y (e.g. the way Angel holds his glasses).

Rebekah: Cool! I’m glad you brought up Dan, because the look of this book owes so much to him. His colors tell just as much of the story as my lines do. He’s earned some mad props!

As for your question… his mannerisms are definitely intended to evoke Giles (luckily I got most of the reference when I was drawing Giles himself in #1 and 2) but the reason why should surprise you!

8. Bamph: The people who were mutated by The Mohra blood I found disturbing. Really disturbing but in a good way. It’s very impressive how the images of those victims who used the blood in the magic-free world really got under my skin. Great job on doing that. How did you come up with such a unsettling visual design for them?

Rebekah: Thanks! I’m glad it had the intended effect, as cruel as that seems to say! I have a weird fascination with malignant growths and all the many morbidly bizarre ways the human body can backfire on itself, so I guess the reference was in my head already. I went to the Mutter Museum in Philly not too long ago as well, and seeing tumors and malformations up-close and in person helped a lot with the designs. Mostly I just needed them to seem convincingly hopeless to make that last scene work, so I really needed to trap them completely in these growths. I made the growths cover most of their features but occasionally you might catch a glimpse of a formation that looks like an eye or nose or mouth could be buried underneath. That’s terrifying to me and I hoped it would be to readers. 

9. zamolxis: Hi Rebekah,

Any chance we got to see your tryouts with Buffy and Willow?

Rebekah: That’s for Dark Horse to decide, but I’m pretty sure they’re planning to release them at some point this season.

10. Moscow Watcher: Hey, it’s me again, trying to figure out some clues to future events. In issue 3, was it explicitly mentioned in the script that Angel touches Mohra’s dust (pieces?) with his hands after the demon bursts into something blue-ish?

Sorry for being too much into details, but I’m fascinated with current story and can’t stop thinking about repercussions of Angel’s actions.

Thank you for answering our questions. You rock!

Rebekah: That was my own addition, so if it ends up relating to future events it was unintentional. But I really appreciate your love of the details!

11. Wenxina: I met Yanick Paquette at Austin Comic Con this year (great guy, very charismatic and funny) and he was telling me how he had begun to do a lot of his drawing digitally because it was a great tool. The downside is of course, you don’t have originals to sell. Have you ever done any of your stuff digitally, or are you pretty ol’ skool when it comes to drawing? Is it something that you’ve considered switching too?

Rebekah: Ah, Yanick, what a charmer! He’s fantastic and his art is amazing whether digital or traditional. But personally I can’t get on board with digital art. There’s something about working with physical tools that feels really great. If I didn’t draw for a living I’d have to be a craftsperson of some kind, making just about anything by hand. I don’t think I’d ever feel that kind of satisfaction looking at a finished image on a screen.

12. Nathan: How much of the whole Angel channelling Giles storyline be drawn upon, or will it be finished in the next few issues? How will it impact Faith and Angel as they are now?

Rebekah: Hmm… can’t give too much away, but you certainly won’t be seeing the resolution to that plotline in the near future. And it’ll have a profound impact on A&F. Good or bad? That’s an answer for Christos to spill sometime! 

13. AndrewCrossett: Have you met any of the actors whose characters you’ve been drawing, or heard any feedback on whether they read the book and what they think of it?

Rebekah: I have! Juliet had very kind things to say about my interpretation of Dru by email, though I haven’t had the chance to meet her in person yet. I haven’t heard anything directly from Eliza or David, but Eliza was kind enough to retweet a few A&F #1 related things. I hope she enjoyed it if she had a chance to read it. It must be really bizarre to see a stranger’s interpretation of your face in panel after panel, though!

14. Bamph: Georges Jeanty did several homage covers to other famous comic book covers in Season 8 and it was just revealed a few weeks ago that he did one this season. His cover for the upcoming Buffy #6 is a homage to Tomb Of Dracula #10. Is there any chance we’ll see you do some homage covers for Angel & Faith?

Rebekah: It’s a possibility I’d like to explore in the second half of the series. We talked about doing a few homages to past Buffy covers in the beginning, but I declined because I wanted to establish my own voice in my first series of covers. Actually, just recently I suggested an homage to the Ziggy Stardust back album cover (the one where he’s standing in the red telephone booth), but it got nixed because the reference was so old editorial thought people might not get it. Any other Bowie fans out there wanna prove ’em wrong? I’m thinking about putting together a petition. Okay, maybe I’m just a BIT obsessed. As far as comic cover homages, maybe! I also really liked the Wolverine covers Marvel did a while back with homages to great painters. Readers can feel free to tweet or email me suggestions! (twitter.com/rebekahisaacs / rebekahisaacs@gmail.com

15. Morphia: Hi again, Rebekah

Thanks for answering my question. I’ll keep my eyes open for the red demon lady and will hope she doesn’t come back just to get killed. Also, for the record, I don’t hate Angel. I’m just very, very cross with him at the moment, which is one of the reasons why I enjoyed that panel so much.

