Yanick Paquette – Wonder Woman Earth One Volume Three!
Today on the show Melissa is joined by the legendary artist of the Wonder Woman Earth One series, Yanick Paquette!
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Interview scheduled by Jeffery Haas
Theme music by Good Co Music:
Yanick Paquette – Interview
[00:00:00] Melissa: this is spoiler country and I’m Melissa searcher tonight on the show. I’m excited to welcome Schuster award-winning comic book artist, the legendary Yannick bucket.
So thank you for being here.
Yanick Paquette: Hi, I’m glad I reached a legend. Legendary a year. I didn’t expect that. That
Melissa: did I pronounce your name? Okay.
Yanick Paquette: Yeah, it’s good. It’s good. I mean, a lot of people are just scared to actually try the pronunciation because you know, I’m, I’m French Canadian, so it might sound All exotic, but it’s not right.
Yanik pocket is good. And plus, I mean, I’m also accepting every variation and permutation around the ADF pronunciation. So I’m all good with that.
Melissa: Okay. Got it. Yeah. I wasn’t sure I have a friend who’s friend and he pronounces it unique, like very, you know, specific. So I wasn’t sure if it was like that pronounced or if it’s just Yanik.
Yanick Paquette: They’re all good to me. Oh, my, my French Canadian friend will call me Yannick.
Melissa: Okay. Awesome. Are you in [00:01:00] Canada right now? Or are you stateside?
Yanick Paquette: Yeah no, I’m in Canada. I live in Montreal with my family, my kids speak French. Well they now they’re became bilingual because in Canada we learn English in school, but.
For the most part, when they were children, they would only speak French. So living in, in Montreal makes a lot more sense and trying to, and plus, I mean, as a comic book artist, you can live wherever you want, which is the beauty of working in comic and does day of internet, you could live in dub of the MLA is if you want to.
Melissa: Yeah. You can work remotely from anywhere now and, you know, thanks to the internet. Yeah. Well, let’s go up. You were born in Canada. Have you lived there your whole life?
Yanick Paquette: I am. I’m I’m French Canadian and I’ve learned English in my twenties. And when I started working in comic, actually I would, you know, you can get a job by showing drawings.
But then when you get descript, then you don’t understand a single word in it, then you have to go. To a dictionary, but every single one, trying to figure out what, what you need to draw now. So yeah, I’ve learned English in my [00:02:00] twenties, but I’ve I’ve, I’ve, I’ve lived here all my life. Okay.
Melissa: So how did you, how did you get started in comics?
Like what was your first sort of like foray into it?
Yanick Paquette: Well here, I guess we’re, we’re most exposed to the European way of, of doing comic, which is the graphic novel, the, the, the Shanko Belgian album. And so stuff like that. I stayed at X and Tintin. And so these were my, my things as a child. And I really enjoyed it.
I, I You know, I enjoy drawing, but it never occurred to me that making a living out of drawing stuff was even an option at all. And I guess at first, my my first carrier pad was biology. I went to entomology to be more specific, deep study of insect with, which was my passion, my childhood passion.
That that was it. And as I I started my study that I, it all clear to me that the, the, the illusion of [00:03:00] the carrier of entomology, which in my mind would be going to crazy places in general jungle and living a life in a Indiana Jones type fashion, where you could find awesome Beatles on trunks of Amazon jungle.
That’s that’s not, that’s not the life of entomologists. And I’ve never give up drawing to my studies. I was doing this journals illustration and covers and stuff like that. And and I’ve always kept somehow in interest in comics. And eventually I just made the switch because it, it, and plus, I mean, the timing I’m going to switch in the mid nineties where the comic industry was just.
Turbo charging people were becoming millionaires. And there was a lot of energy around it. And by the time I’ve, I was good enough to get my first few job. The industry was already crashing. I didn’t reach the peak and the second half of the nineties. So I never [00:04:00] really enjoy those, those sales numbers.
But, you know, I got, I got to work in smaller present. I would say that at first it was kind of easy as a Canadian to work for companies because because industry was crashing, somehow all these company would, would hire kids from overseas. I’m not overseas, obviously Canada is not, but you know, it’s, it seems far enough that if you go and you can’t.
Pay them anymore. And you’re, you’re, you’re out of business, you know, I won’t, I won’t comment and dying on the door for, to get my money. I was too far. So I would say that the first five companies that I worked with went bankrupt on me. Yeah. That was a nice, awkward moment for comics.
Melissa: Wow. But you didn’t give up,
Yanick Paquette: obviously I didn’t give up.
And eventually I ended up working for DC and That’s yeah, they’re still around. So
Melissa: yeah, that little company do you see? Yeah. [00:05:00] Well that’s, well, obviously it paid off because then, you know, 2017, you won a best artists, Schuster award for wonder woman earth one. So what was that like? I mean, did that, what did that mean to you when you found out you won the award?
Yanick Paquette: Yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s a strange thing in a way, when you draw a comic you’re well, now there’s, I was doing your little bit more convention at the time, but it’s it’s I have this ability to doubt myself very much when I draw. And it’s, it’s not a rare thing. I mean, A lot of very capable and famous artists are crippled by the sensation that you’re inadequate.
Then eventually people will just realize that you’re there you’re a fraud or something. And that elbowed me for like, Oh, a few weeks. Maybe it’s like, Oh no, wait, I, maybe I don’t totally suck. I got, I got, you know, I win that thing, but it passed. Yeah, every time I need to dry, especially when I start a new [00:06:00] project I’m crippled by this, this this notion that I have no idea how to draw and I’ve always managed to do it.
And what I realize is that there is, there is something almost magical in drawing. It’s not like if I would say I’m a plumber. And you have problem with would that require a plumber? I’ve done it many times. I know how to, to take out the chunk of five that is not working and you can visualize what you need to do.
