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Interview: Rafael Albuquerque on ANIMAL MAN

Rafael Albuquerque takes over as artist for ANIMAL MAN, starting in October. He answered a few of our questions about the series.

Since the relaunch, ANIMAL MAN has been a stand-out series, thanks to the epic storytelling and some fantastic and creepy artists on the book. Starting in October, with issue #24, AMERICAN VAMPIRE artist Rafael Albuquerque will be taking over and bringing his unique art style to the book. Rafael answered some of our questions about the series.

Cover to issue #24

Comic Vine: How did you get the job to draw this book?

Rafael Albuquerque: Jeff [Lemire] and I have known each other for a few years, and we really appreciate each other's work. Since then, we've always trying to find a way to work together, but for a reason or other, it just never happened. ANIMAL MAN came to me in a really convenient time, where I'm on AV [AMERICAN VAMPIRE] hiatus, so the opportunity to finally work with Jeff, in such a special book, is blessed.

CV: What do you hope to bring to this series?

RA: The previous artists, Travel [Foreman} and Steve [Pugh], were both pretty great, establishing a really rich visual ground. I just hope I can bring my own vision to that, and pretty much do my best to keep up the art as good as they did.

CV: ANIMAL MAN is known for having some pretty crazy looking characters in it. Without spoiling anything, what's the most bizarre thing you've had to draw so far?

RA: It's hard to say, because everything is really bizarre, indeed. There is a really cool creature (I can't talk who is it, yet) in issue #27, that is really fun to draw.

CV: What is your process when working with Jeff Lemire on this book?

RA: Pretty much the same as always. I send layouts for everything I do, for him and my editors, Joey and Kyle. Since he is an artist as well, we geek out about it, though. The coolest thing, though is when he gives me feedback asking how did I do this or that. He is a great storyteller and the fact that he is also an artist really makes my job easier.

CV: What's coming down the road for Buddy Baker?

RA: Well, after Cliff's loss, Buddy is pretty much trying to fix things up with Ellen and find Maxine, who's lost in the Red, because he knows she is in danger. That will lead us into a really bad ass showdown with Brother Blood and the new ruler of the Red.

Cover to issue #25

CV: Will we see the return of any characters or villains from earlier in the series?

RA: Kinda. There is one familiar character that will show himself in a different way. He has a very important role in the whole story. I cannot say much more about it. :)

CV: What are you most excited about with this series?

RA: First, the idea of working with Jeff. Its been a great experience. Also, Animal Man was one of the coolest books in the 80/90ties, so being part of that legacy somehow, is a big honor.

29 Comments
Posted by HeckTate

I'm excited for this. I've loved the art for Animal Man so far, but bringing in someone who's friends with Jeff Lemire and has appreciation for the AM of the 80s and 90s should give some interesting results. Just the couple of screenshots posted here already look like a darker, maybe more primal Animal Man.

Posted by TheFirstLantern

Is this good to jump in?

Edited by nappystr8

I'll really miss Pugh on the book, but I'll be able to see him over on Marvel's All-New Invaders, and I can't think of a better replacement than Albuquerque. Also doesn't sound like Lemire's other projects are going to require him to leave Animal Man anytime soon. Fingers crossed.

Edited by TDK_1997

Rafael Albuquerque is a great artist and I can't wait until October to so what he has done in Animal Man.

Posted by HeckTate

@thefirstlantern: This is my most recommended current ongoing series. Lemire's writing is amazing and Pugh's illustration leaves me staring at the pages long after I've finished reading the text. Plus it's not your typical superhero story. Buddy Baker (Animal Man) is a public persona, everyone knows he's AM, and his personal and family life are often heavily tied in to his superhero identity despite how hard he tries to keep the two worlds separate. If you have to drop another title to pick this one up, do it. It is well worth it.