I saw you say to one of the other posters that you’ll be drawing Darla in an upcoming flashback. That’s wonderful. I love Darla. She’s my favourite female character in the Buffyverse apart from Buffy herself. I hope there’ll be more flashbacks of Angel’s past so you get to draw her again (and Spike, hopefully).

My question is, given the series will have flashbacks not just of Angel’s past but of Giles’s (60s/70s, I suppose?) what resources do you use to research the periods in question?

Rebekah: Google images for the win, as usual. We’ll see Giles in his late school years soon, and I found some great references for English school uniforms from the late 60s/early 70s. Lots of stuff Angus Young would love. I’ve always had a thing for clothing from that period and all the over-the-top patterns, and even though the school uniforms didn’t allow for much personal flair, you’ll see I went a little nuts with one of the supervisor’s dress-shirts.

16. usagianddarien: I really love your work Rebekah I especially love the drawings of Angel “channeling” Giles.

My question is what advice would you give to a person who wants to get into the comic book drawing business?

Rebekah: Draw every day, everywhere you can, and focus on drawing sequential pages that build and show off your storytelling, not just character designs or pin-ups. That’s probably the number one mistake I see in amateur portfolios. Going to an art school with a specialty in sequential or comics art can help build your portfolio and provide industry contacts, but it’s not essential. You’ll have to do a lot more of the convention portfolio review circuit if you don’t, but it’s not that bad. To get hired you’ll need to show you can make everyday street scenes and talking-heads shots just as interesting as action scenes, and you gotta be able to draw backgrounds. Oh, and get fast, because even if you got that first job, there won’t be any more knocks on your door if you didn’t meet the deadline.

17. AndrewCrossett: You don’t seem to put as many “Easter eggs” in your pages as Georges does. Have you put any in yet that nobody picked up on?

Rebekah: Yeah, I think I’ve been so anxious about getting the basics of these pages right that I haven’t stopped to think about adding hidden details yet. There were a few, but I’m sure people have picked up on them by now; most notably Faith’s Pedroia jersey and the fire hydrant throwbacks in issues 3 and 4. I need to start thinking up some more. They won’t stay hidden too long, though, you guys are a sharp bunch! 

18. Sosa Lola: ‘ve really enjoyed the art in this issue. You’re doing a wonderful job! I love how you convey emotions well in the characters’ faces. I really felt Faith’s pain after she had to cut the victims’ heads with Angel. How hard is it to keep the facial features looking like the actors and having them express different kinds of emotions at the same time? How many times do you have to draw the character’s face to get the emotion right?

Rebekah: It is a little tough because you don’t want to just pick through screenshots and find an expression that matches what you’re looking for. It won’t end up looking very organic or natural. Getting the expression is really important to me, maybe even a little more important than getting the likeness spot on, because it’s far more relevant to telling a good story than having a photo-perfect likeness. So sometimes I choose to distort the likeness a bit to get the expression a little more extreme. I don’t have the benefit of moving images or an audio track, so I have to be a little less subtle in my expressions than the actors on the show, anyhow.

Most faces I can get right on the first time because I’ll drawing over my thumbnail sketch. I’ve had plenty of bad drawing days where I have to draw every face 3 or 4 times over though!

19. Wenxina: I’ve been studying the piece of original art I recently purchased from you and I’ve noticed a wide range of line weights. What tools do you use when you’re drawing/inking?

Rebekah: I use a regular mechanical pencil for drawing, nothing fancy. For inking I use a brush on organic shapes, which gives incomparable line variation and control — in issues 1 and 2 I used a Winsor & Newton #2 sable brush, but when all the cleaning and maintenance started to get too time-consuming, I looked into brush pens. Most of them can’t hold a point for long but my friend and fellow Dark Horse artist Ron Chan suggested Pentel’s Aquash, which is designed for holding water but can be used as an ink pen with a little patience. It holds an incredible point, and the lines look almost the same as a real brush. It works great for inking away from home during conventions or vacations, too. For straight lines I use Microns.

Q&A is now complete. Major danke to Rebekah for taking time out of her busy schedule to do this with us. Keep thinking up those questions as we’ll do another one at the end of the next arc!
Feel free to share this with the WWW, but just make sure to credit SlayAlive.
Thanks for your interest! 

Original Interview at Slayalive

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