I had a chance to catch up with budding superstar artist Babs Tarr (BATGIRL) at the Tenth Annual New York Comic-Con.

Bri-Babs NYCC

Hey Babs, how’s your con been going so far?

Tarr: So good.

I’ve been walking around artist alley the last few days doing interviews and such, and I must say your booth has been one of the busiest of the whole con. I know it may be a bit of a no-brainer question, but how cool is that?

Tarr: It’s pretty cool. It still blows my mind that I’m as popular as I am. I still feel like people are gonna wake up one day and be like “Oh, she’s not that great. What are we going crazy for?” but for now everyone is under the trance, and I’m gonna ride this thing to the very bittersweet end. (Laughs)

Well I think you should ride it as long as possible, but I don’t think anyone is gonna wake up and change their minds anytime soon. (Laughs)

Tarr: I hope not, I hope not. I’m glad everyone seems to be liking my artwork. That’s the dream, to create stuff and have people like it. I just never dreamed that my little style would be one people would respond so well to. I feel very honored, it’s pretty special.

To follow up on people liking it, it’s been just about a year since BATGIRL #35 (the first issue of the Stewart/Fletcher/Tarr run) came out, and that design that you and Cameron did is reaching almost iconic status. It’s being used in the DC Girls line…

Tarr: Yeah, those boots are everywhere.

DC Super hero girls

There are statues. I personally picked up the black and white statue, and saw the color one displayed at the DC Booth. How does it feel to have redefined, at least for the moment, the look of a very iconic comics character?

Tarr: It’s insane. I came from a non-comics background, so the fact that Cameron asked me do this book with him and design it with him has been a very surreal experience. I’m just so beyond grateful to be able to break into comics on an iconic character like Batgirl. We try to treat her with a lot of care, as she’s so important to so many people. There’s a weight that comes with taking over a character that’s been around for fifty years. It’s been really fun so far. She should be the light to Batman’s dark, and we’re just trying to bring that light back to her life.

CLICK: Check out our interview with BATGIRL co-writer Brenden Fletcher here!

Speaking of Cameron (Stewart) and Brenden (Fletcher), I had the opportunity to interview Brenden a few months back and asked him about the creative process you three use and how you collaborate. How is it as an artist to collaborate with co-writers like you do?

Tarr: It’s pretty good. They might bicker with each other, but I don’t see that. I just get a script and keep going. It’s been great. I love them. We get along super well, and when we get together we’re like hamming it up and joking. Our senses of humor are all pretty similar. They write stories that I want to draw. They make sure there’s something in every issue that makes me excited and brings me to life, and as an artist I can’t ask for anything better. The fact that they told me some writers don’t do that made me even more thankful to have them. For instance, in the last arc Brenden was like “What do you to draw?” and I wrote him this really dumb list of things I wanted to see in the book. On the list was like “bad-ass ladies with big cats” and I got Velvet Tiger with tigers, and I said I wanted a Scooby Doo/Eyes Wide Shut issue and they gave me Batgirl explores an old mansion and finding the Hooq cult, and I wanted a love triangle which we might get soon. I’m just so thankful that they take my notes and try to build a story around it. Sorry if you don’t like BATGIRL, but a lot of it is my fault. (Laughs)

Anyone who reads our site knows how big a fan I am of the book, and I was for all those things, especially Velvet Tiger and an army of tigers (Laughs). So I know with BATGIRL #41 you transitioned from working over Cameron’s layouts to your own layouts. How big of a change was that for you?

Tarr: That was horrifying. It’s like I had a safety net, and then it went to feeling like I didn’t know what I was doing at all. It was scary, but luckily I have a great editor and Cameron is still there in the wings to catch me if I fall. He looked over all my pages and gave me changes. Even moving forward, I still didn’t feel comfortable with the action scenes so we had a really great layout artist Michael Lancome help me do the action scenes. I kind of have a handle on the every day talking, like emotional stuff I can do pretty well. Each issue I feel like I’m gaining more footing, and I’m learning and growing more. Right now I’m much more comfortable than I was at Issue #41.

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We actually discussed the first arc (collected in the BATGIRL OF BURNSIDE VOL. ONE hardcover) on an episode of the Comicsverse Podcast and we all loved the design of Yuki and Yuri, the anime-inspired twin villains from Issue #36. That design and concept seemed to be so inline with your sensibilities, I was wondering where it came from?

Tarr: The story behind that is the writers had to submit plans for a six issue arc before they got the gig, and they totally had different villains. When I became the artist, they changed the villains to be those girls because I love drawing motorcycles, I love drawing badass chicks, and I have this anime-influenced background. They were just like, “If Batgirl watched Speed Racer, what would that cartoon look like?” and what if cosplayers were villains, and really feeding in to everything I’m into. I think you can tell that that issue was particularly exciting. Cameron did amazing motorcycle scenes in it, and he’s so talented and I was so honored to be able to work with him. That’s definitely one of my favorite issues. That, and #45 coming out this coming month. I like it when it when the villains are especially mine in style.

LISTEN: You won’t want to miss our BATGIRL OF BURNSIDE Podcast here!

Speaking of villains, I loved your redesign of Livewire.

Tarr: That was really fun. I got to draw someone with powers, which I hadn’t gotten to do yet. Our other villains were more physical than super-powered, so that was really fun. I just hope I get to keep growing this funny cast of characters that are just for Babs.

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You’ve done a couple of alternate covers in addition to BATGIRL, namely the CONVERGENCE: SUPERBOY cover with the awesome early-90’s Superboy design, or the great GOTHAM ACADEMY variant from Issue 6. How did those come about?

Tarr: Brenden (co-writer of GOTHAM ACADEMY) was a no-brainer, as I’m his other artist. And you know, the characters are young kids, which I feel is perfect for me as my style is very youthful. The 90’s Superboy was great. I had no idea they would have thought of me for him, but I was so psyched when I got that email and that no one else was offered that cover. I want them to give him his own series and bring him back with that look. We’ll see what happens.

Gotham Academy-Babs Tarr

I would be all for that, and I know a lot of other people would be to. To wrap it up, you brought up BATGIRL #45 earlier, and without any spoilers is there anything coming up in the next few months that you can let our readers know about? I know there’s a big wedding coming up. How can you whet their appetites?

Tarr: There’s a lot of cute butts in the next issue, so read it ladies (Laughs) That’s all I can say.

That’s all you need to say. (Laughs) Thank you so much for your time.

Tarr: You’re so welcome.

My sincere thanks to Babs Tarr, who took a few minutes out of her truly insanely busy NYCC to talk to us here at ComicsVerse. If you liked this interview, make sure to let us know in the comments below or @ComicsVerse on Twitter.

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