To fix the problem, you know, it’s something concrete, but as an artist, it’s very hard to just visualize what I’m going to do before I’m doing it. So I need to just believe that it’s gonna be okay. That almost magically stuff will make sense on the page. And so every time I doubt. So,
Melissa: yeah. So it’s kinda like having like an out of body experience then, like when you’re in the moment.
You know, when you’re working on [00:07:00] something and it’s just kind of flowing out of you. Do you, do you sort of feel like you’re kind of looking down at yourself from like, you know, a bird’s eye view?
Yanick Paquette: Almost, you know, you get, you get into the zone where things are just happening normally. And just flowing out.
I don’t, I mean, I don’t, I don’t see me from, I don’t have a buddy experience where I see me drums out. Oh yeah, this is magical because I’m too much in it. But the problem is. When I’m not drawing for awhile, say a week or two weeks. And then I try to visualize myself drawing and it makes sense. That’s when it’s, it’s it’s art to, to to just visualize and believe I can do it still because I’m not doing it, but by the moment I’m doing a page and it’s okay.
And then the second page, and I know I’m, I’m, you know, I’m feeling comfortable. I’ve been doing that for 20 years and it’s still working and then I can do the entire project without too much stress. Yeah. Do
Melissa: you have any like rituals or like, you know, [00:08:00] processes, like, let’s say, you know, like with writers, we get writer’s block for artists.
If you ever get like blocked, do you have anything that you do to sort of like boost your creativity or get into a zone?
Yanick Paquette: Coffee, I don’t know nothing, nothing concrete. And the thing to re ritualistic, I know people are doing warm-up drawing and cool-down drawing. And I, you know, I have no idea how they managed to do that.
Plus the work they’re supposed to do. And. For me, if there is any way I can’t, if I could find a way not to draw, like I’m doing my page, it’s done. I’m not going to draw again, you know, for a cool-down I’m just going to do something else. So, and I don’t know you just do coffee, I guess is my, is my thing, coffee, and then you, you, you draw because I’m because I’m working digitally.
There’s always the, the idea in there that if you can draw straight. Start to dress up. And if it’s terrible, you can always control Z, Z, add another layer and then delete the entire thing. You know, I’m trying to fix [00:09:00] this face and it’s terrible. Just does delete the layer, but I never ended up deleting layer, but because there is, you know, possibly some sort of a safe way to get me out of trouble.
It, it allowed me to jump to jump right into it. Without being too scared of it. I guess if I would work on paper that would may be required to just warm me up somehow, because there’s something more permanent with the paper. But honestly, that that would in a sense, it just make me lose time because from a scientific point of view, if I start straight on, it’s still good.
Melissa: well, you’re a pro, so
Yanick Paquette: yeah. Remember that?
Melissa: Yeah, exactly. You know, I want to, I don’t want to talk about wonder woman because you have, you know, volume three of earth, one coming out in March, I believe, right? March of 2021. So wonder woman has had many incarnations, you know, And through [00:10:00] comics, TV, film, how did you approach this iconic character when you were first presented with the project?
Yanick Paquette: Well, the. Well, I think the idea of grant grant Emerson, when he does the project, you tried to go back to some sort of, not just the origin. We tried to steal the sense of what made the character work in the first place. The thing is when you go back to one woman in the original days in the early, well, the forties until the fifties it’s quite different from what.
We’re used to see a wonder woman comics nowadays. I mean, it’s honestly, I’ve read them all because for work, but also eventually I just became fascinated by, by all, all alien and strange all this is it’s not super row. It’s closer to a. Some sort of Alice in Wonderland type weird stories. It’s, it’s it’s filled with bondage.
Every single pages. There is, there is some sort of fetish [00:11:00] play, but it’s not in a sexual way. It’s more in a, in a, in a power place somehow. And it’s, it’s, it’s truly a strange object. And I think, Oh, grant is not afraid of anything strange. So the idea for him was to go back there and try to see if there is anything in there that still makes sense today.
It is. And the one woman that we ended up doing, there is part of the modern incarnation of wonder woman. But also we revisit some of those crazy ideas that I’ve been mostly forgotten or maybe discarded because too, too weird and, and are direct, concise with, with modern feminism, which has been the hallmark of wonder woman.
But what we try to prove in it is that this feminism was. There already, even though it was all these power play and we might want to say, Oh, this is like kinky stuff all over the place. How can this be like an information of feminism? And I’m thinking about our [00:12:00] work. I’m talking about the original creator, even to 40 you’re looking at that’s a, but it’s there, it’s there about the idea of.
Be willing to submit to a loving authority and this idea of being, to allow yourself submission for good. I mean, it’s, it’s almost it’s art to not see parallel with current Evan today where seemingly some people I’m not going to name names, but are resisting to summit.
Melissa: No names,
Yanick Paquette: no names. I mean, a lot of the trouble comes from this, this Ego trip, which is very masculine in a way.
And yeah, there’s been a lot of stuff written about those wonder woman, but the public, they don’t know death much of that era. And some are, we’re trying to find a way to reincorporate that in a narrative, which is a little bit different. I mean, the ERT one series is not. A Canon [00:13:00] version of wonder woman.
So it allows us to just re-explore reinvent finding a new, you know, angle that I’ve been low for garden and tried to Polish them to make them modern and make them relevant today. And I think, you know, it’s that, that has been an Epic three tree volume. It took me, I was. I was looking at my email and the first mention of one, a woman IRT one was 2010 and in my AMS and we didn’t start it right away.
I did some, some bad men stuff. We granted, then I did some swamp thing with Scott and eventually we ended up doing a wonder woman. But it’s been a long longterm, very longterm project and only. With the last few pages of that last volume, I finally totally understand kind of what grant was going for.
Because grant is never obvious that’s his part of his style. So it’s a complex history [00:14:00] of, of element. And then everything came into into sense in the last few pages of that third volume, where thankfully it somehow justify all of those. Years. I spend drawing that thing, you know? Oh, this is, this is the purpose.
