Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Interview with J. Torres and J. Bone

My Greatest Adventure 80:So the solicits for July shipping comics hit today. In there is a solicit for Batman: the Brave & the Bold #7, which features Batman teaming up with the Doom Patrol. Both of you have professed a strong affinity for Doom Patrol - now you're there. How did that happen?

Torres: For me, I think it started with the Blue Ribbon Digest that collected a bunch of Silver Age Doom Patrol stories. This was in the early 80s and I bought it at a corner store. I was also reading New Teen Titans at the time, so I'm guessing that's where I ran into them next.

Bone: How did I get into the Doom Patrol? Or how did we get them into an issue of Batman: The Brave and the Bold? First one’s easy - I bought some cheap issues from fifty cent bins at comic conventions. Mainly for the gorgeous Bruno Premiani artwork which very quickly led to my love for the characters themselves.

The second part started with me seeing artwork from the new animated cartoon. The designs for the characters are right up my alley. All the clips from the show promised fun! So I e-mailed my editor at DC, Rachel, and asked her if she was editing the Brave and the Bold to please, please, PLEASE put my name on the list of possible artists. She asked me about teaming up with my old pal J. And what characters might I like to draw. Knowing that Torres is as much a fan of the Doom Patrol as I am I requested they be the main team-up.

MGA80: The two of you have worked together before - for the readers' sake - when was that?

Torres: It was about 7 or 8 years ago on Alison Dare, a series about the Indiana Jones-like adventures of a girl whose mother was a world famous explorer and father was a superhero called the Blue Scarab. Oni Press published the original miniseries and one shots, and then collected them in two trades. But next year, Tundra, the children's book publisher not the former comic publisher, will be reprinting the collections.

MGA80: While the Doom Patrol has appeared in the classic Brave & the Bold comic, they teamed up with the Flash, not Batman. This team-up was revisited a couple years back when Waid and Perez re-teamed the Flash (at the time Wally West) with the DP. Did the two of you realize that you would be making history here?

Bone: Ah, but how does this fit into DC continuity?

MGA80: I guess it doesn't, but it is still interesting to note.

Torres: History was one of my best subjects in school!

MGA80: Which Doom Patrol will be present in the team-up? Is it the team that we've seen on the Teen Titans cartoon and Teen Titans Go! comic or is it a different team?

Torres: As much as I'd love it to be the same team from the Titans stuff, maybe an earlier incarnation, I'm not sure where they fit in continuity-wise. This incarnation is led by The Chief, not Mento. Beast Boy's already met Batman, but we don't know where Robin is yet. Maybe once they flesh things out more on the B&B cartoon, some clever fan will figure out a plausible timeline.

MGA80: Why those members?

Torres: It's the classic line-up and considering the spirit and style of the B&B cartoon, I thought it was the best fit. And as much as I wanted to somehow include Mento, it just got too crowded. Plus, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to write Beast Boy again and hopefully attract some former TTG fans to this series.

Bone: Because they’re the best!

MGA80: Did the two of you get a chance to recap the origins of the team for this story?

Torres: I wish we had room, but we really had to hit the ground running.

MGA80: J. Bone, did you do a series of character studies before diving into this issue, or did they just come naturally?

Bone: Hmm...good question. I’ve drawn the Doom Patrol a lot, and have a definite idea of how I want them to look. But I also wanted them to be familiar to readers who might be coming in from the Teen Titans animated series. Plus those are just fantastic designs. So the answer is that I did character studies based on all of that information!

MGA80: Did the two of you receive any restrictions for the Doom Patrol characters you could use or how you could use them? I'm thinking some of the Morrison characters might have been labeled off-limits.

Bone: I’m really unfamiliar with the Morrison incarnation, but as far as I know there were no restrictions. Not on using the original DP, anyway.

Torres: No, not really. But like I said, the classic line-up seemed a good fit for this series. There is, however, a little wink at the end of the story to the Morrison incarnation, which I also loved.

MGA80: Which Doom Patroller is your favorite character?

Bone: Impossible to answer. Yeah...totally impossible :)

Torres: Elasti-Girl. Rita. Sigh.

MGA80: Given DP's compulsion for outrageous adventures, do the two of you find them relatively easier or more challenging to write and draw?

Torres: I had so much fun writing this story that it didn't seem like I was working, even when I scrapped a whole scene, and had to rewrite a bunch of other stuff. It's almost like a labor of love. And a comic kid's dream come true.

MGA80: Since a few of the characters are facial expression challenged (Robotman and Negative Man) - how do the two of you choose to portray their emotions?

Torres: For me, it's in what they say, of course. I hear their voices in my head and try to put that on the page. If I did my job right, then readers should hear something similar.

Bone: Bah, emotions are for the weak. Doom Patrol is strong!
In truth, I followed Premiani’s example and give the characters 'cheated' expressions. Cliff has a solid jaw but his upper lip is capable of smiling, and Larry has expression through the bandages.

MGA80: Do you foresee the opportunity to bring the Doom Patrol back to the pages of B&B at somepoint?

Torres: Boy, I hope so!

Bone: I foresee many things.

MGA80: J. Torres, this issue would mark your third Batman: Brave & Bold issue, are you on for the long haul?

Torres: Boy, I hope so!

MGA80: J. Bone, as we've talked about before, I'm well aware of your work on the Super Friends covers, If I'm not mistaken, you've done interiors a couple times, what else do you have going on?

Bone: True. I’ve got another issue of Super Friends coming up...a special Focus on Batman issue. I’m starting another issue right after I wrap Brave and the Bold. I'm hoping for more Brave and the Bold issues (although I'm hard pressed to request too many because I LOVE Andy Suriano's art on the series). Outside of comics I do a lot of work for Canadian children’s magazines and school text books. I also update my blogs whenever I can.

MGA80: Thank you both, so very much for your time. I'm looking forward to reading the results of your collaboration, which I will more than happily cover here.

Torres: Thanks, Doug :)

Bone: Thanks, Doug.

There you have it. A real early tease for what awaits readers later this summer in Batman: The Brave and the Bold #7. If that wasn't enough for you, here's a sample of the character designs that J. Bone roughed up before working on the issue.


  1. Thanks for doing this, Doug! And for your ongoing support of my work!

  2. J., you truly do not need to be thanking me. I should be thanking you!

    Looking forward to actually reading this story.

  3. Yay! I've been looking forward to this issue since I saw the cover in DC's previews this week! If there is any group of characters who deserve an animated series, it's the Patrol...

  4. Great interview Doug! Good to see Gar back in the Doom Patrol too!


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