February 9, 2010

Talking with the Beautifully Talented Artist, Fiona Staples!

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Written by: Andy
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I’m sure you’ve heard the buzz by now about Com.x’s new OGN Forty-Five45 (but if not click here) which features a soon to be father interviewing 45 different superheroes and asking them various questions about themselves, their powers, and what it means to be a hero. The story is written by Andi Ewington and drawn by 45 different industry artists, one of them being the wonderfully delightful Fiona Staples whom we speak with today about Forty-Five45, her Wildstorm series North 40, and everything else comic related!

Fiona Staples: Stopping fanboys in their tracks since 1984.

COMIC ATTACK: Forty-Five45 is being released very soon; what can you tell us about your role with the project?

FIONA STAPLES: My characters are a couple of super-powered teen boys, twins- one can turn invisible and the other can increase his density. Their interview is one of the more fun, lighthearted ones of the bunch.

CA: How did you get the gig with Forty-Five45?

FS: Andi emailed me out of the blue one day and asked if I’d like to do a page. I don’t know how he found me. His power must be assembling artists.

CA: If you were in the interviewer’s chair like 45’s main character James Stanley, what questions would you want to ask a superhero?

FS: Depends on the hero, but I guess I’d want to know why they feel compelled to use their powers for good.

CA: Unlike a regular comic book, in Forty-Five45 you had only one page to tell your story. Can you talk us through your creative process in taking on this challenge?

FS: Well, I wasn’t really telling a story on my page, just introducing a couple of characters and illustrating some of the stuff they talk about in their interview. I think it was Andi’s suggestion to show them in their school uniforms in one panel, and partying in the next. So it’s not so much a narrative as it is a couple of images showing the two sides of their personalities.

Fiona's page from "Forty-Five45."

CA: You also did the art in Wildstorm’s horror title, North 40. What can you tell us about the series?

FS: North 40 is wrapped up now (issue 6 shipped in December) but it was a great series to work on! It was written by Aaron Williams, and it’s basically the story of a small Midwestern town that gets overrun with Lovecraftian monsters. Most of the townsfolk transform into horrible things, but a few get cool powers and get together to try to fight the menace.

North 40 cover

CA: How is North 40 different from the typical horror story?

FS: I think it’s more of an action/adventure than a traditional horror story. One of the main characters is a farmboy named Wyatt who gains various powers, and his part of the story is straight-up superhero stuff. There’s also a lot of humour in it. Aaron’s dialogue can be hilarious.

CA: What comics are you currently into? Any all time favorites?

FS: I’ve been reading the same ongoing series for ages- The Goon, Northlanders, PROOF, Scalped, whatever Hellboy comes out. I should probably go to the comic store and find some new titles to add. Oh, and Steve Niles sent me this massive stack of Criminal Macabre so I’m working my way through that, and it’s awesome.

CA: So tell us what it’s like being an amazingly talented and stunningly gorgeous woman in an industry that has an overflowing surplus of men?

FS: Um, it’s not so bad. I don’t feel like being a woman has ever worked against me, not yet anyway. I also try to be aware of the type of comics I produce and the way women are portrayed in them.

CA: Any crazy con or fan experiences you care to share?

FS: Haha no, I don’t have any crazy con stories yet. But I’m working on it.

CA: When she’s not busy being an artist, what does Fiona Staples like to spend her extra time doing?

FS: Normal stuff- watching movies, seeing friends, drinking, dancing, reading, crossword puzzles… and sometimes playing video games, but I don’t have any consoles newer than a PS2. I’m not advanced enough.

CA: I see you live in Calgary; what’s the comic book scene like in Canada?

FS: In Alberta it’s pretty great- there are lots of local indie creators and opportunities to get together and hang out or collaborate on projects.

CA: Are you a Flames fan or a fan of any other sport or team? (Go Sabres!)

FS: I’m a Flames fan if faced with enough peer pressure, but I’m really not into sports. Nothing against them. I just find them excruciatingly boring to watch and I’m useless at playing them. The two might be related…

CA: Back to comics: Of all the work you’ve produced so far, which are you most proud of and which best defines you and your style?

FS: As of now, I’m proudest of North 40, and hopefully I can always say I’m proud of whatever the latest thing I’ve done is. I think it’s too early to say my style is defined by anything, though- I really haven’t done very much.

CA: With the release of Forty-Five45 and your work on North 40 being completed, what’s next for you in comics?

FS: I’m currently working on a miniseries for IDW, and they haven’t officially announced the writer, but it’s someone whose work I’ve enjoyed for a long time and who I’m really excited to be collaborating with!

CA: Any last words you’d like to share with our readers?

FS: Thanks for reading! You’ve been wonderful.

For more info on Fiona and to see additional art, visit her website at

Andy Liegl



  1. Fiona Rocks! As for ‘Finding her’ I have Frazer Irving to thank for that 🙂

  2. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by ComicAttack: Talking with the Beautifully Talented Artist, Fiona Staples! #comics #comicbooks…

  3. Stopping fanboys in their tracks is pretty fun, actually.

  4. Eli

    Cool interview Andy! It’s nice to see that there are women out there creating comics.

  5. @Andi Yes she does and I can’t wait to read 45!!

    @Kris You would know!

    @Eli Thanks man. I agree: talented women and kick ass comics mix very well.

  6. DecapitatedDan

    North 40 was a great title. I think having Fiona on it is what made it rock as hard as it did. Can’t wait to check out the other titles, but I hope she can get back to horror soon.

  7. very nice and well said a buddy of mine goes crazy for North 40

  8. very nice and well said. a buddy of mine goes crazy for North 40

  9. billy

    …cuz I’m feelin like a criminal. Good interview Andy.

  10. Being a little out of the current scene, I hadn’t seen her work before now. But, I can see why she is or will be very popular. She has a really nice, marketable style…what looks like a combination of traditional and digital that is very popular lately. Doesn’t hurt that she is darn cute, too! But, mainly, the work really speaks for her. That image of the girl with the skull shows that “tradigital” style really well, and also a good understanding of how to separate your point of interest…in this case, by having the background a color hold (or appearing to be one), utilizing a sort of atmospheric perspective.

  11. […] Noir” (Vertigo/DC) • Steve McNiven/Dexter Vines, Wolverine: Old Man Logan (Marvel) • Fiona Staples, North 40 (WildStorm) • J. H. Williams III, Detective Comics (DC) • Danijel Zezelj, Luna Park […]

  12. […] interview.  Some artists who contributed were Eduardo Francisco, Frazer Irving, Kenneth Rocafort, Fiona Staples, Robert Atkins, and many others. I’ve read Forty-Five45 three times now and I have […]

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