Melissa: Yeah. And how, how does that process work with you? I’m grant Morrison, like, do you, does he write and then send you pages on you draw based on. What he’s written or do you come up with things first and send him things and you know, how does that process work?
Yanick Paquette: Yep. You will, you will write 10, 15 pages and then send them to me and then I’ll draw those Sometime there is no dialogue.
The LA the last volume was a little bit more polished with, with Dalberg instructor, but sometime in the first volume, there was a lot of room for me to figure out where I want to go. And I think he gave me that Liberty in that first volume to see where. My instinct would push me graphically. Even though we’d [00:15:00] grant, we, we never, we never talk on the phone.
We were barely exchanging email. But, but the collaboration is happening with the work itself. So it will give me thing to figure out on myself graphically, and then it will wait for me to deliver those pages and build on that for the next leg for another stretch of 10 page, which. Makes it very collaborative because the, what you will see in my work will influence the direction where it will go next.
But the downside of it is Because everything is up for grabs. Working is a work in progress. We can change our actions every time. For me, it’s kind of in securing. Is that a word that I don’t feel?
Melissa: I think it should be. I don’t know why. I think that should be
Yanick Paquette: let’s make that a word now. No, it is
Yanick Paquette: I did contribute to the English language. Because you don’t see too much in the future. It’s art detail. Oh, is it? How are we [00:16:00] going to in a wall or where are we going? But because it’s grant, I’ve learned with my many project with them that you just need to trust him to bring you home and he will, and he did.
Melissa: that’s awesome. And so. Did you, did you have to do a lot of research at all for, for this series, as far as you know, mythology or setting costume history, even, you know, because of all of her fabulous outfits that you have her in. Did you do any research like that?
Yanick Paquette: Yes and no. Part of it was an art concept.
The one woman, the Island, the chemistry, or the Island. It’s being appear 3000 years ago, and then the woman get there and create their own society which is parallel to, to the world. So they don’t get any inference, but unlike most of the representation of, of chemistry in the past, where they get their In Greek time [00:17:00] and then culturally, they kind of are fixed in that moment.
So they still wear a Toga. They still create like Greek architecture and stuff. For us it made sense that they kept evolving, you know, they, they, this, this was the starting point, but then. In our technology, our philosophy there’ve been work and fiction that there’ve been a famous writers woman on this Island.
And then it creates an entire culture. And when we get on into those stories, what I need to represent is the consequence of 3000 years of, of artists that evolution, but taking in consideration that. The origin would, would be great Greek obviously, but the stuff that would mix in enrich the Greek language would be the nature of the Island, the fish, the birds, and the woman figure.
And, and so I try to create some sort of a graphical [00:18:00] language and texture that. You can almost feel, Oh, this, this is the logical evolution in that context. So it does that awkward. Doesn’t it require research. I can go over to the internet and say, okay, utopian cities, it might be inspiring at some point, but I need to came up.
Because it was so specific with element of design that, that make total sense. For instance the famous star Wars shorts of wonder woman because the stores, the five, the fifth, the five-pointed stars, like on the American flag is something graphically re red or recent. When you look into artists or it’s art to find stars, You look in in the middle age there, when you see stars, it’s hugely the the star of Bethlehem.
And it’s a lot more something with like millions of phrase coming out in every direction. So the very of stars isn’t that [00:19:00] there But the earliest of that graphic version that I saw of it was closer to the stars of David with 6.2 triangle. And that influence my way of doing it for one woman in part, because what we wanted.
To to dresser in was not the American flag, like specifically, like, I mean, it made sense in, in the forties as most of the comics of the forties were almost propaganda for, for war. There was something more patriotic around it. And so, and so, I mean, it makes sense at the time, but. I mean, the Greek culture is so rich to me, it made no sense that one woman would dress up as in a flag of another nation for no obvious reason.
So the idea was to make it almost accidental, like, Oh, this feels patriotic, but if you look closely, it’s not, I mean, it’s something different. So this ambiguity allowed me to be. [00:20:00] Quarter and, and the design, but still, you know, it’s an iconic costumes and plus, I mean, And what a woman, everyone, there is many variation of those costumes.
In part, because grant was very fixed on this idea that wonder woman, costume as evolve to the years and, and the comics and the TV shows and everything she’s always wear something cool and different than that. So it was unlike Superman, say it was carwash to try and dress her up and, you know,
Melissa: Yeah, well, and I also, I heard I heard you comment on and I think this might’ve been a year or two ago.
There was, you know a storyline with super man and wonder woman falling in love and getting together and. I heard your, your comment about how you liked the idea of a superhero, having like a human lover instead of an equal, you know, two superheroes getting together. And I [00:21:00] really thought that was an interesting, you know take on it.
And I love for you to like expand on that a little bit just because I thought it was really interesting.
Yanick Paquette: Yeah. Well that was around the time. I think the new 52 they they’ve figured out all the. There was a book called Superman wonder woman where it was a romance going and from a, your company, you have those franchises, it feels like something logical to at least try.
I mean, it makes total sense. That’s one woman Superman with there are the boat, all foul woman and all fun male, if you wanted the university. So we would get together. But the way I was in distinguishing it, I mean, Of all time, those, those male superhero and no problem having human girlfriend, I mean, they’re all add normal girlfriend to protect and maybe you’re not, Loyce, she’s a little beyond normal, but still she’s not to superhero.
You know, for all, they all have girlfriends and they’re [00:22:00] all normal. And I thought that well, if you, if you need to find A partner for four one a woman. Why she, why she had to be with Superman? I mean, it’s the same logic that same logic should apply. And she had, she could go with somebody to protect, which are, let’s say physically inferior in term of the capacity of doing superhero.
So that was more I mean, That was a reflection around that decision, a DC to try to pair those two as an item. Yeah, and I thought it, it removed an interesting part of phoned a woman that you would choose like a normal guy. But I, I, it didn’t last. I think, I think there not to get her in class.
