Anyway, here’s an ASBURY PARK COMICON SPOTLIGHT interview with cartoonist Stephanie Buscema, whose variant covers are in high demand. (And check out our previous interviews with Evan Dorkin and Denis Kitchen!)
Dan Greenfield: What projects are keeping you busy these days?
Stephanie Buscema: Lots of comic covers. I’m currently working on Vampirella and Red Sonja for Dynamite on a monthly basis (which I’m absolutely loving!) as well as any additional covers that come my way from Archie Comics, Boom! and IDW. Some secret non-comic-related projects and work have been keeping me pretty busy as well. I also spend as much time as I can working on my own stuff — paintings for new merch, art prints, etc.
Growing up in a comics family (Stephanie’s grandfather was the great John Buscema) how do you think your perspective differs from some of your peers?
I’m not too sure. I mean, I was around a lot of the business end of things from a young age, so I knew how to handle myself and manage life as a freelancer. I was completely aware of the sacrifices you had to make and what to expect (or not expect!) from that sort of career path. While it did have an impact, a lot of my own perspective was not so much formed by my family and atmosphere growing up, but my own experiences as an artist and freelancer.
Your style is very distinct among today’s comics illustrators. Who are some of your biggest influences?
There are so many illustrators, animators, designers and musicians that have influenced me over the years. Just to name a few: Mary Blair, Dan DeCarlo, Freddy Moore, Gustav Tenggren, Eyvind Earle, the Provensens, Richard Scarry, Basil Gogos, Alex Toth. … I could keep going.
Name three characters you haven’t gotten to work on that you’d like to. Why?
Tough question, but my top three would have to be …
Dr. Strange, because I’m a big nerd for late 60’s Strange/Ditko. The art and stories were so fun, colorful and psychedelic, I’d love to take a crack at painting Strange in some of those backgrounds!
More monsters and Creepy stuff! Universal Monsters, or Godzilla vs. some awesome Kaiju. Something fun and different that would allow me to play around little bit.
I’d love the chance to work with one of DC’s female characters on a cover, Wonder Woman, Zatanna, Batgirl. They’re all so iconic, it would be a treat to work with any one of them someday!
What comic book would have to be removed from your cold, dead hands?
Anything Creepy or Eerie!
What is your earliest comics-related memory?
I don’t really remember my earliest, there were a lot! As far as comic books go, I vividly remember seeing and reading Conan and Sonja comics before any superhero books. Oh, and lots of Prince Valiant! I loved looking through those books (even before I could read them!), there was lots of Hal Foster around the house.
What’s the most sentimental comics-related item you own?
Any art made by my grandfather and given to me by him, I cherish those pieces so much. The Silver Surfer art I have of his in my studio is one of my most sentimental pieces.