Native of Mexico, artist Carlo Barberi will be returning to Justice League Unlimited to wrap up the acclaimed animated comic book based on the animated series of the same name. The final issue of the series, which hits next month, focuses on the Green Lantern Corps. The World's Finest caught up with Carlo Barberi for a brief interview.
The World's Finest: First off, tell us a little bit about yourself. Your background, your previous work, all that great stuff! Fans should recognize your name from a certain cult series Impulse!
Carlo Barberi: Well, I started working at Dark Horse, doing a book called Dark Horse Presents. When I finished my four-issue run there I didn't have any jobs lined up, but a friend of mine told me about a drawing contest a magazine was holding. I won the contest and did the 100th issue cover for the magazine. Included with the prize was a trip to New York where I got the chance to meet with DC Comics Editor Eddie Berganza. A month later I was working at DC doing JLA JR , a crossover betweenJLA, JSA, and Young Justice. After that, I jumped at the chance to do fill-ins on the Superman titles until, one day, Joey Cavaliery give me a call and asked me to work on Impulse on a regular bases. Since that wrapped up, I have been jumping from book to book, including a Batman mini-series, New Mutants, Ororo, Justice League Unlimited and numerous fill-ins here and there. Right now I'm working on Casey Blue, a mini-series from Wildstorm.
WF: Is there anything you can share about Justice League Unlimited #46 to get the fans interested? Is it a welcome send-off to the animated comic?
CB: I can't give much away except that its an awesome adventure with the Green Lantern Corps! What I can tell you is that when my former Justice League Unlimited Editor Rachel Gluckstern called me and asked me if I want it to do the last issue of the series, I jumped right away and told her, "Yes!" I didn't think I was going to have another chance to draw the "Timmverse" characters again, so I did the best I could in this issue. And not just because it was Green Lantern Corps, which I love by the way, or because it was the last issue, it was for the fans who gave me a lot of compliments and good vibes during my stay in the book.
WF: How did you try to remain faithful to the Justice League Unlimited animated series when working on the comic, and is it difficult, while working on the comic, to keep it up to date in the changes in the animated series, design-wise or even story-wise? You started the series while it was early in production and, for the first few issues, out-dated designs were popping up, etc. How do you try to stay up to date when reference material may not be as readily available to use?
CB: DC gave me a lot of material(eg.., model sheets, etc.) and, yes, some of it was out-dated, which I didn't know, of course. What I did was watch the cartoon, buy some DVDs, and take some of the designs from the actual DC Universe and change them to the animated style.
WF: The Justice League Unlimited comic features a collection of characters that weren't overly featured in the actual animated series. Any favorite characters you got to draw for the series during your tenure?
CB: Yes, of course! I have a lot, but one of my favorites is Firestorm and has been ever since I saw him in the Super Friends cartoon when I was a kid. I hope I can draw him in the regular DC Universe some time in the future.
WF: Of course, you've also drawn your fair share of comic characters outside of the Justice League Unlimited comic. Do you find it difficult working in your own style, than adapting yours to fit the model of the animated series? Did you have to make a lot of style changes when working on the Justice League Unlimited comic?
CB: You know, when I was a kid I learned to draw by watching cartoons, you know like Bugs Bunny, Atom Ant, The Pink Panther, Super friends, and of course comic books, with artist like Kerry Gammill, John Byrne, Art Adams and Todd Mcfarlane. So, with that variety of styles and me trying to emulate them, it wasn't that difficult for me to adapt.
WF: This may be a bit of an odd question, but when the Justice League Unlimited comic premiered, Bruce Timm was very enthusiastic about your interpretation of the "Timm-style" featured on his shows. Any thoughts on what it is like to get praise like that?
CB: Oh! I didn't know that. What can I say? It is awesome when someone like Bruce Timm notes your job and says good things about it! Feels great!
WF: Out of all the creative teams to work on the Justice League Unlimited comic series, you provided the most artwork out of all of them. Appropriately, you'll also be finishing out the series. How does it feel to both usher in and finish out the series? Any particular moments from the series you'd like to mention (whether it's a favorite panel, depiction, action, etc.)?
CB: I have a lot, but the one I personally like the most is the issue where Batman and the Creeper join forces to find a nuclear bomb stolen by the Madmen. More specifically, the page where Batman is telling the Creeper that it is idiotic to use an atomic bomb to kill one man. I believe it was Justice League Unlimited #10.
WF: As we wrap this up, let's look ahead to the future! Will you be doing any other animated comics in the near future? What other projects do you have lined up, both in the comic world and beyond?
CB: I haven't thought about doing another animated comic book series, but we never know what the future brings. Like I told you before, right now I'm working in a miniseries called Casey Blue for Wildstorm, I'm very excited for you guys to see it!
It has been an honor working on the Justice League Unlimited book and I hope you have the same fun I had during my run! Take care!
The World’s Finest would like to thank Carlos Barberi for his participation in this Q & A.