I mean, in, in our version of wonder a woman she’s she’s she’s homosexual. I mean, it’s it’s, I can’t remember if in descript it’s it’s. Super obvious, but the way I approached it the idea being that these woman they’ve been living on this Island for [00:23:00] thousands and thousands of years, and they have all sorts of relation in there, they’re all immortal.
So they’ve been, they’ve been exploring sexuality in every aspect or so sorts that there are at least be sexual for at minimum,
Melissa: that would only make sense. You know, in theory, the circumstances and, and the immortality and yeah, just the whole environment that they’re in, that would absolutely make sense.
So that’s great that you’re, you know, you’re portraying it from sort of a more realistic approach and it, you know, in a sense of, of what it would actually be like, if, if this world actually
Yanick Paquette: existed,
Melissa: Yeah. So w what can we can fans expect from the conclusion, you know, volume three, this is going to be the last volume, unless, unless you change your mind.
No, no, no.
Yanick Paquette: It’s, I mean, it’s a, it’s a perfect, it’s a nice, satisfying conclusion that would, I would refuse to do more. I mean, it’s, it should add like this yeah. [00:24:00] Honestly, the first, the first volume is more an introduction. The second is a, is a darker one where she tried to to, to accomplish a mission of changing the world of men and making that world more, more equal and and fair.
And she’s a, she totally fail at it. She she’s. Fall into a trap where somebody Dr. Cycle in the future, it’s an old from the wonder woman stories. Back in the days is coming in there and he’s pretending to be his friend, but he’s not, I mean, he’s, he’s playing with his, he’s a, it’s a pickup artist.
So he’s playing with the expectation and wonder woman. I mean, she can, she can fight robots. She can, she can do, but she assumes the best in everybody all the time. So she’s the, she’s not prepared for this guy. And the third volume by far is the one that. Took me not the more time, but the more effort to, [00:25:00] to, to draw it’s it’s it’s the more, it’s the action oriented Extreme return of the King type extravaganza debt is not there at all in the second volume and not even there in the first one.
I mean, that’s the big Epic grandiose final. And the conclusion of it is, is, is, is. Far reaching and, and and almost shocking me, the, the last few pages, those pages that reveal to me what I was doing got me profoundly moved and yeah, and graphically, it’s something totally different for some people.
The complaint about, Oh, there’s a lack of action. Maybe there’s seems like, especially in the skin volume, it’s more psychologic ward and the physical action oriented that the way you could expect superior, will comics still look like they’ll be happy with that third one.
Melissa: Okay. Awesome. No, that’s exciting.
I can’t wait. And you dedicated volume one to your mother and you [00:26:00] praised her for raising you in a feminist household. How did that, how did that upbringing influence you as an artist? And is that as a man, you know, and, and to be able to, to write wonder woman from that perspective or not, sorry to draw wonder woman.
Yanick Paquette: Well, I don’t know. I think maybe it’s easier to, I think Quebec, the Quebec world in which I live. So the province of Quebec inside Canada is is a very feminist society in the first place. So The VIN exception, but I mean, I think we’re pretty progressive. And, and our demand, and I don’t know it’s, there is something naturally fortunate.
The way I see it initially, when we’re talking about wonder woman, I, at the time, I didn’t know what, what, what grant wanted exactly to do with the book. I thought we were, were trained to explore the sexuality of formula one, because for, for for a long time there, even though the origin [00:27:00] was all this in big radius Kind of kinky looking thing.
One woman that became to the year a character, which is mostly a sexual and my understanding of it was in part because Sexuality is something art to deal in fiction, which is not that how much of a problem for, for where I’m coming from. And I thought that, especially in comic, there’s something very unfair, the way a super woman and Superbowl men are depicted in their sexuality.
And one of the example that I’m bringing upon that is is Ironmans. So I run man is, is loved by all. And he had, he had moment in his, in his Ironman life where he would have a like a, a different model every night in his bed. And and because he was he’s was looking for something, searching for love or a feeling, a gap that he couldn’t feel it when you know, something, some people goes to those weird phase. [00:28:00]
If it’s a man, I mean, it’s. We’re not judging that moment. And I mean, I’m very conservative. People will have no problem buying our t-shirt for the little boys and, you know, lunchboxes and stuff. And, but if you would just reverse this and I have one woman having a different male model because she’s, she’s in a phase where she’s looking for something and, you know She has no right to do that.
Well, the thing is she would be overly judged the way a man won’t be judged. And in that context, and I find, I was finding that very interesting in a way that is it possible to gave, to give The power and the, the sexual choice to the character. I mean, there is other characters that you sexuality say Catwoman, his sexual life, his character, but you’ll use this as a, as a weapon
for that too. And, [00:29:00] but if you want to do a good girl but, but a sexual, then she, she has no rights. To sexual LT. She needed to be the Virgin Mary type model, because it’s almost like if you’re not doing that, if you’re allowing sex or sexual appetite in, in any female character, then suddenly the moral is out the door and she’s like the worst hor ever.
And there was no, there was no room in between I thought, Oh, maybe especially with the one, the woman, the origin of it. And it was kind of, I mean, it was codified because we’re. Well, we’re in the forties, but I, you read those comics and there is obviously almost sexual undertone on all sorts of things in there.
And you thought, Oh, maybe we can, we can give her that bag, the choice, our power, or our own choice about their own sexuality. We ended up yeah. Exploring a, I think broadly other aspect of this story at the end. And well, you’ll need you to read [00:30:00] that, that third volume two to fully see the scope and which grant when and my, in my vision was I actually very restrictive and in comparison,
Melissa: Really well, do you think you know, that some of that, what you’re saying about the sexuality of, of wonder woman versus, you know, a male superhero, do you think that is cultural though?
Like it more prevalent in American culture?
Yanick Paquette: You
Melissa: know, cause like in French culture, I mean, I, from what I’ve heard and people I know As they’re more, you know, French, the more open and they don’t judge women. You know what I mean for that kind of a thing. Is that true? Do you find
Yanick Paquette: then friends from Europe or here in Quebec?
