Last October we ran a Local Spotlight on our favorite comic shop Comic Collector Live: The Store. In that article, I mentioned that the first time I ever knew CCL existed was a kids superhero event that I took my oldest son too. Well, it’s been a whole year and the 3rd Annual Superhero Day is once again upon us! Hosted at The Academy of Indian Lake, Superhero Day will be held on Saturday, June 28th, and it will feature A TON of great activities for your very own little superheros to enjoy. There will be games, a kids costume contest, free artist sketches for kids, free comics, free face-painting, and on top of all that… the event is free to attend!
In addition to all the fun stuff above, a very special guest will be in attendance for Superhero Day… Douglas Klauba is an amazing artist who has a repertoire of brilliant artwork, as well as years of experience applying his talent and hard work to some truly magnificent comic book art, and he will be showcasing his talent by conducting an art class for the kids in attendance at Superhero Day. I recently had the pleasure of speaking to Doug about his work and career, and I present the following interview for you to enjoy!
4LN: When did you first discover that you had a talent for art?
Douglas Klauba: I honestly can’t remember a time when I wasn’t an artist. Early on, I don’t think I ever thought that I was talented, but I knew only that I really enjoyed it. It’s because I’ve always had an interest in art that I spent endless hours drawing, developing, and challenging myself. This eventually lead to a serious interest in art and studying at the American Academy of Art after high school.
4LN: What, do you find, influences your style the most?
Doug: We’re surrounded by great art and I’m one to soak it all in. Everything from paintings, drawings, sculpture, to films, cinematography, comics, books, and friends. I never know what’s going to influence me when sketching an idea or developing an assignment but it usually pops into my mind while working. Recent inspiration and influence has come from symbolist paintings, noir films, vintage paperback covers, Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, and artists like Darwyn Cooke and Thomas Blackshear.
4LN: Of all the comic book art that you’ve done, do you have a favorite book that you’ve contributed to?
Doug: The Phantom. I’ve always enjoyed painting the covers for Moonstone’s run on the Phantom.
4LN: You recently had the opportunity to create a variant cover for the new comic “C.O.W.L.”, which one of our writers, Cameron, actually reviewed. How did that opportunity come about?
Doug: I met Kyle Higgins a few years ago when he created some promotional videos for Moonstone Books. I had mentioned to the publisher, Joe Gentile – that I really enjoyed them. So, at a Wizard World show Kyle stopped by my table and introduced himself. He was just finishing his short film The League at the time, he sent me the link to see it, and I was blown away – again. We only corresponded a couple of times since then, but I surely noticed his writing career as it took off as he wrote for Marvel and DC. But the real connection is that Kyle, Alec, and I shop (well, I still do but Kyle and Alec now live in L.A.) at Amazing Fantasy Comics and Lori at AF approached Image about publishing an exclusive cover available through their stores. Kyle asked Lori to contact me and I’m still incredibly thrilled to be a small part of C.O.W.L.’s release.
4LN: If you could do artwork for any comic book series or character, what would you want to work on?
Doug: I would love to do anything with “Sandman Mystery Theater” – as long as it is a period piece with Wes and Dian just like Matt Wagner, Steven Siegel and Guy Davis created and developed. It is one of my all time favorite series.
4LN: Here at 4LN, we like to do a lightning round of questions. I’ll toss some quick questions your way, and you just answer with the first thing that comes to mind… Favorite Golden Age comic book character…
Doug: The Sandman
4LN: What one movie should everyone see before they die…
Doug: Jean Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast
4LN: In your opinion, who’s written Batman the best…
Doug: Tough one! I’m going to have to say Steve Englehart and Marshall Rogers’ Detective Comics 469-476. I still remember when those first came out and it really opened my eyes to a new appreciation for Batman.
4LN: What film, or film series, do you think would make a great comic series…
Doug: Off the top of my head I’d have to say a series with Rick O’Connell from The Mummy or hunting a lot of Mummies, or a series with Korben Dallas and Leeloo from The Fifth Element.
4LN: All-time favorite comic book cover…
Doug: Way too many to consider and think about! I wouldn’t even know where to begin… something from EC, a Frazetta, something from Kirby, or one of my favorites by Steranko
Can’t make it to Superhero Day to meet Doug? Never fear! CCl is here! And they’ve come to save the day! On Friday evening the CCL store will be staying open 1 hour later for an in-store appearance by Doug (follow this link for directions). Come down from 6pm – 7pm to meet Doug and get yourself an autographed copy of his “C.O.W.L.” #1 variant and/or a signed copy of one of his many gthis linkreat Phantom books. 4LN will be there! Come down and hang out with us!