An DCUNG/TUSW Exclusive
Todd Nauck has the dream job for DC teen hero fanboys! First, he gets to draw those cool teens of the 30th Century, the Legion of Super Heroes. Now, he's going to be the penciller for THE team of teen heroes to end all teams -- Young Justice! If you've tried to find anything out about the book, you'll know that other than the beginning line-up (Robin, Superboy, and Impulse) that the future membership of the team is a mystery wrapped in an enigma packaged in a little brown box marked DO NOT OPEN. Luckily, Todd was more than happy to share with DCUNG and The Unofficial Superboy Website (TUSW) -- just the first or many joint adventures in interviewing between us -- what he could to help us get a taste for what the book might be like.
DCUNG: What first got you interested in comics, both as a hobby and as a career?
TN: I've been drawing as early as I can remember. I'd always been a fan of cartoon superheroes (Superfriends, Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends, etc.) In the fall of '83, I bought a 3-pack of comics, Secret Wars #7-9. I was hooked. I'd found my calling. I was on my way...
DCUNG: What was your first professional work in comics?
TN: While at the Art Institute of Dallas, I landed a couple of pages in Marvel's What The--?!. It wasn't until a year after school I was discovered in the Extreme Studios Talent Search in early '94. I worked for Extreme for two and a half years drawing books like Newmen, Supreme, and Youngblood.
DCUNG: How did you get the gig with Young Justice?
TN: After my work at Extreme was done, I started submitting my sample to DC and Marvel. In July "97, I got a call from the Legion office and started working for them. Meanwhile, unknown to me, I'm being considered for Young Justice. Todd Dezago, the writer, liked my work and asked me to help him on some Sensational Spider-Man issues. Shortly after, I get a call from Eddie Berganza, the editor, letting me know I had the gig if I wanted it. I'd been praying I would get it, so I accepted without hesitation!
TUSW: If it was TOTALLY up to you who was to be in YOUNG JUSTICE, who would you pick??
TN: If I could pick my personal dream team, I'd stick with Superboy, Robin, Impulse, and maybe add Mary Marvel, Damage (for all you Damage fans), and create an elastic teen character (if there isn't one yet).
DCUNG: What's it like to be pencilling all those wonderful DC teen heroes? Who is you favorite to draw?
TN: So far, I've only drawn YJ: the Secret featuring Superboy, Robin, and Impulse. They each have such different mannerisms and specifics to their designs, they're all fun to draw. But I'd say Impulse is my favorite.
TUSW: Any others you would LOVE to draw?
TN: I love drawing Impulse. He's a fun character with a fun look. I also wouldn't mind trying Flash, Superman, or JLA. It would also be fun to draw Ambush Bug!
TUSW: Does Todd (DeZago) ask you for ideas, or do you just get to read them and say, "WOW!"?
TN: Right now, they send me the plots and I get crackin'. They're putting together great ideas and stories. I'll send out an idea when one comes to me.
TUSW: Any storylines or character spoilers you can let out of the bag?
TN: The best I can say is keep an eye out for Captain Marvel Jr., Wonder Girl, and Arrowette showing up real soon.
DCUNG: Will you be doing any makeovers for any characters or will their costumes be the same?
TN: No makeovers at this time that I know of.
TUSW: Not even Cassie (Wonder Girl)? Will you be making her do any maturing physically, or getting a decent costume? A red baby-doll shirt with the WW insignia and the new WW's skirt would rule!
TN: They haven't asked me to make any changes, but if they do, I'll keep your suggestion in mind.
DCUNG: What can you tell us about the new character Smoke? Did you get to design her?
TN: Actually, there won't be a character named Smoke. But I did design the character for YJ: the Secret. I can't say anything more...it's a secret.
DCUNG: How will having Superboy, Impulse, and Robin in Young Justice affect their individual books? Will any of the personal cast members make guest appearances in YJ?
TN: I'm not sure how YJ will affect the solo books. We're just getting started so it will be fun to what happens.
TUSW: Is the team going to be interacting with JLA, TITANS, GenX or Gen13 that you know of?
TN: I'm sure the JLA is going to want to keep tabs on these whippersnappers. I think it would be great if TITANS showed up. I wouldn't doubt plans for that once things get rolling.
TUSW: Will there be a YOUNG JUSTICE #1,000,000? I heard every title would in September, but that'd be RIGHT AFTER August's debut of YOUNG JUSTICE #1!
TN: I'm not sure. I actually haven't heard much of anything about #1,000,000 aside from Grant Morrison's writing it. I hope we get to be a part of it. Don't want to be left out of all the fun.
DCUNG: Since these sites focus on teen heroes of the DCU, let's find out your feelings on some of DC's teen heroes. Superboy? Damage? Impulse? Robin? Wonder Girl? Captain Marvel Jr.?
TN: Robin: Thinker, the straight man, level headed... Superboy: Wisecracker, brash, cool guy... Impulse: Eager, still learning, more than comic relief... I'm still getting a feel for CM3, Wonder Girl, and Damage.
DCUNG: There's a growing movement to get Damage back from comic book limbo. Quite a few of us think YJ would be the perfect place for him. Any plans for him or any other new members that you can clue us in on?
TN: I've only been made aware of Superboy, Robin, and Impulse being ON the team so far. I understand CM3 and Wonder Girl will be stopping by soon. There will be a couple of established characters joining, then look out for a NEW character or two. This is a JLA title, so characters will be coming and going depending on what's going on in the DCU. Keep an eye out for your favorite!
TUSW: There are a lot of people on the internet starting to display a banner urging DC to use DAMAGE in YOUNG JUSTICE. He has the DNA of Hal Jordan, J'onn J'onzz, Dinah Lance, Barry Allen, AND the JSA! He's a must-have! Maybe Todd and you could do a mini-series to re-introduce the HERO of ZERO HOUR to all the YOUNG JUSTICE fans!!!
TN: Don't give up hope and keep letting DC know what you want. Heck, we're doing all this for you guys anyway!
TUSW: What makes this team better than any other team that has come before?
TN: I like the fact that practically each member has an adult mentor. And you can find those mentors in JLA. Then with TITANS to bridge the two, you got a great family of team books.
TUSW: What, in your mind, is the easiest and hardest things about this series?
TN: Easiest: Getting motivated and jumping into each page. Hardest: Having to wait to get my mitts on that next plot.
DCUNG: Who do you consider your biggest influences on your art style?
TN: Art Adams! As well as, Simonson, Leonardi, Davis, Sprouse, Jim Lee, Weiringo, Bachalo, and many others, but it all boils down to Art Adams.
DCUNG: Why do you think teen heroes (especially sidekicks) are becoming popular again?
TN: For me, I like how they can be very lighthearted on one side of the coin and very angst ridden on the other. I'm still a kid at heart, so I guess I relate to them better.
DCUNG: Any future plans or projects we should be looking for?
TN: How does "As healthy of a run on Young Justice as they'll let me!" grab ya? I'm right where I would like to be. Don't be surprised if I have time to do an occassional pin-up or 10 pager, like Rip Hunter and the Linear Men for the Legends of the DCU 80 page Giant. And look for Young Justice #1 coming in July!
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