EXCLUSIVE! Sean E. Williams, Cat Staggs & Gilbert Hernandez talk SENSATION COMICS

While attending this year’s Comic-Con International I was able to sit down with three wondrous talents, Sean E. Williams, Cat Staggs and Gilbert Hernandez. What’d we talk about? The currently running digital first series Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman!

UTF: So what it’s like to take on an iconic character like Wonder Woman and play with the toys in her arsenal?

Sean E. Williams: It’s unbelievably awesome. To be able to tap into decades of history and stories and play in any universe we want with Wonder Woman, it’s kind of a dream come true. I wish we could do more than we have so far.

Cat Staggs: Yeah, I was pinching myself every day at the drawing table. I couldn’t believe I was actually doing it. It’s overwhelming and exciting and it’s incredible.

Gilbert Hernandez: I’m really excited about it. I get to use the bracelets and the lasso. I haven’t figured out the invisible plane yet but I think I’m going to correct a mistake they had on the TV show and in other versions. Meaning that when she’s inside she’ll be invisible as well. The fact that she’s just kind of floating above us, it’s kind of cool in that weird fantastic way but making it literal is just nuts.

Sensation Comics 1_Preview Cover Widescreen

UTF: I have to agree there.

Since this is a digital first series, that’s going to get collected monthly in print, are there any added pressures with its unique release schedule?

Sean E. Williams: Not for us, but our editor, I think she’s probably pulling out her hair by now.

Cat Staggs: I’ve been doing digital first books for two years now so the schedule is kind of easy for me. It’s what I’m used to but I agree, I think our editor is probably pulling her hair out by now. But my part is done.

Gilbert Hernandez: It’s a challenge but I’ve learned so much working with DC [Comics]. This is like bang, got to get Wonder Woman out, let’s do it. So in my head, you know, I just got to concentrate and all the other things professionals do. So it’s a challenge, but I think that it’s one of the good ones.

Sensation Comics 3_Preview Cover Widescreen

UTF: Since the launch of the New 52, Wonder Woman has gone through some changes. She’s now a daughter of Zeus and current Goddess of War. In regards to her lore is there anything that you guys want to reinvent or touch on if given the chance to do so?

Sean E. Williams: For me it’s actually about getting back to her roots. I went to the original Sensation Comics #1 and pulled a story out that’s kind of brushed over. I expanded on that and brought it into the contemporary world. Looking back there’s a lot that just hasn’t changed in the decades since that release.

Cat Staggs: The only thing that came from the new version, for me, is the costume. Amanda [Deibert]’s given her the personality of the classic almost Superman like Wonder Woman. So, it’s pretty fantastic.

Gilbert Hernandez: I had to decide, for me, what she was going to look like. I had done some drawings of her for charity where I drew her, just for fun, very muscular. It was sort of an exaggeration for fun and I got all these posts of like, “Are you going to make her look like that?” or “this is the best Wonder Woman.” And I’m like, “Oh no. I wasn’t planning on that.” I wasn’t sure what she was going to look like but now I’m considering how muscular she’s going to be.

Gilbert Hernandez Charity Sketch Example Widescreen

UTF: People definitely do like a powerful looking Wonder Woman.

Gilbert Hernandez: Yeah, the only difference is I would go outside these drawings and make her a little more feminine. I’ll soften her up a bit. Because the contrast of that with the muscles is, for a lot of guys, very sexy.

UTF: Absolutely.

I have one last question. We have lots of fanboys and fangirls that come to our site that they literally read our stuff and all they want to do is to get into the comic industry. As people that work there do you have any words of wisdom or advice for them?

Sean E. Williams: The most important thing they can do is just make comics. There’s no barriers anymore; people can make their own stuff and put it out there digitally first and then maybe even a print run through Kickstarter. There’s no reason to wait to try to get a Superman gig or anything like that. It’s a kind of the dream come true but, you know, the only way DC [Comics] is going to find you is if you make your own stuff first.

Cat Staggs: From an art standpoint, draw every day, just keep doing it. Put your stuff online. You can’t beat the exposure from Twitter and Facebook.

Gilbert Hernandez: And Tumblr too.

Sensation Comics 2_Preview Cover Widescreen

Cat Staggs: Be sure to bring your stuff and put it in front of people’s faces. Come to shows. Come to conventions.

Gilbert Hernandez: Like she said, if you want to draw well you’ve got to draw. There’s no cheating and there’s no rushing it. I know people are trying to figure out different ways to do it with computers but it’s not going to work. When somebody can do a hand drawing, you sense it. So just hunker down and draw.

They always ask my brother and I, “well, how’d you guys do it?” And I go, “We’ve been drawing since we were five years old.” I’m sorry if you want the quick version but there is none. To draw well you sit on your butt and practice. Same with writing. Make mistakes but learn from them.

In the beginning don’t be afraid to copy. If you like Batman, copy your favorite Batman because eventually, if you’re serious, you’ll move away from that but you’ll have the basics down. You’ll be able to draw him right as long as you’re not focusing on how the other artist drew it. Allow your personality to take over and the muscle memory will take care of the rest.

I want to take the time to thank Sean E. WilliamsCat Staggs and Gilbert Hernandez for chatting with me. It was a great pleasure to talk with them about the always outstanding Wonder Woman and yes, Sensation Comics absolutely rocks so far!

So what did you think of the interview my fellow fanboys and fangirls?

Sound off with your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.