Hire This Woman: Artist Chrissie Zullo
In the overwhelmingly male comic book industry, it has been a challenge for some editors and readers to see the ever growing number of talented women currently trying to make a name for themselves. With that in mind, ComicsAlliance offers Hire This Woman, a recurring feature designed for comics readers as well as editors and other professionals, where we shine the spotlight on a female comics pro on the ascendance. Some of these women will be at the very beginning of their careers, while others will be more experienced but not yet “household names.”
Artist Chrissie Zullo got her break in comics via the DC Comics Talent Search in 2008 and has been working consistently ever since. She has worked for a variety of major comics publishers, including Archie, Dark Horse, IDW, and Vertigo, on covers and interiors for series including Cinderella: From Fabletown With Love, Fairest In All The Land, Womanthology: Space, Madame Xanadu and Life With Archie.
ComicsAlliance: What is your preferred form of creative output?
Chrissie Zullo: My favorite medium is definitely pencil; I really just love to sketch, and sometimes I prefer the pencils over the finished product.
CA: Do you do your comics work on paper or digitally? Why?
CZ: Both. Everything starts on paper, but more and more I’ve been trying to sketch digitally too. I think it’s important to be familiar and up to date with different techniques, and not get too comfortable with just one. It makes you a more versatile artist. Some of my pieces are completely traditional, some are completely digital, but my favorites are ones that are a mix of both.
CA: What’s your background/training?
CZ: I was drawing ever since I could hold a pencil, and graduated with a BFA in Illustration at University of North Carola.
CA: How would you describe your creative style?
CZ: I never really know how to describe it, but I hope my art is whimsical and colorful. The main thing I want people to get from my art is that it makes them happy, or is relatable.
CA: What projects have you worked on in the past? What are you currently working on?
CZ: I’ve worked for Vertigo, Dark Horse, IDW, Archie Comics and more, on projects like Fables, Fairest, Cinderella of Fables, Life with Archie, Hack/Slash, Creepy, and Madame Xanadu. My next project coming out is a story in [Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream].
CA: Approximately how long does it take you to draw a 20-page issue?
CZ: Probably a month to pencil, and month to ink, and a month to color a 20-page issue. I’m not the fastest at those…
CA: What is your dream project?
CZ: My goal for next year is to focus on a creator-owned project.
CA: Who are some comics creators that inspire you?
CZ: There are so many, some of my favorite artists are: James Jean, Adam Hughes, Chris Bachalo, Phil Noto, Katsuya Terada, Chris Uminga, and Billy Fowler.
CA: What are some comics that have inspired you either growing up or as an adult?
CZ: As a kid I always loved the Little Nemo comics and Sunday comics; in High School I loved manga; and then in college I got more into American comics, such as Batman: The Long Halloween and Fables.
CA: What’s your ideal professional environment?
CZ: I have a great studio now with my 22″ Cinitq, Epson Scanner, lots of pictures on the wall and flowers by the window. But I think my favorite place to work can really be anywhere, just inside a small sketchbook.
CA: What do you most want our readers and industry professionals to know about your work?
CZ: I just try to draw every day and keep things interesting and try new things. I post almost daily on apps like Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter or Facebook, whether it’s a warm up sketch or a finished piece.
If there is a woman you’d like to recommend or if you’d like to be included in a future installment of this feature, drop us a line at comicsalliance-at-gmail-dot-com with “Hire This Woman” in the subject line.