Meet Amy Reeder, Supergirl’s new cover artist

Supergirl 55 (2010) by Amy Reeder

I’ve always enjoyed reading the interviews with new artists on Supergirl, back when there was a revolving door of creative teams. The artists always seemed really enthusiastic about the character, and while they never stuck around for long until Jamal Igle came on the scene (yay!), I always got caught up in the excitement their sketches and thoughts about the character generated. Newsarama has an interview with Amy Reeder, the new cover artist for Supergirl starting on #55. While I’m sad to see Josh Middleton go, I’m incredibly happy that we’re getting another amazing cover artist. Supergirl has had some really bad covers in the past, but we’ve been really lucky in that regard for a while now, and it’s great to see that trend continuing.

I didn’t even realize at first that Amy Reeder was the artist from Madame Xanadu, whose intriguing covers catch my eye every time I go into the store. After listening to a podcast on her site, I’m going to have to check it out (see the blogroll for links to her LiveJournal and DeviantArt page). It’s reassuring to know that she’s the one taking over the art on Batwoman.

Supergirl can be whimsical, even cartoony to a certain degree. The goal would be to have people identify with her….Something else I pay a great deal of attention to is just plain age. Supergirl is supposed to be 16 or 17. That’s a tough age to get just right, and you also have to be concerned with not making her too sexy because of that.

Nrama: How difficult is it to switch from being a sequential storyteller to just doing a cover?

Reeder: I think I’m probably better at interiors than covers, so I approach covers in much the same light, like I’m more likely to follow a Norman Rockwell philosophy and try to tell an intricate story with one illustration as opposed to thinking iconically, or with a high design sense. But if I think about it simply, a cover needs to be intriguing, while interiors make you work, and then reward you. Covers should visually sum up an idea or feeling that the book presents as a theme. Because of this, I’m high on visual metaphors. It’s the easiest way to present the real conflict without spoiling the story.

I think this bodes very well for future Supergirl covers!

And if you come up with three designs per cover like you’re supposed to, and actually put work into all three like you’re supposed to, that’s a big graveyard of missed opportunities.

I did not know that! Wow, think of all those potential covers that we never get to see :( I feel really bad for cover artists now.

Can you describe your approach to Supergirl? What qualities of the character are you hoping to portray and how do you convey her character in a cover image?

To me she is down to earth (no pun intended), very human (again…), full of energy, incapable of hiding her feelings, and very inquisitive. I try to present her in the light of learning and discovery, as she tries to achieve her goal of becoming emotionally strong and autonomous. As I said earlier, I try to approach these covers in such a way that we can empathize with her.

Yes, this!