Cliff Chiang’s Designs For ‘Beware The Creeper’ Are Criminally Awesome
Here at ComicsAlliance, we are huge fans of Cliff Chiang, whose current work on Wonder Woman has made it unquestionably one of the most beautiful DC Comics on the stands. This week, though, one of his lesser known works is finally getting the spotlight with the re-release of Beware the Creeper, a Vertigo miniseries written byJason Hall that reimagines the Creeper as an art criminal stalking the streets of Paris in the 1920s.
In addition to the story, the paperback also features Chiang’s designs and sketches for the series, because more Cliff Chiang art is always welcome. Check out a few below, along with Chiang’s thoughts on his influences for the book!
ComicsAlliance: Were you a Steve Ditko fan to begin with? Do you consider him to be one of your influences, particularly in terms of designs?
Cliff Chiang: Ditko isn’t a direct influence, but I really admire his work and how his personality always comes through the drawing. There’s a honest and quirky humanity to it, and you always feel the artist behind the comic. That’s really rare.
CA: How did you approach redesigning the Creeper for such a different type of story than the original weird superhero origin?
CC: We tried to make a theatrical costume that used the highlights of the original Ditko look. The most striking parts of the costume are the acid color combination of green, red and yellow, and the feathers. At the same time, I wanted to reference French pulp characters like Irma Vep and Fantomas. Given her dark origins, there needed to be something deadly and mysterious about our Creeper. It’s flamboyant, but also dark and insect-like. The final look feels like it could have existed in 1920’s Surrealist Paris.
CA: Beware the Creeper is a story where the idea of art itself is really central to the plot. Did that add any pressure on you to make sure your art was the focus, or was it liberating to have that kind of chance to go with it?
CC: It was inspiring. Because of the book’s themes and setting, I had the freedom to try and explore my own art. It was also the first time I was encouraged to put my visual stamp on things, and I’m very proud of what we did. My drawings, Jason Hall’s story, John Workman’s lettering, Dave Stewart’s coloring — they all came together in an unexpectedly cohesive way. I worked really hard and learned a ton of things, so it was one of my favorite experiences ever and it’s really great to see it finally collected.
Beware the Creeper is out in stores and digitally from Vertigo today.