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Backstage - Interviews

Dario Brizuela Discusses Justice League Unlimited
by James Harvey

Argentinean artist Dario Brizuela sits down with The World's Finest to discuss his acclaimed work on Justice League Unlimited, his upcoming work on Super Friends, and his other projects, past, present, and upcoming.

First up, tell us a bit about yourself (where you're from, how you broke into comics, you're interest in drawing, etc.)

I'm from Buenos Aires, Argentina, and I've drawing as long as I can remember! I've always been a fan of superhero comics and cartoons. I use to work as an assistant to Carlos Meglia, doing backgrounds and inks. I also do some color work for Eduardo Risso and Horacio Domingues. These guys are awesome Argentinian artists and I feel lucky to work for them! I've also done sample work for DC, Marvel, and Dark Horse.

My first work was for Star Wars Tales, an 8 pages story. After that, I did work for Wildstorm and I've been drawing comics, storyboards, animation backgrounds, and coloring ever since. I'm also a big fan of "realistic artists" like Jose Luis Garcia Lopez, Alex Ross, Brian Hitch, etc., and, of course, of "animation-like" artists like Bruce Timm, Carlos Meglia, Horacio Domingues, Humberto Ramos, etc.

Now, your first issue of Justice League Unlimited, was issue #38, featuring Giganta. How did you get that assignment and how did you approach it? Did you watch the animated Justice League Unlimited, series beforehand?

I've always like the Justice League Unlimited cartoon! I'm a big fan of Bruce Timm animated shows! In fact, I have the DVD'S! So, when Rachel Gluckstern (my actual Editor) asked me if I'd like to do some sample artwork of the Justice League Unlimited comic, I was more than happy! During that time I was drawing some Ben 10 comics for the Cartoon Network Action Pack for Editor Joan Hilty and Rachel. I meet Joan Hilty in the San Diego Comicon about 2 years ago and I give her some of my The Batman Strikes samples, among other art. I kept in touch and then one day she asked me to do a Ben 10 story and after that Rachel put me in Justice League Unlimited. All cool characters!

Now, coming from Argentina, is it difficult to work on assignments for an American-based comic? Is it difficult to know exactly what the author is looking for? What about getting the correct model sheets, etc., to make sure your characters are on model?

I see a lot of comics based in TV shows and almost always the characters don't look like they do in the show and I hate that! I had the experience to work in an animation studio doing backgrounds and storyboards and I've see how the animators work really hard to always keep the model of the character. I think I try to do that in the comics, too. Sometimes it is hard because the deadline to finish the book can be tight, but I do my best. Rachel is great at sending me all the reference I need, like model sheets, some screen shots etc. But, of course, is it easier when you like the TV show!

Your next issue, after Justice League Unlimited, #40, was Justice League Unlimited, #41, focusing on Joker and Harley. As it turned out, this issue was one of the most critically-acclaimed of the series to date, for both the story and the artwork. How does that make you feel when your work gets considerably positive feedback from both fans and critics? Why?

Of course, it feels great! When I read the script and I see I get to draw these characters, I think, "Cool!" These are very important characters in the DC universe, plus it's always fun to draw the Joker!

Now, back to your background. Have you done comics for your local country? If so, how does it different, or how is it the same, from doing American-based comics?

Yes, I draw for an Argentinean kids' magazine called Billiken. I draw a 2 page weekly comic, written by Andres Ponce with inks by Leandro Corral. I have been working for this publisher for the last 4 years, I believe. In this comic, I get to co-create the stories with Andres, and I draw it and do the colors. The big difference is I have total control on the art, including color and text balloons. Also, I sometimes work on storyboards for TV commercials here in Argentina.

Now, outside of Justice League Unlimited, what other projects in the past have you done that you'd like to share your thoughts on? If I recall, your name has been seen on more than a few Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics?

I'm going to soon draw my tenth issue of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! Working in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles books is great! I was so happy when Steve Murphy, my editor at that moment, asked me to draw the first issue of Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! I've learned a lot drawing that comic and working for Mirage. I also enjoy my work on Ben 10, that was very fun!

When working on characters that already have their own design, like the Bruce Timm-designed Justice League Unlimited, characters, how does that differ on your own style? How would you describe your own style?

As I've said before, I'm a big fan of Bruce Timm, so I enjoy working with his designs 100%. I also think I have a very strong influence of Carlos Meglia in my style, both on how I draw and in my storytelling. I always look for dynamics and attractive shots. I feel very good working in a animated style, I really enjoy it!

Now, what projects do you have comic down the pipeline? It looks like you've been doing some artwork for DC's Super Friends, but rumor has it you'll also be working on a project for Marvel. Is that true?

I was invited by Rachel to do the issue # 1 of Super Friends, a new comic based in the Mattel Toys designs, with scripts by Sholly Fish. All I can say is that it is a lot of fun to draw these stories for kids. I'm now working on issue # 6 and I hope DC will ask me to draw a lot more of this Super Friends stories !

I've also been doing some licensing and concept art for Marvel in the last couple of months. It was very interesting. This kind of work is new for me, but I really enjoy it!

As we wrap this is, is there anything else you'd like to share concerning your work on Justice League Unlimited, and your upcoming work?

It was a wonderful experience to draw the Justice League Unlimited comic book. I hope I can do it again in the future. I'd like to take the opportunity to thank all the people who pick up and read any of the comics I draw! I always draw for the readers, young or older fans of the characters, and I try to do my best to give you at least a moment of fun. I also hope everyone enjoys the upcoming Super Friends books. I think kids are going to like it! Thanks for helping me make my dreams come true!

Thanks so much, Dario! All my best to you!

Thanks to you, James. All my best to you, as well!

The World’s Finest would like to thank Dario Brizuela for his participation in this Q & A. To find out more about Dario Brizuela, please visit his official blog. Click here to view Dario Brizuela's gallery here on The World's Finest.

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