Nick Ford: Please tell us who you are and what you’re most known for.
Babs Tarr: Besides BATGIRL I’m probably best know for my Bosozoku Sailor Scouts piece that kind of went viral a couple years ago.
Cameron Stewart: I’m Cameron Stewart, best known for my work on DC Comics’ BATMAN & ROBIN, CATWOMAN, SEAGUY, and my own Eisner Award winning, Harvey, Eagle, and Stoker Award nominated graphic novel SIN TITULO. Currently I am co-writer/artist on BATGIRL and artist of FIGHT CLUB 2.
NF: What inspired the direction you decided to take with the new Batgirl costume? It seems very practical but also very aesthetically pleasing and I’m curious if something in particular inspired the design that was chosen.
BT: Cameron had already had the base of the costume designed before I touched it and did such a great job! It already had the great boots, the snaps, the leather jacket. I just added and adjusted some details to really make it sing! Here is a picture of the before and after! My inspiration was really just modern fashions.
CS: The main motivator in redesigning the costume was that I wanted to change the tone of the comic. For the last several years the Batgirl title has skewed in a dark, grim direction and I was more interested in returning the character to her iconic, light-hearted roots. The armoured, tech-heavy design that preceded ours didn’t feel appropriate for something lighter, so it felt proper to change it to something more befitting of the tone. I also wanted to reflect the youth of the character (she is 21 years old in current continuity) and so I decided to look to contemporary fashion for a way to update the classic Yvonne Craig outfit from the 60s tv series.
NF: What inspired you to take this comic in a lighter direction? What do you think are the pros and cons to going in that direction?
BT: My writers are the ones driving the train here, but I would like to think that a female comic reader like myself is exactly what motivated my writers to create such a fun story! :)
CS: I think that despite the many iterations of the character that have existed over her nearly 50 year existence, the two most resonant and iconic versions of Batgirl have been the original ’66 TV series and the Animated Series. Both of these versions of the character portrayed her as plucky, adventurous, and fun, and that’s the interpretation that I felt carried the most weight with the widest possible audience. Barbara Gordon/Batgirl is not Batman, she’s not motivated by tragedy or revenge, she’s the daughter of a cop who believes in justice and doing the right thing. She represents a hopeful worldview instead of a dark, pessimistic one, and I feel it’s appropriate to keep her distinguished from the grimmer mood of the other Bat-titles. I also wanted to make a comic that would ideally appeal to younger female readers by being reflective and relevant to their actual lives instead of focusing on graphic violence and darkness. Obviously a certain section of the audience accustomed to the darker approach may find this shift in tone jarring, but I think that it also means that should we decide to include elements of tragedy or darkness in the future, they will carry greater impact because of the contrast.
NF: Do you think that Barbara’s sassiness, wit and general intelligence has been underplayed in comics overall? Are you guys planning to show Barbara’s smart side and her kick-ass side?
BT: We show Babs being sassy and badass! I love to draw both equally! <3
CS: Her intelligence and prowess as a fighter are both front and center in our version – those are essential elements of the character that interested us in working on the book in the first place. We’re trying to include a greater exploration of her deductive ability and photographic memory, as well as multiple high-energy action sequences.
NF: Please tell us where people can find you online and what projects of yours they can look out for, if any, besides BATGIRL.
No other projects at the moment that I am allowed to talk about ;)
CS: I am on Twitter and Instagram as @cameronMstewart, and my website is cameron-stewart.com. Aside from BATGIRL my next upcoming project is FIGHT CLUB 2, coming in May 2015.