Ivan Reis: Making a Splash with Aquaman

A comics interview article by: Andre Lamar

Aquaman, the King of the Seven Seas, will once again leave fresh puddles of saltwater on store shelves once his new self-titled series debuts this Wednesday. With acclaimed writer Geoff Johns and respected artists Ivan Reis and Joe Prado at the helm, fans are hopeful the hero's new series will swim and not sink.

Comics Bulletin recently chatted with Reis about what
Aquaman brings to the table.

Andre Lamar: Describe what the experience has been like to work on major projects like Blackest Night, Brightest Day and now the new Aquaman series.

Ivan Reis: Blackest Night and Brightest Day were the biggest events I've ever worked on in my career. Those books were a great experience and I had the opportunity to improve my art [by working on those projects] more than other books I've worked on. Aquaman is the result of that.

Lamar: When does Aquaman take place? Is the storyline a continuation from Brightest Day?

Reis: If you read Brightest Day, you won't have a problem following the book, but if you didn't, Aquaman will be the perfect place to start.

Lamar: While Aquaman has a loyal fan base, many people often joke that he isn't an interesting superhero. Why are you, Geoff Johns and Joe Prado confident that Aquaman will be an exciting comic?

Reis: The fan base of Aquaman will have fun with the book and they will have the opportunity to see Aquaman as a badass. But if you don't like Aquaman, this book has been created for you.

Lamar: DC's solicitation for this month revealed that Aquaman will battle a new enemy named The Trench and that this creature is going to be the most talked-about character in the DC Universe. What can you tell us about The Trench?

Reis: I can't [say much], but know this: these creatures are awesome. You will fear to get your feet wet on the beach after you read about them.

Lamar: Did you play a role in designing The Trench?

Reis: I did The Trench's design. The Aqua Team (Geoff, Eddie [Berganza], Pat [McCallum], Sean [Mackiewics], Joe and I) talked a lot about The Trench and we had a lot of ideas for the creatures and I started the design from those ideas.

Lamar: Since you first worked with Geoff on Avengers Icons: Vision in 2003, how has he improved as a storyteller?

Reis: I love the way Geoff writes It is perfect for my art. Geoff has become one of the greatest writers in the industry. His experience with movies and his love for comics gave him a different eye for the stories.

Lamar: Let's discuss your background as an artist. How did you get into the comic book industry?

Reis: I started my career at the age of 14, working with terror comics: Histórias Reais de Drácula, published by Bloch Editores, and I drew several cartoons for Editora Fênix. At the same time, I worked for an advertising agency. After that, I worked with Brazil's famous cartoon artist: Mauricio de Sousa. Then, in 1995, I attracted the attention of Dark Horse and started my run in American comics working on Ghost.

Lamar: Over the past couple of years it seems like other Brazilian artists like Joe, Eddy, Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá are turning heads with their impressive artwork.

Reis: It is [because of] the love for comics!

Lamar: Is Brazil is a goldmine for talent?

Reis: In all places in the world, you have great artists and bad artists. Brazil isn't different. I think what makes an artist different is his love for what he is doing, no matter if he is from Brazil or not. The love for comics makes the difference.

Lamar: Lastly, what other projects are you working on?

Reis: I've been working on Aquaman. This is enough for a while!

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