Edited by Jonny_Rogers

I don't know exactly what it is, but there is something about Animal Man that keeps me always wanting more. I'm not usually a fan of graphic horror, but there is something about the beauty of the characters and the bonds in the family that overlook the horrible situations that they are really in and creates a surprisingly beauty story.

Posted by ghost_runner

i was getting unsure of this book, but now im definitely ganna get it

Edited by kennybaese

I thought he was just going to be doing a fill in issue. I'm super excited that he's coming onto the book full time.

Edited by jwalser3

Ohhh yyuuuussss. Animal Man rocks.

Posted by MadeinBangladesh

Cant wait! Favorite DC book besides Green Arrow!

Posted by longbowhunter

Animal Man is still the one book from DC I can't wait to read every month. Jeff Lemire and Rafael Albuquerque are gonna be like peanut butter and chocolate. It's such a natural fit.

Edited by Zadoulo

Jeff Lemire's Green Arrow and Animal Man has been so awesome. Andrea is awesome, and Rafael will be awesome with Animal Man.

Edited by TheFirstLantern

@hecktate said:

@thefirstlantern: This is my most recommended current ongoing series. Lemire's writing is amazing and Pugh's illustration leaves me staring at the pages long after I've finished reading the text. Plus it's not your typical superhero story. Buddy Baker (Animal Man) is a public persona, everyone knows he's AM, and his personal and family life are often heavily tied in to his superhero identity despite how hard he tries to keep the two worlds separate. If you have to drop another title to pick this one up, do it. It is well worth it.

Yeah I have heard great things from it. I actually made a thread asking the same question but no response. Is October issue a good place to jump on?

Posted by iragulasuperbia

@thefirstlantern:

Just jumping in here, the October issue is not a good jumping on point. It's the second issue of a story arc that started building back in issue 21. You could probably get away with getting issue 23, but if you can get 21 and 22, you'd be better off.

Posted by TheFirstLantern

@iragulasuperbia: Alright. Thanks. I shall see how my budget assembles this week.

Posted by HeckTate

@iragulasuperbia: Ideally you would want to jump on with the previous arc as there are major events in there that you may want to read before jumping into the current one. If not you can just brush up on the character with the wiki.

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

Psyched beyond belief for Albuquerque to be working with Lemire on Animal Man! Let the greatness be even more great now!

Posted by Akindoodle

Animal Man is still the one book from DC I can't wait to read every month. Jeff Lemire and Rafael Albuquerque are gonna be like peanut butter and chocolate. It's such a natural fit.

Peanut butter and chocolate? That's a natural fit where you're from?! And here I was thinking I was educated; I need to get out more

Posted by longbowhunter
Posted by Akindoodle
Posted by longbowhunter

@akindoodle: Absolutely. They even make a breakfast cereal.

Edited by Akindoodle
Posted by longbowhunter

@akindoodle: Yeah, now you know why obesity is a growing concern in this country.

Edited by Buddy_Baker

Pugh and Foreman will be missed, but that guy seems to be a good fit for AM, too. I love what's going on right now, with that weird animal priates and stuff. Still, I wish that they will change the kind of threat for Buddy after that. I would like to see some Villain not related to the red, the green or the rot. Animal Man Annual #2 - One Last Flight was a nice diversion because of that

Posted by clayscarface

@madeinbangladesh: I'm loving this book, too, and I've loved Lemire's other stuff. Is what he's done on GA really enough that I should try it out? I've always sort of hated the character for some reason... I know the art is gorgeous, and I love Jeff, just hesitant.

Posted by MadeinBangladesh

@madeinbangladesh: I'm loving this book, too, and I've loved Lemire's other stuff. Is what he's done on GA really enough that I should try it out? I've always sort of hated the character for some reason... I know the art is gorgeous, and I love Jeff, just hesitant.

I really love GA, I don't know if you should try it if you are not fan of GA. I personally love the chacrter. I say you should give Green Arrow issue 17 a try. That's where Lemire's run starts.