I think we have a much more equal View on, on this, especially that sexuality, but also, I mean, we’re, we’re not a perfect society. There’s still disparity in term of pay for instance, there is still a gap there that need to be address and equal pay. [00:31:00] But there’s, there is a lot of progress in type of gender roles, family, for instance, it’s something we negotiate and it’s not between us as a couple when it’s not.
There, there is no, there is no actual rule. And I think part code to go back to what you were mentioning about my dedication to my mother. It is, it is one of those things where by, by growing into a feminist, also, you, you, you end up. Not being bound to a definition of what a man should be. You could do whatever you want and negotiate with the woman on your live or, or your, your, your male partner, if you’re gay or whatever renegotiate a contract or not.
I mean, it sounds very businessy. That’s not my intention, but figure out what, what. Your band, you want to be what the other can can bring into the mix and define a workable solution. Unlike maybe more [00:32:00] conservative society where you came out in there with, with a preconception of what a man has to do and be, and be like.
And and so the feminism that I’ve lived through was this. I filled it as a Liberty. I could, that could be a matcher man. You know, that would, that could have been my pad if I, if I felt like this which I did it incidentally, but I could, and that would have made a problem or I would be, or I could be something different, but whatever.
Melissa: Yeah. Yeah. Well, do you feel as an artist. You know, with with a platform essentially, you know, aside from entertaining and bringing joy through art, do you feel that you also have a responsibility to convey a message, whether it be political or social or feminist or whatever do you feel that kind of pressure or responsibility?
Yanick Paquette: It’s, it’s not really a pressure. As I was, I’ve been doing that for 20 years and I said was growing up. I mean, it takes a lot of energy to drug [00:33:00] omics. And after a while, you’re trying to figure out why am I doing that? You know, what’s, what’s the, what’s the point? Am I doing that? Just because it’s entertaining and, and maybe for a lot of people, that’s, that’s enough.
That’s good enough. For me I’ve tried to satisfy myself from a, from a graphic point of view, trying to find something that will please me first. But then the idea of working towards some sort of, Oh, maybe I have something to say, you know, more than, Oh, this guy is stronger than this other guy.
And as a coupon, this is what I got to say. Maybe I can actually contribute to something else. And there’s an, there’s a huge debate. Well, It’s not a debate that much, but for a while there in the comic community, there was this idea of what comics should be are there to entertain, or should we just escape reality and have fun.
And Jen Joya was naive story that, that talk about Farfetch. Adventure [00:34:00] are, they did kill too. To explore idea and to debate area, that idea that are, that can be linked to reality and to the world we live in. And to me, it was always obvious that your comic and stories, it always was that it always, yeah, Superman was about immigration and, and now the X-Men was about Racism, there was the link of these comics and what they tell about society.
And because they’ve been there from the forties and each generation come in there and try to reinvent the X-Men man or, or Batman, they bring something of the society they live in. And that’s what they’re talking about using those. Those characters. And so to me, it was obvious that these it’s not, I don’t feel the [00:35:00] pressure, but I feel it as more as an enjoyment.
This is, this is something we’re doing because. W we bring ideas to the table that can be rejected. I have no problem. People not being on board with what we’re doing and what a woman, but at least we’ve tried something. I love, I love the, the forties one, a woman. I love the Perez wonder woman, which is different.
I love the Greg Rucka as that relo version, they’re all very different. They’re all exploring a different facet of this. Joel’s. That is the, the, the crystal of wonder woman as, as a character. And there is no point of going back to the same already. We’ll explore it. And Polish, fascia facet of that diamond.
We need to find a new or an old one that has gathered too much dust and maybe make it modern again. Choose the perspective of what we’re living true and are what a woman earned one, because it took so long to draw so long. How [00:36:00] much
Melissa: did you spend?
Yanick Paquette: We, we started, I, I think I started actually working on it in 2015 or maybe late 14, 11, the first for the first volume.
But when we were working on that first volume near the end that was 2016, early 16 Navy. We w me and grant, I mean, it was obvious that we were about to turn an important page in the history of feminism with LRA becoming president with in, in a context where she would. W not only face a normal opponents, you would face like a symbol almost, almost like the end of a video game kind of, and then we’ll enter a new era.
Well, it didn’t, it didn’t have some like that. And I. I think it’s obvious that did influence the second volume of what a woman or one where, Oh, maybe this is not the way. Maybe there’s maybe [00:37:00] the dragon can’t be slate that easily and something more complex as to another route around man’s art as to be fined.
And That obviously influenced the way the second volume came about. And as I’m finishing up as well, the third volume is done. It’s it’s been drawn entirely early in September. So that, that was done. Kind of almost miraculously. Shit with the world now, it’s it
Melissa: kind of ways
Yanick Paquette: we’re not planning any of that. I mean, it’s just, sometimes things just stars align and it’s just happening.
Melissa: Yeah. W I think there’s, I said this on another interview by art imitates life, you know, and I sometimes think it does it without you even intending to do so, you know, it just is sort of, I don’t know if it’s like a collective unconscious or that we like as subconscious that we like tap into.
Yeah. Oh yeah. Maybe.
[00:38:00] Yanick Paquette: Yeah. I also want to blame a grant for that because. I know, grant is a very sensible guy that must have some sort of very acute perception of where society is, which Branko we standing on? You know, he has this, this. And Twitter understanding of things that is beyond my, my my recognition.
I can see it, but obviously there is, there is a way in which he weighs a bit magic. And that sounds, I guess, so to, to give some credit, it is a magical prowess. That book actually syncs very well with today.
Melissa: Yeah. He has a sixth sense then apparently.
Yanick Paquette: Yeah, maybe honestly.
Melissa: Yeah, I know. I often wonder you know, what William Marston would think of, you know, the evolution of, of wonder woman now.
I mean, can you imagine if you could go back in time and, and get his opinion?
