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Interviews -
Face To Face With The Masters

Any citizen of the galaxy may be summoned to answer to the Jedi Council. Here you may read the transcripts of such sessions.

Cellblock 1138 - 1997-1999 - 2000 - 2002 - 2003+


Today, TheForce.Net is very pleased to welcome Tanya Roberts, artist on the UK Clone Wars comic. She talks to Paul Urquhart about droid generals and LucasFilm owning her boyfriend. This also holds the distinction of being the first Jedi Council interview conducted entirely in a Scottish accent.

Paul: The StarWars.com website calls you a "comic newcomer", though you have a rather fun portfolio on DeviantArt: how did you come to be working on the series?

Tanya: Hey there, thanks very much for the welcome! It's funny because I am 'officially' a newcomer to the comic industry. I'd been trying to crack into it for 5 years, my background is in traditional animation, but I enjoyed the freedom of the comic format more.

When I got out of college I started looking for traditional animation jobs, which is ultra difficult and draining. Since I wasn't Glen Keene, I decided to move in the direction of comics 5 years ago after my first visit to Comic Con in San Diego.

Titan UK, the guys who produce the comic, contacted me about doing the Star Wars: Clone Wars; I'd previously contacted them about doing some Transformers or TMNT stuff I think so they had my details.

I was ecstatic to get to work on this series.

Excellent.

You certainly seem to be having fun with it, so I guess the next question is - were you a fan of Star Wars before this, and had you seen much of the Clone Wars cartoon?

Certainly -- I was a Star Wars fan since forever! I'd been mightily impressed by the Clone Wars 2D Genndy Tartakovsky cartoon, and last year when I was at Comic Con in California I saw what they were doing to carry on that legacy and move it into digital animation. Still using the familiar blocky shapes that made the earlier cartoon so appealing.

I have to admit though, even though I watch A LOT of cartoons I only started watching Clone Wars after I got the job and was instantly impressed with the look of it. no other cartoon on tv looks that 'polished' with so much depth and so many characters!

That leads on nicely to my next question: are there rules about matching your style to the cartoon, or do you have quite a lot of freedom to be yourself?

Considering I had to sign a HUGE agreement thingie there IS a lot of freedom with how I choose to portray these characters. I'm really grateful for that.

When I'm drawing them I usually have some reference from the Genndy Tartakovsky cartoon just to work in some of those angles.

I tend to simplify some of the characters details and contours, take General Grievous: you could go on forever with his various details but you can also simplify him quite a bit. I love finding a way to portray the character without getting confused and worried about a cable that you didn't add in, it's not essential to the essence of that character.

Interesting comment on the Tartatovsky connection - I can see that now you mention it, and I LIKE it!

Are you allowed to say anything about what the "HUGE agreement thingie" says, or would that be breaking the agreement...?

Failing that... you mentioned Grievous - who's your favourite character to draw so far?

Trust me, the huge agreement thingie is boring and very long winded. The jist of it is that they pretty much own everything you draw. so because I drew my Fiance as a space pirate in the last one I guess they own him. Ha!

Grievous is definitely my favourite character to draw so far. it's his stance and way of moving that's so much fun to portray, he's very menacing.

You'll know yourself, the amount of characters there are in the fandom means that I really won't get to draw them all. Although I look forward to drawing all that I can.

Hah! Any other cameos we should be looking out for? And I'm looking forward to your Grievous.

Any other favourite characters you've not mentioned yet?

And, on a vaguely related note, do you pay any attention to the American comics (Star Wars or otherwise), the games and other stuff... or is it just the movies and cartoons all the way?

Well, when I told anyone about the job, they were all about a sentence away from saying "When will you draw me in it!?" That would be including my mum, who demonstrated just how much she knew about Star Wars by saying "That's the one that has K-9 in it isn't it?"

I haven't as of yet put any other cameos in, and the next one is only some main character and some droids, so I wouldn't be able to get away with it.

I'm quite embarrassed to be liking Ahsoka, she's annoying, but she's feisty, and really fun to draw.

On the comic front I am BAD at keeping up with the comics over the pond. I find very few American comics that keep my interest, I'm more into European comics; especially, at the moment the Sky Doll saga.

For me, it's ALL about the cartoons and how I can use that animated quality when it comes to the comics.

Hey, it's okay. I like Ahsoka, too, and I know that the TV showrunners love her like a tearaway daughter...

So, next question: you just mentioned Sky Doll - what are your other inspirations and passtimes (comics, cartoons, books, other stuff)...?

As I said, I do watch alot of cartoons, reading (although no more Harry Potter, awwwww). I watch alot of documentaries and stand up comedy. I love my characters, and stand up is where you can find some great ones! (Frankie Boyle!!)

I recently got a PS3 as well, so I've been TRYING to just play that at night and leave day time for work. It's EXTRAORDINARILY difficult to do that when we've JUST got this beautiful projector screen to play it on! Heaven!

I also like to not be on my butt all the time. I'm a huge nerd but I refuse to literally be a 'huge' nerd. love snowboarding, traveling and walking my doggie.

That sounded a lot like a personal ad? Should I put my phone number here or something?...

You can if you like, though I'll warn the readers that your fiance is a big bearded guy in a kilt, and TF.N accepts no liability for mashin' handed oot by proud Scotsmen...

Moving on...

I guess what's probably the last question of the interview is this: what's your least favourite thing...?

What is my least favourite thing? Translation: what ****es me off the most? I'm quite a passionate person, I tried to be indifferent, doesn't work for me; I either LOVE something or HATE it with the burning fire of hell. There's very little middle ground. So here's a top 5:

. gum, all gum.
. designer clothes with the logo clearly visible.
. people with short attention spans. (sorry, just went to a cinema.)
. Mobile phones, particularly ring tones and the people attached to them.
.trash celebrity magazines.

Awww, is that 5 already? I was getting all riled up. I'm going to draw something now to calm me down and forget about obnoxious ringtones on phones being carried around like a modern day ghetto blasters.

Thanks for the interview. I'm not really a bitter old person, only when I step outside my door into the public.

It's been a pleasure, Tanya, and a lot of fun. Thanks for taking the time for talking to us!

And, anyone who doubts that you're basically sweet and youthful should check out the sheer joy of your cartoons...


A big thank you to Tanya for talking to TF.N! You can see her Star Wars strip every month or two in the Clone Wars UK comic from Titan, and more of her work at her DeviantArt page!

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