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Interview: Greg Capullo Talks BATMAN

The series' artist tells us what it's like to work on BATMAN, how he dives into the creative process and more.

With the release of BATMAN #17 and the conclusion to the Death of the Family story arc, Batman and the Joker seem to be what everyone is talking about lately. Earlier today we posted an interview with BATMAN writer Scott Snyder. In it, Snyder discussed the story, what it was like pushing Batman to the limit and also, what he has in store next for the Caped Crusader. However, Snyder wasn't the only man behind Death of the Family: artist Greg Capullo played a huge part in the creation of this story, too. We recently caught up with Greg and asked him to reflect on his work in Death of the Family.

Comic Vine: This Death of the Family arc has been a long time coming, and it's obvious that Scott has pushed the envelope quite a bit. What has the experience and the journey been like for you?

Greg Capullo: The experience and the journey are always the same--FUN! There are always new puzzles to solve artistically and challenges of how best to approach a particular scene. There are many different ways to direct any given story and DOTF was no different. Finding the right frames to compliment Scott's vision, making it look cool for the reader... I love my job and I love working with brother Scott.

CV: If you could choose any one moment from 'Death of the Family' that was the most difficult for you to draw, what would it be?

GC: The most difficult, by far, was the tattooed human tapestry. How to order the bodies to make clear that they were bodies, while hiding any naughty bits. ...Because a boob or a butt is way more offensive than stitched together bodies. Ha! Seriously, the strategic placement of the bodies, and the ink was a daunting task.

== TEASER ==

CV: You've mentioned that the way you and Scott work together is he provides you a script with the beats but he doesn't tell you how many panels he wants or what to put in those panels. Can you describe the process of how you lay out the story? Do you storyboard first, or do you simply dive into it head first?

GC: When I took over Batman, I was a little nervous early on. I really didn't want to disappoint. For the first time in my career, I did thumbnails for my own work, enlarged them, light boxed them onto the boards and drew them. I still feel that was the best approach for issue five. However, since that point, I've resumed doing the breakdowns on the boards themselves. I only do thumbs if it's a really tough scene. It's all about time. I work way too many hours and I don't need the extra steps.

BATMAN #20

CV: You will be taking a brief hiatus off the book for two issues and return to the series in May for BATMAN #20. According to the recently released solicit, Batman will encounter a "strange visitor" in Gotham City. Is there anything you can tell us about this stranger or the subsequent team-up?

GC: Actually, I've only taken off one issue. I'm back in the drivers seat on issue 19. The only opportunity for me to ever break is between arcs. Issue 18 was one of those moments. Plus, I don't think DC will allow me to take two in a row off! And, that's fine with me. I'd lose my mind.

As for the "strange visitor"; could be anybody. I'll never tell.

CV: The cover for issue #20 is pretty interesting: on it we see Batman fighting in what appears to be a lot of mud. Is this a metaphor for something we'll be seeing in this issue? Can you tell us a little bit about it?

GC: I loved Frank Miller's DKR. It was my homage to the awesome fight Batman had with the gang leader! Nothing too deep.

CV: Speaking of covers, some of yours for BATMAN have been pretty incredible. Do you usually illustrate the interiors first, or the cover? Is it difficult to come up with a cover that is unique but also encompasses the story in the issue?

GC: I'm happy to hear how much you've enjoyed some of my cover art! Thank you!

I usually [complete] the covers ahead of the story because they're needed for solicitation. I talk story with brother Scott and what we could do for the cover. He will usually spits out a couple ideas which I use to inspire me. Cover #2 was Scott's idea which I executed. But, mostly, I try to encapsulate the essence of what he's told me into a simple, hopefully iconic, image.

BATMAN #19

CV: Do you think you will ever want to stop illustrating BATMAN?

GC: Well, of course. But, I'll be pounding the pavement in Gotham for quite a long time.

CV: What was your favorite comic ever to draw?

GC: You know, I've wanted to draw comics since I was eight. So, I'm just thrilled to be living my dream! So, picking one as a favorite is really tough. There are many highlights, including the first comic I ever had published! But, if a gun was put to my head and the choices were narrowed to my current run on Batman... I'm still pretty happy with issue 5.

What did you think of the Death of the Family story arc? Do you like what happened between Batman and the Joker, or were you expecting something more? Did you read BATMAN #17? Do you like Capullo's work on the series? Let us know in the comments below.

36 Comments
Posted by MrShway88

"Because a boob or a butt is way more offensive than stitched together bodies."

This made me lol

Posted by spinningbirdcake

Capullo has been fantastic on Batman. He reminds me of a slightly less stylistic Bachalo (I'm sure that will earn me the ire of someone.) Between him and Fabok on Detective Comics Bats is being drawn very well right now.

Posted by roboadmiral

Back when I read Batman #1 I wasn't certain about Capullo. I thought it might be a bit to cartoony, but the style grew on me and by issue 3 I was wondering why I ever had any doubts. Once in a while there's an iffy panel (what happened to Batman's gloves in #14?), but it mostly comes down to nitpicks and quibbles. I'd never read anything Capullo drew before, but he's become one of my favorites.

Posted by benette_rivera

i love Capullo's style ever since Spawn!

Posted by havoc1201

His art and Snyders words work so well with each other i love it Dream team

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

Capullo has been an invaluable asset to Batman from the beginning and will continue to be so right by Snyder's side. Always a big fan of his.

