Karl Kerschl on TEEN TITANS: YEAR ONE
Newsarama reports: Artist Karl Kerschl has quickly made a name for himself in the comics industry, especially in the realm of DC Comics. Most recently he's done an issue of Flash: The Fastest Man Alive and a short stint on Robin and The Adventures of Superman, and it was recently announced last year that Kerschl was working on a 'Year One' miniseries about the Teen Titans, titled fittingly enough Teen Titans: Year One.
Newsarama:The big project you're working on now is Teen Titans: Year One, which was announced late last year. No artwork has been released yet, but your name and those characters make for a potent force to be imagined.. There's not much out about the series except that it's six issues and you're making it look good. What can you tell us about it?
Karl Kerschl: I can tell you straight up that I'm aiming it squarely at a young teen audience. That's my predominant focus, so anyone looking for gritty superhero death and mutilation is going to be sorely disappointed. The operative word is 'Teen'. When Eddie Berganza approached me about the idea last year, I was immediately excited about the potential of depicting those characters as children, both physically and psychologically, and even moreso about trying to infuse the story with a sense of humor. My mission statement to myself is that each page should appeal somehow to a 13-year old but still carry the weight of an emotionally deep story. Amy Wolfram, who writes for the Titans cartoon, is working from the original comic stories and crafting a great arc which hits all the notes of the origin story but gives it a modern spin. I'm pretty sure this'll be something that people either love or hate - not much middle-ground.
NRAMA: As far as character designs go, what Teen Titans issues are you looking at for reference?
KK: For the character designs, I'm working straight from the original Titans costumes of yesteryear, so Robin will be wearing his green underwear and booties and everyone else will be similarly dressed in their old duds. I'm also trying to depict them, physically, as young kids and I've simplified the drawings to reflect the light-hearted atmosphere and push the style that I used on my fill-in issue of the Flash a bit further. I've been using the Teen Titans Showcase collection as reference, along with an old CaseBook issue which flashes back to the formation of the team. The adults in the book are in their original costumes as well, but they still carry a sense of menace when they need to and I think the open, animated designs work in the darker scenes (and there are some pretty dark scenes) as well as the humorous ones.
NRAMA: If you can't talk too much about it, can you spill maybe on some favorite characters or moments so far?
KK: My absolute favorite moments so far are the Aqualad scenes. The first issue is mostly character introductions, as you might imagine, and each of them have been fun to do in their own way because they're all such different kids, but Aqualad is... something else. I catch myself laughing a lot while I'm drawing these pages. There's seahorse-riding and octopus-wrangling, for a start.
This series will rock. To see what else Karl is up to, click here!