Comic book artist and cartoonist extraordinaire Evan “Doc” Shaner is probably best known for his classic art style which puts a modern twist on Golden Age comics and heroes such as Superman, Captain Marvel (the DC one) and pulpy hero Flash Gordon. While he’s mostly known for his work at DC Comics, Shaner has also provided some cool artwork for Marvel, Dark Horse, IDW and Dynamite.
He’s also worked on several titles ranging from Future Quest and Adventures of Superman to Ghostbusters. Next up he’s working on the second issue of Brian Michael Bendis’ Man of Steel six-issue limited series and taking on The Terrifics alongside writer Jeff Lemire and artist Ivan Reis. Shaner’s favorite character is none other than the Man of Steel himself and the artist recently sat down for SYFY WIRE’s latest edition of Artists Alley to sketch his take on Supes.
Pencil in hand, Shaner revealed the way he sees Superman mainly comes from comic book artists Curt Swan, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez and Ross Andru but that he’s also influenced by the work of Jerry Ordway and Jon Bogdanove.
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“I try not to get too stuck and making him look classic,” Shaner told us. “I want to make him look modern because the Man of Steel has a modern story. I don’t want to worry too much about making him look like the character from the ’30s or the ’60s or what-have-you. This is today’s Clark Kent, today’s Superman. I would draw Superman all the time and it never quite looked right to me. And one day it hit me that his neck needs to be huge. That’s what makes him look like Superman. His neck is almost as wide as his head and when he’s in profile, his neck goes all the way back. So he’s big, he’s meant to be build big and sturdy. That’s part of what makes him look invincible so just making him look thicker seem to just key in for me for whatever reason ‘that looks like Superman.'”
Shaner also explained that his first experience with Superman was the 1950s TV show starring George Reeves and that until he was around nine or ten years old, he didn’t understand that Superman, Batman and Spider-Man were comic book characters since he first knew them as TV or movie characters.
There’s a lot more to unpack while the artist brings Superman to life on the page in our exclusive video such as Shaner sharing his fondness for Green Lantern, liking to draw Clark Kent and Superman equally, his thoughts on the Man of Steel’s trunks, and more!
Additional material by Nathalie Caron.