Jamal Igle has been working in comic since he was 17 years old, when he interned at DC Comics. He got his first break in 1993 for a small publisher, Majestic Entertainment.
Since then he has gone on to illustrate many celebrated runs on books such as SUPERGIRL, NIGHTWING, and FIRESTORM.
More recently, in the past few years, he launched a successful Kickstarter for his MOLLY DANGER project, worked on the hit comic BLACK from Back Mask Studios, and is producing a hit indie comic, THE WRONG EARTH with Tom Peyer, over at Ahoy Comics.
COMIC LOUNGE: When did your love for comics come from?
JAMAL IGLE: When I was five years old, my Grandfather took me to see Superman the movie. I immediately fell in love with the character in particular and superheroes in general.
I'm a 1970's- 80's kid, so I was part of the first wave of superheroes in pop culture. We had the Marvel televisions shows like Spider-Man with Nicholas Hammond, The Incredible Hulk, the cartoons, reruns of Batman and the Adventures of Superman. So for me, it seemed like comic books where everywhere. I was lucky, that my family have been really supportive of my occasional bought of nerdy insanity as a kid.
COMIC LOUNGE: Who were some of the creators that inspired you to become an artist?
IGLE: Early on it was guys like John Byrne and Jerry Ordway. When I got into high school, I found my first legitimate comic shop, Forbidden Planet. There I was introduced to the 80's independent wave of books like Baron and Rude's NEXUS, Dave Stevens' THE ROCKETEER, JUDGE DREDD, THE BADGER, WHISPER, BORIS THE BEAR. I got into comics at one of the peaks of the medium. KILLING JOKE, WATCHMEN, DARK KNIGHT RETURNS.. it was hard not to be inspired.
COMIC LOUNGE: You worked on the Jason Rusch iteration of Firestorm, which is my favorite version of the character. What about that character did you like the best? Were you a fan before you got the job?
IGLE: I liked the fact that Jason wasn't a stereotype of a black person. He wasn't super into hip hop or gang culture, he was presented as sort of the perfect sort of "Huxtable" (A reference to 1990's"The Cosby Show" for all of you pre- Millennials) type of black person. He was a kid. he was nerdy, awkward and slightly goofy. I appreciated all of those things in him. I was already a fan of the Ronnie Raymond version of Firestorm, so it was fun to briefly get to revisit him as well during the series.
COMIC LOUNGE: You also worked on SUPERGIRL with Sterling Gates. What was the experience like working on that book?
IGLE: It was one of the best series I've done and one of the most fulfilling work experiences I've had in my career. It wasn't a project that I was looking to do, but it turned into something special for me.
COMIC LOUNGE: Are there any characters you would still like a chance to work on?
IGLE: There are a few like a longer opportunity to work on The Flash, or Superman again. The stars may align at some point. I've been offered things that I had to turn down over the last few years because the timing has never been right.
COMIC LOUNGE: You launched a very successful Kickstarter for your book MOLLY DANGER. What was that experience like for you? Would you ever do that again for another book?
IGLE: It was great, and incredibly difficult at the same time. Producing a book like that took a lot of work and I'm working not he second book between projects. I don't think, once this is done, I would crowdfund a third book though.
COMIC LOUNGE: You also worked on BLACK for Black Mask Studios, can you talk a little about that book? It had such a unique idea behind it, did you have input in the story as well as providing the art?
IGLE: Sure, for the uninitiated, BLACK has a ver simple premise: What if only a subset of black people possessed superhuman powers. What would the political and social ramifications be if this were discovered? The idea is the brainchild of series creators Kwanza Osafajeyo and Tim Smith 3. They're the writer and character designer, respectively. I'm basically George Harrison to their John Lennon/ Paul McCartney. My job was simply to flesh out their plots and fill in the blank spaces.
COMIC LOUNGE: You recently launched THE WRONG EARTH with Tom Peyer. Can you talk about that book a little bit?
IGLE: THE WRONG EARTH, published by Ahoy Comics, is one part inter-dimensional adventure/ one part mistaken identity farce. On Earth Alpha DragonflyMan and his ward/sidekick Stinger are happy go lucky Silver age adventurers protecting the rights and lives of the good people of Fortune City. On Earth Omega, the cold, blood soaked streets of Fortune City are stalked by the grim specter of justice known simply as Dragonfly.
So what happens when, while pursuing their arch nemesis the vainglorious "Number One", they find themselves on the opposite version of their universe?
how does DragonflyMan deal with corrupt cops, indifferent officials and an untrusting public. And how does Dragonfly cope with having to battle ridiculous villains like the trivia spouting Triviac, Chef Escargot , the Toreador and Granny Oakley?
COMIC LOUNGE: What are the long term plans for the book?
IGLE: It's planned as a series of six issue miniseries or "seasons" with a hiatus in between for the main series. There will be more happening with the project though.
COMIC LOUNGE: Are there any other projects you're currently working on that you can talk about or tease?
IGLE: I'm about to start working on the sequel to BLACK very soon and of course, more Molly Danger, so stay tuned.