Here's a humourous interview I had with Bernard Chang, the artist of the Daredevil/Deadpool '97 annual. He talks about his career and what he thought of his work on the annual.
Kuljit Mithra: Most fans of yours remember your work with Valiant/Acclaim. How did you start working with them?
Bernard Chang: I was discovered by Bob Layton at the 1992 San Diego convention, while dragging my portfolio around to all the other companies.
Mithra: Which titles did you work on? Which one would you consider your best work? I liked the Dr. Mirage series.
Chang: I really enjoyed working on Dr. Mirage because of Bob, Ken (Branch, inker) and Mark (Ceszar, color). those guys were a talented group to work with and since it was my first regular series, really helped me shine. However, I really really like the work on the Chaos Effect Alpha and Omega with Bob and Jerry Ordway and some later stuff I did with Keith Giffen that were never published.
Mithra: Who are some of your influences? How would you describe your art style?
Chang: I'm really influenced, from the comic book side of things, by Bob, Barry Windsor-Smith and Mark Moretti, as well as my good friends Sean Chen and John Paul Leon. Those people all have different styles, but great and unique things about each. Barry's stuff was very organic and had a slow-motion look to it. Sean's work is just filled with details. I remember we use to try to outcompete each other with intricate backgrounds (which gave the inkers a headache, no doubt).
Mithra: Did Valiant have an 'in-house' style? That's one of the criticisms/compliments of the 'old' Valiant issues.
Chang: Boy, there are a lot of questions about Valiant.
Mithra: What was the last title you did for Valiant?
Chang: Don't remember. I think it was "Bernard Chang presents:Bad Babes with Butts To Die For," written by Keith Giffen, of course.
Mithra: How did you hook up with Marvel and the Daredevil/Deadpool annual?
Chang: After I left Valiant, I spent a few months getting my feet wet working for Marvel, DC and Image. But then I decided to take up an offer to work out in california for Disney. While at Disney, I received a call from Matt Idelson (a great guy i might add) who asked me about doing the annual. I thought it would be a cool assignment so we got the ball rolling.
Mithra: Were you conciously trying to make your art similar to Ed McGuiness' style in the regular Deadpool book? You could easily take over that series.
Chang: As far as a style, yes and no. Yes, I paid a little homage to the style Ed McGuiness was doing at the time, because I wanted to be loyal to the fans who were regular followers of the title. My main concern was storytelling, more so than how a figure looked.
Mithra: Had you ever followed any of the titles (DD or DP) before you took on this annual? Any favourite issues?
Chang: Up until the point of actually receiving the plot, I had never read a Deadpool or Daredevil book.
Mithra: Which character was the most fun to draw in the annual?
Chang: The most fun character to draw was perhaps Foggy. He was a normal overweight looking guy and I wanted him to be portrayed that way in every little detail, down to him growing a slight stubble at the end of the story. But I have to admit Mary was hot to draw. I modeled her after this girl I was dating at the time so she helped out with some of the poses and stuff. It got kinda kinky at times, but we'll save that for another interview.
Mithra: Which scenes did you like better - the DD/DP/Typhoid scenes, or the Weasel/Foggy scenes?
Chang: I really enjoyed the interaction between Weasel and Foggy. Joe Kelly wrote a great story where the scenes flashed back and forth which helped me tremendously with capturing a sense of tempo in the pages. If you notice, all the scenes with Weasel and Foggy are your standard Jim-Shooteresque six panel page layouts, but you will almost never notice it while reading the book.
Mithra: Who have been some of your favourite people to work with?
Chang: I would say Bob Layton #1, and second place tied with too many people to list.
Mithra: What do you think of the new Valiant/Acclaim comics?
Chang: I don't follow any of their books so I couldn't tell you.
Mithra: What would be your dream comics assignment?
Chang: I would really like to work with Jim Lee one day. Ever since starting drawing comics professionally, I have always admired his work and his accomplishments. I had the opportunity a few years ago but certain things came up and it never happened.
Mithra: How do you feel about your work on the New Mutants limited series?
Chang: It was okay. I thought there were some cool things in there, but then also looking back, I think I could have done better. Jaye Gardner, the editor, was really cool about it and kinda kept the fire burning under the project.
Mithra: Will there be any regular series work for you in the future with Marvel or any other company? I've heard (and correct me if I'm wrong) that you are going to do this year's Deadpool annual as well.
Chang: During this past summer, Marvel and I talked about the possibilities of pencilling a regular monthly book. I must say they were really great! But at this time in my career, as an artist not just a comic book artist, I feel I should be taking steps towards expanding my portfolio. I will continue to work on special projects for them because I really enjoyed working with the people there.
Mithra: Any creations of your own that are brewing? Does a creator-owned series interest you?
Chang: Nope. I don't think I have any kids that I know of.
(c) Kuljit Mithra 1998
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