ComicsVerse was fortunate enough to catch up with Bob in this Bob McLeod interview at Tidewater Comicon 2017 in Virginia. Best known for co-creating NEW MUTANTS, we asked Bob McLeod some of the reasoning behind creating such a diverse team in the early eighties. In this interview, Bob McLeod goes into why he and Chris Claremont made the push to get away from an all-white cast of mutants, and instead focus on a group of teens who come from assorted backgrounds.

Bob McLeod Interview: NEW MUTANTS Still Relevant 35 Years Later

Episode 68: Want Diversity? Read Marvel’s NEW MUTANTS

The NEW MUTANTS debuted in 1982 and became an instant hit. The all-star cast consisted of Mirage, Cannonball, Sunspot, Wolfsbane, and Karma. Three of these characters come from backgrounds of color, while the two white characters hail from Scotland and Kentucky respectively. NEW MUTANTS was an opportunity to take diverse characters and put them in the forefront of heroism. While these characters are dear to many hearts, Bob McLeod does go into how he wished he had more opportunity to stylistically develop the characters. NEW MUTANTS was also a direct spinoff of Chris Claremont’s UNCANNY X-MEN. This was the beginning of the common trend of coinciding books seen today in the comics medium.

Bob McLeod Interview: His Post-NEW MUTANTS Work

While NEW MUTANTS is McLeod’s most praised work, he still remains active in the comic community. At Tidewater Comicon, Bob goes into his time as a teacher of art. He also discusses his desire to draw Batman. He cites his heavy usage of dark inks in the eighties as his main reasoning. While Bob McLeod isn’t working on any current titles, he does variants for Marvel relatively often. One of my personal favorites is his variant of SECRET WARS #3, a title that brought on a lot of guest artists because of its impact.

Marvel Writer Jeremy Whitley Interview at Tidewater Comicon 2017

There’s a reason Bob McLeod’s work still holds up to today’s standards. Whether you’ve never read NEW MUTANTS or haven’t visited the book in a while (particularly MARVEL GRAPHIC NOVEL #4), give it a look. You can really appreciate Bob’s fantastic artwork and the eighties comic style that is so iconic now. He inked his own drawings as well, and you can see how much care he put into each page. It’s always interesting to see an artist reflect on his work years after its completion. This is precisely what Bob McLeod does in this interview.

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