AL BIGLEY INTERVIEW, Batman Illustrator, Part 1
Al has been doing commercial illustrations for some time now & his clients include DC Comics among other major companies. He's a great talent & he was nice enough to grant us a RARE interview.
Bat-Blog: Welcome Al, How are you doing?
Bigley: Just fine! Enjoying your great blog, as usual. Love all the items you're able to dig up!
Bat-Blog: Thanks for reading the Bat-Blog, I appreciate that plug ( ha ha ) & we're glad ya like it. ( Readers, Al doesn't know that I put a Bat-Blog logo on his T-shirt, as a joke, ha ha! ). So tell us, How long have you been a working artist?
Bigley: Well, since 1990 or so... I started by doing covers for Quality Comics, a firm that brought over UK comics, such as STRONTIUM DOG and 2000 AD, and published them anew in the USA.
Soon after, DC called, with some Batman storybooks, and away it goes...
Bat-Blog: Can you tell us what artists have been an inspiration to you & why?
Bigley: As a child, I loved Neal Adams, like most comics fans in the early 70s. Even as a young person, I could see the draftsmanship and craft and realism in his artwork, and recognized it as the novelty in then-current comics that it was.
I also loved John Romita sr, who was realistic in another sense, and more in line with how I now think comic art should look. Any cartoonist takes the real world and tries to relate it in his drawings, and what you admire is their individual "voice" or way they relate what they see. It's also what we call the artist's "style."
I also loved the work of Nick Cardy, Norman Rockwell, Mort Drucker, Earl Norem, Irv Novick, John and Sal Buscema, Jack Kirby...I could go on and on!
Bat-Blog: We're HUGE Neal Adams Fans here as well. While visiting your website's Gallery Page we were very surprised by how much design work you have done with DC Comics, especially Batman. How did that begin?
Bigley: Like most newcomers just out of art school ( though I was out for 3 years by then), I was sending samples of my work to all the editors at the comics firms. I never got a real bite, but one day the late Joe Orlando at DC called me up and asked if I wanted to draw Batman!
Joe was then the head of the DC Special Projects department, and thought I was ready for the merchandise work they did there. Quite a compliment, as THAT'S the work they keep a careful eye on, since SO many more folks see it out in the general public, and they feel it must be the best representation of their properties.
Things just snowballed from there! Once the "Batman: The Animated Series" came in, I showed I could capture that style, created by Bruce Timm, and I got Batman work from that area also.
Lots of fun, as Batman was the character that I first became interested in as a child, and still think of as my favorite.
Bat-Blog: Yeah, we're BIG Batman Fans too!