With her long dreadlocks now replaced with a Venus Bluegenes-style mohican, Edinburgh based artist Tanya Roberts continues to make a striking impression at comics conventions from California to Germany as well as in the UK. She has been drawing the comic strip in Titan’s Star Wars: The Clone Wars comic for some four years now and yet, despite being a professionally published Star Wars artist for so long, her work is not that well known as the title is aimed at a junior audience. Jeremy Briggs spoke to Tanya about The Clone Wars and her other work.
DTT: How much input or control do Lucasfilm have over the contents of The Clone Wars comic and did this pose any issues when you first began on the title?
Tanya: I have discussed this with a few Star Wars artists and Lucasarts are very open to whatever vision you might have for the characters. They’re brilliant people to work for, I pretty much just make up aliens and spaceships and they just let me (sometimes) get away with stuff. I put a nipple tassel on a Hutt in one issue and they didn’t reprimand me, which was nice.
It’s very refreshing to have so much leeway with such a large company and I wish more companies where less strict and covetous of their characters and property. After all, we each bring our own style to the property so what fun is it if we’re all leashed up and muzzled?
DTT: How would you describe your style of artwork on the various comics you have worked on?
Having an animation background helps because some companies want you to stick rigidly to their model sheets. Surprisingly Disney let me get away with more than I thought I could; with Rex (the dinosaur in Toy Story) I made him a lot more bendy than he is in the movies but they did have to call me on some of the poses.
DTT: The majority of your professional work has been on licensed properties. Do you have any plans for working on your own characters?
I’m actually self publishing my very first comic that will be launched this November at Leeds comic festival: Thought Bubble. The comic is called Forgotten Muse and it’s about a muse who has to deal with the fact that his guy is being distracted by the internet and television, and how he gets around it. If anyone is interested, details are available on my website.
DTT: Tanya, thanks for taking the time to talk to us.
Tanya provided the publicity artwork for the 2012 Hi-Ex comics convention. She was interviewed in the run up to the con by the BBC News website.
There are more details of Kidzoic’s Strawberry Shortcake titles on the Ape Entertainment website.
Tanya will be appearing at Thought Bubble in Leeds over the weekend of 17/18 November 2012 where she will be selling copies of Forgotten Muse as well as pages of her original artwork. Her table is number 29 in the Royal Armouries Hall.