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At New York Comic Con 2012, fan-favorite artist Amanda Conner stopped by the CBR Tiki Room and discussed a number of topics, including her current run as both co-writer and artist on “Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre,” her experience delving into the character of Power Girl with Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Grey, her dislike of drawing rocks and how she got into trouble during math class as a child.
On her approach to the “Power Girl” series with writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray: She spent like 20 or 25 years trying to figure out where she came from and there’s all the controversy about the boobs, so what we decided was, “Now we know where she comes from and we’ve acknowledged she has giant boobs. Now it’s time for a story!” That’s pretty much how we approached it. It’s time to do something with the character. When I was working on it with Geoff Johns, that was the definitive place where she came from. That was solving all the problems about where she actually originated. Then we were finally able to get her going in her own right. I thought of my girlfriends when I was doing her. I was just thinking about how they would react in certain situations. That’s pretty much how I treated her. I treated her like a real person.
On working with Darwyn Cooke for “Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre”: It’s funny because he approached me and he said, “Let’s co-write it,” and I’m like, “Okay.” [Laughs] I’d co-written small things here and there. I wrote my own five page story in “Wonder Woman” #600 and I wrote a few things here and there. I co-wrote Wednesday Comics with Jimmy, the Supergirl story. So I’m thinking, “Yeah, I could co-write!” but it’s this project, so it’s a little like growing your baby teeth and somebody dropping a porterhouse in front of you. When I first said yes to it, I thought, “Yeah I can do this,” but then when I got to it, I thought, “Uh-oh. I’m in big trouble now!” [Laughs] It’s such a legacy that you have to really do it right or else you’re going to hear about it for the next 20 years. So, I approached it really carefully. I know the original “Watchmen” book now front back and sideways. I’m trying to make it blend seamlessly.
On what she hates to draw: Here’s what I hate to draw: rocks. I hate drawing rocks. I did “Terra” for four issues and I realized, “I hate drawing these things! And it’s all about the rocks!” I like order and I like form. I even like drawing cars. Most artists don’t like drawing cars. I love drawing cars because there’s something to them. There’s a structure and an order. There’s really not structure and order to a rock. It’s got its own shape. It does it’s own thing and I don’t know how to tackle that.
On drawing as a kid in school: I used to get into so much trouble. Oh my God. I did so poorly in math because I was always drawing during math class. My old buddy who I’ve known since I was 13 years old — he’s at my booth right now. We had math class together and all we would do is draw comic book characters. Sit in the back of the class and draw comic book characters. Our teachers were pretty nice. They knew we liked to draw. “You know what? Save it for art class.” The only math class I ever did well in was geometry because I was drawing circles and squares and triangles.