Brandon Bloxdorf talks with John Paul Leon about the new BATMAN: CREATURE OF THE NIGHT — they also chat about SUPERMAN, Alex Toth, and so much more!

ComicsVerse: You have a new Batman book coming out, Creature of the Night.

John Paul Leon: Yes, yes.

ComicsVerse: What can you tell us about that?

John Paul Leon: Creature of the Night is four prestige format books. Each is 48 pages. Kurt Busiek the writer. I’m doing the arts. I’m doing pencils, inks, and colors on all four issues.

It’s sort of a, if you remember SUPERMAN: SECRECT IDENTITY? The Kurt Busiek book? It’s sort of a companion piece to that book. It deals with Batman instead of Superman. It’s sort of a real world, kind of psychological drama with a Batman twist to it. The first heavy Batman twist.

ComicsVerse: Where does your inspiration come when you are creating your Batman? What do you draw from, what do you think Batman should be whenever you create him?

John Paul Leon: You know I love the Alex Toth Batman, all his renderings of Batman. Probably my favorite Batman comic, single issue is Collected Volumes of the Batman Year One by David Mazzucchelli. For me that’s sort of almost a throwback kind of retro Batman is the one that kind of has the most power to me.

ComicsVerse: Nice. You also, I mean this was a while ago, but you also did work on Earth X as well, correct?

John Paul Leon: Yes, yes.

John Paul Leon

ComicsVerse: How do you think your artwork has evolved since then?

John Paul Leon: Well I was only doing pencils when I did Earth X, so in a very practical sense I’m inking my own stuff, I’m sometimes coloring my own stuff now. That’s a big change. I think I’ve just gotten better. I think my storytelling is better and my drawing is better. I think I’m just better all around. I hope I am. I hope I don’t look at Earth X and say damn, I was better back then because then it might be time to hang it up.

ComicsVerse: You also did recent work on DC’s Young Animal project, Mother Panic.

John Paul Leon: Yes.

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ComicsVerse: How was it working and writing with them as well?

John Paul Leon: Great, great. I did the art for issues seven, eight, and nine. Tommy Lee Edwards and Gerard Way co-created the character and Jody Houser wrote and is writing the series. It was a blast, everybody was just really into it, really cool. I got a chance to work with John Workman on letters, which doesn’t get any better than that. It was just a lot of fun.

ComicsVerse: How do you like having a new white character, like white-centric character inside of Gotham, with her outfit and everything standing out?

John Paul Leon: Love it.

ComicsVerse: What’s that like for you?

John Paul Leon: I love it. The graphic possibilities. I mean, just playing with black and white and just leaving a lot of negative space for the costume. I think it’s great. I was telling Tommy Lee, who designed the look of the character, that there’s something in her costume that is reminiscent of Star Wars to me. You know the Storm Troopers and the sort of the planes and the helmet, you know?

John Paul Leon: The angles and the way that the helmet is sort of shaped around her …

ComicsVerse: Even her like flying machine that she goes on.

John Paul Leon: Right yeah.

ComicsVerse: What else do you have coming up that you can speak to us about?

John Paul Leon: Well right now I’m pretty much dedicating to finishing Creature of the Night. I’m finishing up the Angst Issue Three right now and I still have Issue Four to do pencils, inks, and colors on. That’s going to take up a lot of my time.

ComicsVerse: Definitely. Cool.

John Paul Leon

John Paul Leon: Yeah.

ComicsVerse: How’s your convention been going? Are you going to be here the whole weekend as well?

John Paul Leon: It’s been great. Super busy. It’s always great to meet fans and get a chance to meet people who I’ve only had a chance to communicate with online or digitally or through emails and stuff. It’s great and it’s always nice to come back to New York and spend some time here.

ComicsVerse: You’ve actually had some crazy work, especially with Marvel, drawing almost every character in the Marvel universe, essentially, in Earth X. Then you’re really doing some heavy work with DC. What would be an ideal book for you to take over, not Batman related or you could do a mini-series for.

John Paul Leon: You know I’ve always, I’m very partial to Superman. I know a lot of people look at my stuff and they think Batman automatically because of the use of blacks but Superman is a character that I’ve always been kind of close to my heart and I’d love to have a chance to do something Superman related.

ComicsVerse: I would love to see that, especially the way your artwork, your pencils kind of blend and everything. That would be crazy to see Superman in that sense, yeah.

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