Yanick Paquette: Yeah, I’m very curious. Because in a way, wonder woman was created [00:39:00] as a response to the much more masculine. Superman and Batman comics of the day, which already were very successful and she was offering something totally different, which was more of a fantasy thing.
There is a bit of action, but it’s, it’s more playing, it’s more playful in a way show. So she was a contrast and to the years she became more and more I don’t want to say aggressive, but you know, the sword, the shield, and then she can stand with, with the Batman and Superman and they can, they can all look like bad-ass.
And in a sense, from a universal building corporate point of view, it makes sense that they’re all intertwined. Connectable and compatible and they all live into the same kind of world. But the one woman of the origin was not that creature we have today, which I mean, [00:40:00] I love, I love the wonder woman film.
I love where one woman is now. I’m not complaining that this is not one a woman. This is, this is a perfectly valid and interesting one, a woman. And she, she Spears and everything, and it’s unbearable. Yeah, but that, wasn’t the original idea of following. And probably what we ended up doing is not all the original idea either, but it’s another variation on that original seed seed that most uncreated in the back pregnant day.
Melissa: Yeah. And it’s, it’s part of his legacy too now. So, you know, I think I would like to think he’d be. Proud that, you know, the, that her character is still living on and still, you know, getting created really.
Yanick Paquette: And honestly, I love to, I like to believe that because when a woman has been use as a mouthpiece for a lot of very progressive feminist movement over the years I think he would have enjoyed that a lot.
Do understand that, Oh, he’s [00:41:00] screech and he’s actually became assemble for our cause. And it’s, it’s far reaching, so.
Melissa: Yeah. I’ve even seen you know, like they have those memes where, you know, the Rosie, the Riveter or meme speck now they’re they’ve swapped her out for wonder woman and some of, and some of them.
Yanick Paquette: Yeah. It’s all the characters that he can work with maybe except captain America, but all the others. I mean, Batman doesn’t you draw Batman. You don’t, you don’t represent the orphans, you know, of the world, but when you do you want to wonder if there’s something important? Because she does represent the symbols.
She’s just bored in a character. She’s, she’s more important symbolically and in today’s culture. So yeah, there’s in that aspect, there’s a pressure and there’s also. You also expose yourself as a creator, or if you, if you will tackle that [00:42:00] character and try something drastic and different a bit like what grant has been doling on this.
I mean, if you do like a weird, weird stormy with Batman, you don’t get. Like phone call for from orphan thing. You’re you you’ve done something terrible. Well, you’re a terrible person. Well, that’s just a bad or too strange to understand Batman story, but one woman you’ll get that. I mean, if you, if you, if you try something too extreme, people will, will read into it.
A judgment on womanhood. So, but this is a two, this is, that could be also a tool. I mean, it’s, it is exposing yourself to the critique and that demon, but also okay. If that character speak or represent a woman who would, in a way, maybe we can use that and say something about womanhood and, you know, taking advantage of it instead of saying this, Oh, this, [00:43:00] this is too dangerous.
And I have the feeling that maybe. Because one woman became very static. After, after Walston, she became a more traditional superhero. And then, and then the sexual LT disappeared entirely. Maybe, maybe. Creators of the day understood that, Oh, she’s, she’s this very iconic and, and symbolically important character.
And I don’t want to mess that up, you know, and try to be more, not conservative from a political spectrum, but more, more careful in that less daring. Maybe with the way, the way people were super daring with, with Batman, you know, you could, you could try all sorts of crazy thing with that man, which allowed him to evolve drastically from, from, and represent very well, most periods with dark night, green turn [00:44:00] representing something of the of the eighties.
Sorry, because you can try and be daring with that character. One of the woman. It’s it’s, she’s less well she’s welcoming into it, but the readership it’s, it’s more, it’s, it’s a bigger risk to think. Yeah,
Melissa: well, people have their own ideas and their own you know preconceived notions and they hold them very dear, you know comic book fans are hardcore,
Yanick Paquette: you know, and I appreciate that.
And honestly, I do have my own, you know, my preconceptions on things, but I, as a creator, I recognize that and say, Oh, this is all I think things should be, but that doesn’t make it. So like, like. The only way to explore. And plus, I mean, the world will be kind of boring if we’re, if, if say, Oh, Perez Perez is the one-woman guy, me and after Perez, that’s it.
And then what we do now, and for years and years, we’ll keep staying in and [00:45:00] doing the Paris story. So.
Yanick Paquette: Yeah. And that’s the, that’s the, the joy and the peril of doing those huge franchise that have been there forever. Every time you’re putting out a comic something somewhere because. Not only they will know, but sometime they’re intricately part of someone’s childhood.
So, and then you try something dressed. Yeah. And then you say tore as a woman or something, you know, whatever you want to explore. And then people take it personally because that’s, or. What a woman to say, seeing something in a comic. And I got people coming to my table and said, one woman, one say that,
Melissa: but damn, really?
Yanick Paquette: Yeah. But I mean, she, she, she did though, you know, she just did it in that comic, so I’m right. And it is, if there is any plus to do, create your own and start something totally fresh in you would be [00:46:00] that like the idea where if you don’t want to create something that make absolutely no sense, that goes that abides to my rule.
Only mine people can’t judge you because it’s not part of their psyche yet. But these characters they’ve been there forever, so they live in to everybody. Yeah, so that, that makes change kind of ARD to convey. But again, like the idea of these, some character being assembled it plays for you because it comes with a sets of expectations.
So you You think this is what it is. And then we, we agree both of us and dad, the story hasn’t started yet, but we have already structured on the table and stuff that we agree upon. And then I’m going to flip this card, which you agreed upon, but no, it’s not true anymore. So there is, there is some suffering for play with, with the readership or that if you, what you do is valid and you know, you can look at just.
[00:47:00] Mess mess stuff up for messing stuff up. But if you, but if you try, like we did to bring something valid on the table Yeah, why not?
