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Ale Garza Takes On The Teen Titans

Ale Garza Takes On The Teen Titans
by Jennifer M. Contino – – posted 09-25-2007

Ale Garza said drawing kids come natural to him, which makes the artist a good fit for the Teen Titans. He’s working with Sean McKeever on the series and said he’s “super crazy fun time into it!” Find out why ….

THE PULSE: You’ve worked on so many different types of characters over the past few years, but some of your best work has been with teen characters. What is it about this age group that you find so intriguing as an artist?

ALE GARZA: I dunno, maybe because in part I guess maybe I just refuse to grow up myself, [laughs]! No, but seriously I don’t know. Drawing kids is just something that comes naturally to me. Perhaps its because I try to infuse as much raw emotion into my characters, and teens tend to be the most emotional.

THE PULSE: How did you come on board to draw some of the Teen Titans adventures?

GARZA: Well going all the way back to drawing Young Justice for a Secret Files issue, I began a working relationship with Editor Eddie Berganza. Some would say it’s a love/hate thing. Eddie knows what I’m talking about. But time passed, and eventually I got to draw Graduation Day, which, of course, launched Teen Titans and The Outsiders. Of course, I would’ve loved to have stayed involved, but I had some other things to do, and eventually it would come back around. Then, around the time that I began my work on my Supergirl run, the idea of Sean [McKeever] and I doing Teen Titan’s came up, and I was super crazy fun time into it!

THE PULSE: What is it about this group of heroes that you find the most entertaining?

GARZA: I love the diversity of the characters. The roster I feel right now is the one I want to draw. I love Supergirl and Blue Beetle, so the chance to draw them now, is just a dream come true! How are they different from the pack? They are a powerhouse team! They are definitely not just a bunch of kids running around fiddlin’ with their hair and/or duds. I mean this team is strategically one of the best put together assemblages of characters in comics!

THE PULSE: The membership of the Teen Titans seems to have gone through some changes in the recent Crisis, Countdown and other happenings in the DCU. What did you like the best about the changes in the roster?

GARZA: It gives you the chance to explore a lot of ancillary characters. I mean you gotta figure eventually you’re gonna have a team that sticks together for awhile, but it was fun to see how not everyone can fit in and work as a group. I think the dynamics of how the team has ended up is perfect. So much personality. So much diversity.

THE PULSE: Out of this group of Teen Titans, in terms of your favorites, how do the heroes stack up?

GARZA:I would say Robin is definitely still number one, he’s “mini Batman,” and that’s ’nuff said. Next I would say Supergirl, she has the star power, and honestly is one of my fave characters to draw. Wonder Girl, clocks in next, but just barely, I think her character really needs to find herself. She should be number two, but I think she needs some exploring. Blue Beetle’s up next. His solo title is consistently one of the best put out, and he really has the possibility to become DC’s answer to Spider-Man, plus he’s a fellow Mexican, [laughs]. Miss Martian, I just think is super cute, and I’m having a ton of fun drawing her. Ravager and Kid Devil, they may be at the bottom of the list, but both characters are gonna be going places very soon!

THE PULSE: When you’ re drawing a character for the first time, what are some of the things you do to feel comfortable taking him or her on?

GARZA: I try to imagine them as a real person, how I’d relate to them. How they would walk, talk, or just be. Also a lot of times I try to picture them as either an actor or someone I know personally and go from there.

THE PULSE: What factors add to the degree of difficulty when you’ re working on a team like this?

GARZA: Making sure everyone comes off unique. That the acting never becomes stale. And, oh yeah, there’s a ton of drawing, ughhh!

THE PULSE: When you’ re more familiar with one character over another and you need characters to fill space, do you find yourself ever drawing the character you’ re the most comfortable with over and over again instead of filling it in with other players? Why or why not?

GARZA: Eh, not really, I’d say I had more fun drawing the characters I really hadn’t before with my first issue. I tried to really have Kid Devil emote, as well as Miss Martian. All the others I had drawn quite a bit. Ravager-in Batgirl, Supergirl-in Supergirl, Robin and Wonder Girl-in Graduation Day. I wish I had gotten to draw Blue Beetle more, but I know I’ll get my shot!

THE PULSE: What are some of the biggest challenges when you’ re working with an ensemble cast to make sure they all get equal “face time” on panel?

GARZA: Just keeping everyone in the same space, [laughs]. Make sure that if a character was to the right of another character, that its consistent. Honestly Sean did a brilliant job with issue 51 and everyone gets their moments!

THE PULSE: Who are some of the artists who currently are influencing your artwork the most in these pages?

GARZA: Not really so much are there guys that are directly influencing me. I would say it’s more of trying to fill other artists’ shoes. George Perez, I would say is the Titan among Teen Titans’ artist, so I’m really keeping him in the back of my mind. Although I know its ridiculous to even attempt it! I’m kinda hoping to develop my own groove though. With this series of work, if you were to break it down, it’s probably somewhere between Ed McGuinness and J. Scott Campbell, both great guys, and I wouldn’t mind being put in that class!

THE PULSE: What are the Titans facing in your first arc?

GARZA: Titans of Tomorrow! ‘Nuff said! [laughs], it’s hard to say. I’d rather there be surprises, but you’ll definitely see a lot of relationships grow and evolve.

THE PULSE: What do you enjoy the most about working on these issues?

GARZA: I’d say Sean. I’ve been a fan of his work on Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane forever! Aside from actually doing that title with him, Teen Titans is just a dream come true! Hopefully we’ll be on for a while. However, I tend to be my own worst enemy. But I’m really wanting to go all out with this book!

THE PULSE: What other projects are you working on?

GARZA: Just Teen Titan’s for now. As announced at San Diego Comic-Con, I will be working with Aspen and Michael Turner on Fathom some time next year. Also this kid always has some tricks up his sleeve, and I definitely love doing my own stuff! As always, you can find me on MySpace here: and at my new Blog here:

Alé Garza on TEEN TITANS Departure

Alé Garza has confirmed his exit from TEEN TITANS on ComicBloc: “tis true i did get the boot, however…thank you all so much for the support… i did however get to do the covers for issues 50-53, so for that i’m thankful. i’m still pretty excited for 51 to come out, i think you’ll all like it! as for comics as a whole, i’m kinda taking a step back… i’ve been working in comics for almost 12 years now. there’s a lot of things i still wanna explore as an artist. so you probably won’t see a whole lot of books from me. ”

“i’ve made a lot of great relationships, and i’ve had some turn pretty bad, live and learn i guess… you’ll still see me though here and there… working with aspen on fathom which is a project i have some time to really take my time on… aside from that some other long term ideas in the works… thanks again! sean is an amazing writer and it really doesnt matter who’s drawing it it’ll be fantastic!!!!”


End of transmission. About this author:  Bill Walko is an author and artist and the man behind He's been reading and drawing comics since he was 5 years old and hasn't stopped since. Read more from this author