Interview with NEW GUARDIANS Artist Tyler Kirkham

The following is an interview with Tyler Kirkham, the new ongoing artist for the Green Lantern: New Guardians series. After the interview, check out some exclusive New Guardians designs from Kirkham. Brought to you by TheGreenLanternCorps.com

TheGreenLanternCorps.com: First off, congrats on the consistently great sales on New Guardians. DC Comics has been running in full force since “The New 52” began in September, and the lantern books are one of two stables that didn’t remove its creative teams. You and writer Tony Bedard have moved from Green Lantern Corps to New Guardians, was there any talk of you leaving the Lantern books at all before the switch?

Tyler Kirkham: No, I was just told I would either be staying on Corps or launching a new title. Green Lantern New Guardians. I was at first a bit scared to leave GLC, because I knew it already had a following.

I was excited though. They did want Tony and I to stay together. DC likes our Kyle Rayner. So we followed him to New Guardians!


TheGLC: We were able to see some initial designs of The Weaponer before, was Invictus’ look something that sprang into mind or were there lots of tweaks before you settled on the final product?

Tyler: DC really liked my initial Invictus design sketch. The only note they had was to make him bulkier. As far as the Weaponer, he has been around for a while I just took his old look and redesigned him. Face lift!

TheGLC: Fans have their own opinion of what they like, love, dislike and hate about New Guardians, but as the guy who’s slaving over these pages month in and month out, what’s your favorite part of the book? Do you read the final product once your pages are in?

Tyler: I love all the variations of characters and worlds in this book. Getting to draw a character from every color spectrum is great! Yes, I read the script before hand and I read the books when I get my copies. Its always good to see how it flows.

TheGLC: Let’s talk about Kyle Rayner for a bit. First off, the hair. I personally love the longer hair, and the unshaven face. It’s been a long time since he could relax so both are understandable. Should we expect a full beard by the end of 2012 on our star?

Tyler: Yeah I wanted to make it look like he just hasn’t had time to shave. Or it just hasn’t been a priority for him. He is more rogue now so I didn’t want him so clean cut. I don’t know if DC would want a full beard though haha. I should tell Tony to write it in to see how our editors would react haha.

TheGLC:Do it! I’d love to see that response. We were able to speak with Tony Bedard about the premise of New Guardians. He compared Kyle to “Die Hard” character John McClane. While “Super Kyle” was great to see, is there another moment you’re drawing now or have already drawn that warrants that “Bad Ass” comparison?

Tyler: Nice comparison. I would have love to see more of Super Kyle. His body just couldn’t handle it. I haven’t seen another moment like that. I was expecting a huge duke out with Kyle and Invictus, where Kyle would be super badass. Invictus is way too powerful though. He took on the whole team.

TheGLC: Fatality received a slight redesign for this series. Was that something you just felt like customizing? Kyle is no stranger to new costumes, is he or any other New Guardian character in store for an update?

(Fatality Design #2)

Tyler: I was asked to redesign Fatality actually. I did a bunch of subtle different versions, until this one got the green light. I’m unsure about any more redesigns.

TheGLC: I thought the initial shot of Invictus’ ship was fantastic. It truly does look like the biggest ship ever. It’s moments like those that keep me coming back to comics. While I imagine that being a difficult day or two for you, are those big splash pages that aren’t just a character reveal something you ask out of your writer or editor? What does Tyler Kirkham the artist, need to get in order to enjoy the daily grind?

Tyler: Actually being able to do stuff like that sometimes is quite fun. Its a change of pace, Looking back at that shot I wish I would have drawn more ships closer to the Orrery, they would have just been specs on the page. It was hard to show scale on that. I told Tony I wish Mogo was still alive to compare the scale of this ship haha.

(Invictus Design)

TheGLC: New Guardians looks unlike any other lantern or DC comic book. Who or what are your inspirations for your style? At this point in your career do these people still factor into your work or is it 100% Tyler in there?

Tyler: My biggest inspirations are Joe Mad, Marc Silvestri, Jim Lee, David Finch and a bunch of others. There are elements of certain artist that I like.

TheGLC: From Scott Kolins to Francis Manapul to JH Williams and David Finch among others, DC Comics has of late, given many artists their shot at writing with varying degrees of success. Will we be seeing a Tyler Kirkham written comic any time soon?

Tyler: Well not sure on that yet. I write projects on the side. I’ll have to see what DC thinks of them before I tackle that. The Green lantern Universe is so huge It would be quite an undertaking for me. I Still have so much to learn about the GL Universe.

TheGLC: Well thanks a million for this chat, it was another pleasure of ours.

(Fatality Design #3)
(Kyle Costume Design)
(Fatality Design #5)

Green Lantern: New Guardians #7
 is in stores March 28th. Be sure to head over to TylerKirkham.com for original art sales and updates.

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