Melissa: Yeah. Well, I mean, you’re never going to please everybody, you know, as an artist, I mean, if you look at there’s so many different fandoms you know, huge franchises, I mean, look at star Wars, for example, you know, all the new movies that have come out for that franchise and for everyone that loves it, there’s, you know, 10 people that hate it.
So, you know, you just, you gotta just do what. You love and, and do it to the best of your ability.
Yanick Paquette: You can almost tell with but see then I can, this is my, my opinion, my personal thing, but you can almost feel it in some of the Marvel the, the Disney version of star Wars that they want to be careful.
The tape. I have the feeling that they take a lot less risky, weird stands than George on his own. And some of those risks that he took were bad decisions that was bad, but sometime he [00:48:00] was good, but there were a little bit more ballsy. I felt what would Disney and the big corporate structure understanding full well that they don’t want to piss off like part of the moral doors.
And so they played it. Safer tonight. I would have loved a little bit more risk, I guess.
Melissa: Yeah, just a little darker
Yanick Paquette: and maybe, maybe taking that risk and making those SIM totally unpalatable for me anymore, but, or maybe giving me something new to think about, but yeah, I feel, I feel like they’ve played a little bit to safe to my taste, but then again, this is just, this is me
Yanick Paquette: Well, what am I to say that?
Melissa: Well, I mean, yeah, no, like you said, it’s your opinion and we’ll speak, speaking of big corporations, I know you’ve worked, you’ve worked for DC. You’ve worked for Marvel. And have you ever considered. Or would you consider ever doing something if I can indie [00:49:00] comic book writer and working on like original material?
Yanick Paquette: Yeah, well, yeah. I mean, I’ve been towing with a few ideas for years now. But because one woman earned one was always there to be done, you know, huge project So I’ve always kind of postponed it as I went along so year after year, as my contract went up and say, yeah, I still have a few pages. I still have this other volume one to do.
So I’m going to resign. So now I’m not exclusive anymore. I’m still, I’m still doing stuff for DC. You know? There are still a few friends live there. I mean, there’ve been a lot of change recently at DC and Some of the Porter were kind of very traumatic to me because you know, these are people you’ve worked with for 20 years and then it’s not, they’re not good anymore.
It’s not that they’re Oh, it started I’m I’m I’m I’m 70. I want to take it. You know, take it cool. And then we’ll make a party. And then the retire, it’s more like corporate stuff where suddenly you read, I’ve already engineered that, Oh, this, this, and this person, [00:50:00] they don’t work there anymore. You know? So that’s, that’s tough.
That’s art to swallow, I guess. But yeah. Anyway, are you, there are still very good people at DC and I’ve, I’m still bind to a few project with them. And then I’m doing another. Not as massive as the wonder woman one, but something that I can’t tell for specifics. It’s a, it’s a, it’s a long form thing again.
So I’m doing that and yeah, I would decide I’m toying with some, some concept for, to do something totally different to do something on my own.
Melissa: Awesome. And then do you have writers in mind for it or are you going to take a stab at writing yourself? Or how, how will that play out?
Yanick Paquette: Yeah, well, chances are dead the first time I’ll go into the wilderness.
I’ll try to have a guide, like somebody that speak perfect English and they shoot and mentor. And plus, I mean, I’ve been, I’ve been drawing enough, but constructing the story [00:51:00] entirely. I, I know, I know good people that can do that. So it would be foolish of me not to take advantage of all those friends, you know, relationship I’ve managed to come up with.
So yeah, probably my, if I do a creator own, I’ll probably not do it entirely on my own, but I want to be part of that. I want to do stuff that That feel like me a little bit more. It’s not that I don’t enjoy superhero and people in spandex, you know, fighting. But to be honest, it’s not me at all.
I mean, I’m not part of maybe the me when I was 14 and I’m still enjoying drawing, you know, anatomy and special effects. But I don’t recognize myself in any of that. And tell us, you go by you, you worked for DC or from our volume. This is, this is what you do. But you don’t reflect too much on, well, is this, is this really me at all?
And The only redeeming aspect is what we were talking a [00:52:00] little bit earlier which is at least I’m, I’m L things. I’m seeing something I believe in. Yeah, I believe in, I mean, it’s not propaganda, but at least I’m doing something that feels like something legit that comes from police, a place of a real place, and then just spend X, but I want more, I want, I want it.
Do something that that feels I love classical music. So this is something I want to explore in comics a little. So stuff that are very just me.
Melissa: Thank you. Write some thinking or dress in the contemporary, or would it be in the fantasy genre Saifai hole or, I mean, what, what sort of genres are you drawn to that you would want to create yourself?
Yanick Paquette: Yeah, I’m doing well. I’ll be doing, I’ll be doing something very futuristic scifi for the next year. So that’s, that’s something interesting. I’ve, I’ve always wanted to do [00:53:00] something crazy and Farfetch and weird. This is it, but also in, on my time doing swamping, I found that I really enjoy, or I just, because of the atmosphere graphically it’s, it’s rich in there’s something rich about the visual of R so I might want to go back there at least a little or.
If, if, if it’s not entirely our something that kind of tastes are terrific.
Melissa: Right. Sinister. Yeah. Yeah. Now do you have, do you have any dream character? That’s, that’s out there in an established universe that you want to. You know, work with that you haven’t yet already. I know you’ve worked with, you know, Superman bat girl, or, sorry, not bat girl, but super girl.
Wonder woman. Is there any, any of those characters out there in the universe of comics that you would like to work with?
Yanick Paquette: I don’t know. I mean, I, [00:54:00] I’m not really character oriented. I’m much more attracted by writers because in a way, in a way. I’m not a big fan of spawn. But during spawn or Batman will have me drug building at night with vacates graphically.
It’s the same challenge. And then it’s more a question of a good writer can make both of those things gold or are, are crap. All right. So it really depends. But when I was with Marvel, they asked me what I’m to what I want to draw. And Had only two characters at the time. I wanted to draw the org.