Posted by Fantasgasmic

That cover looks to me to be Bruce and Batman fighting in mud… so is it Hush? or Clayface? To me it feels more like Clayface. (But I never really liked the whole "Hush looks like Bruce now" bullshit.)

Posted by bloggerboy

@benette_rivera said:

i love Capullo's style ever since Spawn!

Same here.

Posted by Johnnyjavavee

Capullos work is why I bought this joker arc. I hate joker stories. I was REALLY happy that there was no back up story this ish and we got a full capullo comic:)

Posted by Purgatory

"On the cover we see Bruce fighting a lot of MUD. Is that a metaphor for something?"

Gee, I dunno, CLAYFACE MAYBE?

What that a serious question?

Posted by entropy_aegis

@havoc1201 said:

His art and Snyders words work so well with each other i love it Dream team

Haha no,another less stylish,detailed artist would actually SUIT Snyder and his prose heavy style.Capullo is actually the reason why Snyder's work(exposition) often comes across as tedious and boring,Capullo's art alone conveys the imagery and themes so thoroughly it renders a lot of Snyder's prose irrelevant.

Stellar work from Capullo as usual,no complaints there.

Posted by FatihBATMAN

nice!!

Posted by sj_esposito

Can I just point out that this guy draws an incredible book every single month PLUS covers and is NEVER late..?! It's amazing... Capullo deserves all the praise he gets and more!

Posted by alex6166

I was always amazed about how much Spawn he put out in all those years. I have lots of them. They must of been even more labor intensive as you could see all the detail in them. I think Batman is better in the way it seems like still animation put on paper. If that makes any sense.:)

Posted by sheldipez

The fact that I thought there was something Frank Miller-esque about the cover of #20 without realising it was a homage to the DKR fight speaks volumes how much of that book is burned into my brain.

I hope Capullo long contines to draw Batman, he and Snyder are a great duo!

Posted by Baberaham_Lincoln

Capullo's spawn covers are the reason i buy Spawn lolololol. Idk why, his covers with the white background seem so lively... it's awesomesauce. His Joker reminds me of leather face.... how i shit myself before i go to bed ^_^

Posted by therafalee

Nice talk Sara, his covers are really amazing, "simple and iconic" as he says.

Posted by bladewolf

Capullo is an amazing artist! His work on Haunt was only so-so, but he really came into his element with Batman.

Posted by kennybaese

@Purgatory said:

"On the cover we see Bruce fighting a lot of MUD. Is that a metaphor for something?"

Gee, I dunno, CLAYFACE MAYBE?

What that a serious question?

The solicit says that a "strange visitor" comes to Gotham. This implies that whoever Bruce is fighting in the issue isn't from Gotham. Thus, the question.

I personally thing it's probably Clark.

Posted by ultimatepunchrod

I really like Capullo's art in Batman. Especially some of the more minimal stuff like the opening of 17. Also, his Bane is pretty awesome.

Posted by JamDamage

well the art lived up to what it was supposed to be even if the story didn't deliver on the levels it was promised. I don't like his Joker with the scarred mouth tho. Just don't like it. Also seeing as to how long he was on Spawn, I can see him on here for a long time.

Posted by Joelislegend

Capullo is the only thing keeping me on Batman right now. Love his artwork.

Posted by Onemoreposter

@Joelislegend said:

Capullo is the only thing keeping me on Batman right now. Love his artwork.

I hear that. Capullo is by far and away the best thing the current run of Batman has going for it. Terrific work.

Posted by Grey56

Many thanks for all the great work, Mr. Capullo sir.

Posted by Lvenger

Well who else is known as a strange visitor from another planet? It sure ain't Aquaman!

Posted by chasereis

@spinningbirdcake: I agree they producing some of the best drawn books today, but heck I've love Capullo since X-Force. Anyone that can make Boom-Boom attractive is an art demi-god.

Posted by Dark_Vengeance_

@MrShway88 said:

"Because a boob or a butt is way more offensive than stitched together bodies."

This made me lol

Burn! Starfire haters.

Posted by DocFishstick

Capullo you are one of my favorite comic book artist and i would like to say that you are doing a great job and thank you.

Posted by Mucklefluga

@roboadmiral said:

Back when I read Batman #1 I wasn't certain about Capullo. I thought it might be a bit to cartoony, but the style grew on me and by issue 3 I was wondering why I ever had any doubts. Once in a while there's an iffy panel (what happened to Batman's gloves in #14?), but it mostly comes down to nitpicks and quibbles. I'd never read anything Capullo drew before, but he's become one of my favorites.

If i remember correctly they were attatched to what Batman was withheld by then he slipped the gloves off to escape the trap :)

Greg is such an awesome artist! But come on guys you should've known he was only off for one issue.

Online
Posted by roboadmiral

@Mucklefluga: I think that was the gist, but you had to figure that out on your own; there was never any indication of it. One panel he had them, the next they were gone.

Posted by Purgatory

@kennyshat: the strange visitor is for 19, the Clayface thing is 20.

Posted by MadeinBangladesh

really like his art

Posted by PortlandsBatman

What is the event in the bottom right?

Posted by th3jok3r

I love how Capullo calls Snyder "brother Scott".

Posted by feebadger

@PortlandsBatman: I think it's in reference to when Joker killed Jim's wife, Sarah in the No Man's Land story line. Sarah was trying to protect a group of babies from the Joker from what i remember.

Posted by CrashBang

I've never even thought about 'fate' or things that are 'meant to be' but the beyond-perfect team of Snyder and Capullo makes me want to rethink that...