The comic at the top of the reading list of many readers in the New 52 is BATMAN. Scott Snyder has been crafting some crazy and intense adventures. Spicing it up to amazing levels is the art by Greg Capullo.
Capullo has been knocking each issue out of the park and there's no sign of stopping. His art is intense and manages to keep up with the frantic pace of Snyder's scripts.
We had the chance to talk to Greg Capullo and it was a blast.
Comic Vine: When you draw an issue, have you seen scripts for what's coming next or do you focus on one issue at a time?
Greg Capullo: I don't have 17, I'm working on 16. So yeah, I only have in front of my what I'm working on at the moment.
CV: The scene with Joker (in BATMAN #13) at the police station was brilliant. Given the darkness but heavy nature of it, was it easy or difficult to do?
GC: Even though there's so much black, the time is more given to the planning of those scenes. They have to be just the right bit of…whatever. It's about getting the pacing, the experience and the emotion you're trying to put over to the reader. For things like that, the planning is where all the energy goes.
CV: Does Scott describe the layouts for each page (how many panels, etc), do you come up with them or do you guys plan it together?
GC: The way Scott works, he provides me his story beats because that's how he writes. He doesn't tell me how many panels or what to put into the panels. He'll describe the scene and it'll each have its beat. I have the liberty to try to modify that, in any direction. He gives me that and I see how I can best server that, get the pace down and make it all look and feel right. It is a collaboration.
He trusts me completely. He gives me the baby and I make sure to powder his behind…I mean the story by that, not Scott. I give it its milk and make sure it's not crying and it's a happy baby.
CV: You had a long run on SPAWN, do you plan on sticking around BATMAN for a while?
GC: Probably not for that many issues [Greg's worked on 147 issues]. Here's the thing, you can never plan life. Life does what it wants with you. Right now, this is what I'm doing. I'm having an amazingly great fun time doing what I'm doing. The fans are really enjoying it and you'd be foolish to walk away when the fans are just loving it so much. I have no intentions of leaving right now. Neither does Scott. Right now, we're focused on delivering the best Batman stories that we can to the people. That's what it's about. Right now, the focus is like a laser on Batman.
CV: Great to hear! Do you have a set work routine? Do you work the same hours each day or just work when the inspiration comes?
GC: Nah, I'm more like a work horse. I get up in the day and it begins. I make sure the wife's alright, make sure the kids are off to school and then it's time to chain myself to the table and I just work non-stop. I work seven days a week. Once in a blue moon, I take a day off. I always want to get more than a page done in a day. On average days, I put in about twelve hours. I'm very disciplined and I'm like a machine. I just get in there and get it done.
CV: Wow. Because of some of the darker comics you've drawn, has there been anything Scott's given you to draw that has surprised you?
GC: Like in issue 16, when you see some of the stuff coming, it's like, my god, that just came out of left field. There's some really cool stuff. So in that respect, yeah, he surprises me. Because I never expected to see…a pink penguin flying around with a rocket in its butt. Some crazy stuff comes my way. There's nothing like, 'How am I going to draw that?' It can be shocking, the story twists that he has thrown at me. Those are always a nice surprise.
CV: Who came up with the new design of the Joker?
GC: Joker had no face. Scott said we have to find a way to reattach it. Maybe with a belt or something. The only thing he had his heart set on was stretching the skin very tight so that Joker would have the biggest smile that anyone's ever seen on the Joker. That was why I came up with hooks and put them in various places to really pull everything back so we could see the teeth. He told me, 'Go in that direction.' He hung the piñata and I just swung until the candy came out.
CV: If you could somehow draw two ongoing titles, what other character would you like to take on?
GC: Oh man, I've done that in the past! And twice I swore I'd never do it again. People still ask me about the Creech. I have a lot of the third story arc written. If I had the time, I'd start penciling some of that. But you know, as I told you, I work too many hours as it is.
CV: Do you ever feel bad when Scott makes you draw scenes where Batman or Gordon get beat up?
GC: Listen, after what he put Batman through, in "Court of Owls," I'm kind of numb to it. I'm desensitized. It's like, how much more can you do to this character?
Scott's ruined me. I'm like this cold heartless guy who could just kick the shit out of anybody now. And feel no remorse.
CV: Which issue of Batman are you most proud of?
GC: I don't know if I can ever say I'm proud of anything because I'm never satisfied. I'm really really pleased with the way issue #5 came out. It's the single most issue that fans come up to me at shows and just go, "Aw, that was the best issue!" There's something gratifying about that. So if I had to pick one out of the lot, maybe issue #5.
CV: Who would win in an arm wrestling match, you or Batman?
GC: I would win because I'd cheat. I would have kicked him in the nuts. If he was wearing a cup or something, I'd find some implement to jab into his eye. I'd find some way to distract him.
CV: Ha. Thanks so much Greg, you're doing an amazing job.
GC: Thanks. I can't wait for you to see some of the stuff coming up. Especially in issue #16. Scott is throwing so much crazy stuff here. I think you'll have a good time with it, I'm having a ball drawing it. Hopefully you'll let me know
CV: Definitely yeah. Can't wait for it.
BATMAN #14 is on sale now. BATMAN #15 is on sale December 12, 2012.