But I ended up doing a green Bay guy DC with swamping anyway. So that’s graphically that’s covered somehow. But I wanted to explore Dr. Strange but the Dr. Strange of diamonds shin with big eyes and strange. Strange like psychedelic things
[00:55:00] Melissa: strange.
Yanick Paquette: Yeah. The, the, the, the, the streets strange that I can get more of that than.
Than the typical super or the, the, the, the crazy yeah. Asset trips.
Melissa: Yeah. Yeah. Well then I’ll rephrase. Is there a writer event that you would like to work with that you haven’t gotten a chance to yet?
Yanick Paquette: There is, I’ve been, I’ve been really lucky. I got to work with Alan Moore. I got to work with grant and Scott Snyder.
The list is quite satisfying. There is I would, I wouldn’t mind doing something with Neil Gaiman, for instance. Don’t know. Yeah. He’s
Melissa: had an worked with a lot of incredible people and and a lot of incredible people have worked with you, you know, so I’m sure you’re on
Yanick Paquette: a lot of, I’m very lucky.
I’m very lucky. I’ve done. I’ve done things with Adam Warren. I’ve done two issue of, of gender teen and. No, I wouldn’t mind doing some [00:56:00] more with with Adam. I is, he’s not doing that much outside of his own creation nowadays, but I had so much fun. Just the descript alone. I mean, it’s rare that you read a script and you laugh all the time, you know, just because this group is so good.
It’s so funny. So that may be an option. Okay.
Melissa: Cool. Now, as far as your, your actual abilities now, do you, did you have to take classes? Was this just something you naturally were gifted with? I mean, how do you hone your craft? How do you keep that fresh and you know, keeping it polished?
Yanick Paquette: Yeah.
Well, in my in my early days as I was coming out from a science education, I approached drawing in a very scientific sort of way where okay. I tried to cut the fide reality so I can understand and memorize it, which is, sounds like I’m mentally ill. I know I’ve booked some books just for arms twisting.
[00:57:00] So our page after page and all these muscles connected to the elbow and then to whatever finger they go. When you turn your end there at one boat, the, the elbow doesn’t move. So every muscle twist around the harm to weaken. And I I’ve approached it from the very let’s find the code of reality from, from learning anatomy in that fashion, and then the logic of, of light and So, yeah, a lot of these are the early years where I, I tried to, to almost like in the Matrixx understanding the logical being, the visual thing you see.
But as. As I became more confident with my work. A lot of it became more instinctual and nowadays I don’t, I don’t really know what I’m, when I’m drawing a harm. I’m not thinking about all these muscles. And back in the days, I knew the names of all these crazy names of muscles. I can’t remember any of them, but but when I draw [00:58:00] something nowadays, I mean, there may, maybe they’re kind of on a subconscious level.
So the, the vague shape of a leg. Is solid and makes sense. But the, the intricacy of the muscle, that didn’t matter, I’ve been forgotten with the years that, so just more perfection of those things that ended up not really mattered. Well, they’re the gun now. And the essential is, is more there. Yeah. Yeah,
Melissa: well, you’re super talented and you know, it’s clearly a gift as well, right?
I mean, you definitely have something special, so I appreciate you coming on and chatting with me about your work because it’s fantastic. So thank you. It’s a pleasure. Yeah, absolutely. Is there anything else you. Would like to promote before we go. I mean, we have been the most important thing.
Of course. Wonder woman volume, three coming out in March. Everybody needs to [00:59:00] pre-order that,
Yanick Paquette: right? Yeah. Yeah. And when it’s available for pre-order right now no, I mean, go, go for that first. I mean, all the rest, I just can’t. Can tell, so it’s solar unannounced, so
Melissa: yeah. Yeah. Well then you’ll have to come back on.
Yanick Paquette: Then I got to, I got to, the thing is as I’m producing, it’s not that I’m super slow. I mean, I’ve much, I’m much faster than I used to be. But because of the nature of the sorts of projects I ended up doing, which is these 120 page or tensile a Ning and takes a year and a half I most of the time, I can’t tell anything, you know, because eventually it’s going to be announced, but marketing people to send that you can’t announce stuff a year ahead of time, people would just forget about
Yeah. That’s so true. Yeah. I know. That’s it’s like that with, with most, I think entertainment industries. It’s. It’s all about the teaser, right. You know, kind of coming out, you know, a little bit before to get people [01:00:00] excited about it, but you know, you can’t give spoilers away either, you know,
Yanick Paquette: and I, and I made a choice earlier in my career where I figured I can do monthly book, not super well because it’s, it’s in a co-owner in order to survive.
And that was back in the DNR. I’m looking at the comics. The monthly stuff is, is amazing today, still in how can it’s even possible to produce that level every month? I don’t, I don’t get it, but at least it gives, it gives you. You’re there all the time, so people can, Oh yeah. What he’s doing, he’s on this, you know, you did produce that last week or last month, at least.
But in my case I made the choice that no, I want to work more in a European type of scheduling where I’ll have these huge project and then try to have a normal kind of normal life. It’s not normal to be honest, but that was the intention at least. And it’ll produce those things [01:01:00] that take they’ll take forever and then they’ll come out.
But that’s like once a year, once every two years or something out of me. But in between those projects, I tried to do smaller thing last time. I did some, some stuff with Bendis and Superman and, and one issue Batman this time around, I’ll do a little bit of that for the seals. So before I embark into this other adventure,
Melissa: well, I’m sure I’m being it’s, you know, like they say, it’s a marathon, not a race, right.
And I mean, for someone like you, they’re going to wait for whatever you’re going to do, you know? No, one’s going to be trying to rush you there. It’s going to be worth the wait I’m sure. Right.
Yanick Paquette: Excellent.
Melissa: Yeah. Well, for sure you have to come back on then and talk about all these other, you know, secret projects that, that you can’t share yet.
Awesome. All right. Well, thank you so much. It’s been great. When you’ve been listening to spoiler country with Yanick pockets [01:02:00] and myself, Melissa searcher. Thanks so much for joining me