For this weeks Multiversity Comics Presents we have an excellent interview with the talented Philip Tan. You’ll recognize his work from the Agent Orange arc of Green Lantern and the current running arc of Batman and Robin with Grant Morrison. He’s a talented artist and one hell of a nice guy. He was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions about his current work, writers he’s worked with and My Little Pony. Yes. My Little Pony. So without further ado here we go!
Brandon Burpee: Any chance we’ll be seeing you do more with the Green Lantern side of DC either during Blackest Night or afterwards? If so can you tell us what you have lined up?
Philip Tan: None in the meantime. But that’s not saying that I will never go back to doing any. Geoff has talked about me coming on board for a few fill ins in the future but nothing solid. And I ABSOLUTELY would love to work with Geoff again… that being said though, I am focusing on my run on Outsiders for the foreseeable future and it will be the only thing that will get my 200% dedication…
BB: It was announced recently that you’re going to be working on Outsiders with Dan Didio. Who is your favorite member of the team to draw?
PT: Got to be a tie between Black Lightning and a new character that will debut a few issues down! : )
BB: Any other projects coming down the pipeline that you can share with the readers?
PT: Right now, it will be 6 months ( or more) of total Outsiders for me! A few projects in the talks but it really depends if DC would keep me around once my contract is up in 4 months… so.. we shall see : )
BB: On your last three projects you’ve worked with DC titans Greg Rucka, Geoff Johns and Grant Morrison. What’s it like working with such talented writers? What are some of the main differences when it comes to their script direction for art? How do their respective styles affect your art?
PT: It’s like getting paid to attend the top schools of the world! I CANNOT even imagine if there are anyone who can complain experiencing blessings like that! Everyone, book and top creator that I have the honor to work with, always teaches me new things to better my craft.
Greg is always about characterization and clear identity of the players in his book. It gives you a lot of room for imagination when it comes to using his suggested details on orchestrating scenes. Definitely the person that trained me the most among the three! (And if I never said so, Greg, THANK YOU!)
Grant is someone who’s got a very clear vision of his ideas on the story. Very meticulous and planned details of characters & situations that, always, at the end, falls into the perfect place of the monstrous picture he paints for his goals on the book! He is so good in building up moments and key scenes subtlety that only plays out when you least expects it… this all to the artist. I definitely learn how to withhold and control the amount of info that goes into the pages, art wise.
Now Geoff… MAN! He is really an artist’s dream!!! As you can talk to him about pretty much anything you want to adjust or add to the story… from designs to panel layouts!!! And that in itself already keeps sharpening the artist’s mind on every page in learning how to tell the story better, as his scripts, no matter how flexible, always guides you on the right track!
BB: As stated above you’ve worked with some prolific writers. Is there anyone out there that you want to work with but haven’t had the chance yet? A real dream team for yourself.Continued below
PT: I would love to be able to work with Ellis, Millar, Brubaker and J. Robinson sometime before I grow old and die…. hehe : ) But I’ve been starting to pick up a lot of new books again, and have been tremendously enjoying a lot of the new stuff out there.. so.. I think I’ll end up with a really long list that probably will never be completed… hehe
BB: I notice via Twitter that you tend to sketch a lot at coffee shops. It seems everyone has his or her own way to go about sketching. A lot seem to prefer doing it in quiet solitude. What is it about the coffee shop that makes it a desirable place to sketch for you?
PT: Oh man, I really don’t know.. it just works for me… just one of those things where it clicks for very mysterious reasons… I guess staying home getting attracted to the bed and fridge all the time definitely makes it easier to not to stay home…hehe
BB: While on the Twitter topic. I notice that just about every time I send you a compliment through Twitter you respond to me. I would like to assume it’s only me you do this for but let’s be honest it probably isn’t.
Assuming that the later is correct why do you feel the need to respond? I can say as fan I appreciate it when you do. I can also say that you’re one of the few who do respond. So do you feel that Twitter provides you with a great way to reach out to fans? Or are you just an uber nice guy?!
PT: Well.. I am definitely not an uber nice guy lol….I’d like to think so, but friends will probably say otherwise haha… why I do that? Not sure, thought it just right to thank back… you guys are still our clients… and we get to pay bills thanks to you guys! : ) So aside from the books, it’s least I can do!
BB: Outside of comics and coffee what does the esteemed Philip Tan enjoy? Do you have any hobbies or special talents that you want to share with the readers?
PT: Even the coffee thing you guys know about? lol… man, the net is NOT GOOD!… hehe I love films, the process of making them, even though amateurish, always helps me clear my mind and be creative in another way… although it’s really very similar to what we do everyday, for some reason it seems different to me too! I used to play a lot of computer games. Not so much now… hmm… what else?… FOOD! Talents..?… table tennis counts? hehe
BB: Are there any titles out there you’d love to get your pencil on? Or any independent stuff that you’ve got in the back of your mind that’s just waiting to be unleashed on the public?
PT: Oh I have lots of creator owned stuff I’d like to do… but maybe not yet.. need to work on my name first.. until you guys can help me demand 100k copies of any book sales a month.. that will be far away for me, for now…
BB: Lastly, what is the strangest thing you’ve ever been asked to draw whether professionally or by a fan? Alternatively, what is your favorite thing to draw either professionally or for fans?
PT: It’s got to be the time when I was asked to draw My Little Pony horse in SDCC one time! Was actually quite interesting.. hehe
Multiversity Comics and myself would again like to thank Mr. Tan for his time and hope he’ll come back for another round of questions in the near future. We also hope that you the readers enjoyed the interview. Stay tuned for more interviews with the industries top talent here at Multiversity Comics!