||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (February 2011)|
Conner at the
2011 Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo
in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
|Area(s)||Writer, Penciller, Inker|
|Notable works||Power Girl
Amanda Conner is an American comic book artist and commercial art illustrator. She began her career in the late 1980s for Archie Comics and Marvel Comics, before moving on to contribute work for Claypool Comics' Soulsearchers and Company and Harris Comics' Vampirella in the 1990s. Her 2000s work includes Mad magazine, and such DC Comics characters as Power Girl and Atlee.
Her other published work includes illustrations for The New York Times and Revolver magazine, advertising work for products such as Arm & Hammer, Playskool, and design work for ABC's Nightline, commercials for A&E.'s Biography magazine.
Amanda Conner studied at The Kubert School in Dover, New Jersey. She names as influences Joe Kubert, for teaching his students to compose pages as if they were to be devoid of any dialogue or word balloons, and Frank Miller for his pacing and his ability to create tension and intense action and reactions.
Conner worked at a color separation company, which handled comics coloring prior to the industry adoption of computer programs such as Photoshop. She subsequently worked in a comic book store. At the time she lived a little over an hour from New York City, and on her days off, would travel to New York City with her father, and use his office at the advertising industry where he worked as a home base from which to call editors at Marvel Comics and DC Comics to request a portfolio review. When granted these interviews, she was told that she had potential, but needed to work on her art more. At this same time she became acquainted with professional artists through her work at the comic shop, and answered an ad by artist Bill Sienkiewicz, who was seeking an assistant. She took the job, which became her first comics work, while continuing to show her portfolio to editors at Marvel and DC. She also illustrated storyboards for the advertising industry. After about her sixth or seventh time showing her portfolio, Marvel editor Greg Wright gave Conner her first illustration assignment, an 11-page Yellowjacket back-up story in Solo Avengers #12 (November 1988).
Her other early work includes Excalibur and Suburban Jersey Ninja She-Devils for Marvel, Strip AIDS U.S.A. for Last Gasp in 1988, and Archie and Bayou Billy stories for Archie Comics in 1989-90. During this time, she worked with Marvel editor and artist Jimmy Palmiotti (now her husband), who now frequently inks over Conner's pencils.
From 1993 - 1994 she penciled issues #1 - 10 of Peter David and Richard Howell's creator-owned series, Soulsearchers and Company, which was published by Claypool Comics. In 1994 she penciled Barbie Fashion #43, a Marvel Comics title that was licensed from the Mattel doll. That same year she did her first Vampirella work with Vengeance of Vampirella, a mini-comic that was bundled with an issue of Wizard magazine. The following year she pencilled issues 2 - 11 of Marvel's Gargoyles, which was based on the Disney animated television series of the same name. In 1996 she pencilled Kid Death & Fluffy Spring Break Special #1 for Topps Comics and Tomoe #3 for Billy Tucci's Crusade Comics. She also returned to Vampirella with Harris' Vampirella Lives #1-3, which teamed her with writer Warren Ellis.
In 1997 she illustrated the intercompany crossover Painkiller Jane vs. The Darkness for Event Comics. It was in working on this book that Conner says that she found her niche in the industry, explaining that the licensed characters she had previously worked on, particularly Barbie and Vampirella (the latter of which she stresses she nonetheless enjoyed for the writers she worked with) had narrow emotional ranges, which limited the facial expressions she was able to render. On PKJ v. the Darkness she discovered that it was possible to render material of a dark tone that incorporated black humor. Conner returned to that character with Painkiller Jane #0, which recounted that character's origin.
Her other comic book credits include Lois Lane, Codename: Knockout, and Birds of Prey for DC Comics, as well as Two-Step with writer Warren Ellis for the Cliffhanger! imprint of WildStorm Comics (owned by DC Comics); X-Men Unlimited for Marvel; Gatecrasher, which she co-created for Black Bull Comics; and The Pro, a creator-owned book for Image Comics with Palmiotti and Garth Ennis. In 2005, she illustrated the origin of Power Girl in JSA Classified #1-4. She also penciled a Blade comic to go with the special DVD edition.
Her art has appeared on ABC'S Nightline, and in The New York Times[volume & issue needed] and MAD magazine. Conner has also done character designs for film and television, and is featured in a Biography magazine commercial on A&E. She has also done promotional artwork for the reality television series Who Wants to Be a Superhero? and the 2007 feature film Underdog. She does spot illustrations in Revolver magazine each month. Her commercial art work includes illustrations for the New York City advertising agencies Kornhauser & Calene, and Kidvertisers, for such accounts as Arm & Hammer, Playskool, and Nickelodeon. Nike, Inc. commissioned Conner and fellow comics artist Jan Duursema to design the Make Yourself: A Super Power advertising campaign in 2011.
Conner did modeling/art reference work for the Marvel miniseries Elektra: Assassin in the 1980s, and for artist Joe Jusko's Punisher / Painkiller Jane in 2000. Conner was in the wedding party for writer Kurt Busiek.
Conner, Palmiotti, and writer Justin Gray work together via their multimedia entertainment company PaperFilms. They collaborated on the Terra miniseries, which premiered in November 2009, and the first 12 issues of the Power Girl ongoing series, which were published between 2009 and 2010, both of which Conner penciled. Following her departure from Power Girl, Conner wrote and pencilled a story published in Wonder Woman #600, which featured a team-up between Power Girl, Wonder Woman, and Batgirl.
Technique and materials
While reading each page of a script, Conner does tiny thumbnail sketches with stick figures corresponding to the story indicated on each page, in order to help her design the page's layout. She then does tighter, more elaborate sketches, though still fairly small compared with the finished artwork, approximately 4" x 6", and then blows those up on a photocopier to the proper original comic art size, which is 10 inches x 15 inches. She then uses "very tight pencils" to light-box it onto Bristol board, if she intends to have it inked by her husband and collaborator, Jimmy Palmiotti, but will do the pencils "lighter and looser" if she intends to ink it herself, as she already knows how she wants the artwork rendered.
Conner has created her own paper stock and blue line format on her drawing paper, because, she explains, she likes having those configurations pre-printed on the page, and feels that "sometimes the rough is too toothy and the smooth is too slick." The stock she uses is the 10" x 15" Strathmore 500 series, but she also orders a custom 8" x 12" stock because she sometimes finds those dimensions more comfortable and easier to work on more quickly. She also finds the Strathmore 300 series "pretty good" likes its nice texture and greater affordability, but says that must occasionally content with getting a "bleedy batch".
Conner uses mechanical pencils with .03 lead because she found it easier to use than regular pencils that require her to stop and sharpen them frequently. When working on one of her own projects, such as The Pro, she prefers to letter the art herself, before the inking stage, as she appreciates the handmade, organic look and feel of hand lettering, in contrast to the computer lettering with which most books are currently produced. To ink her own artwork, she uses Staedtler .03, .01 and .005 technical pen, and will sometimes use a Copic .005 for extremely fine work, as these implements feel better in her hands than crowquills and brushes. As her artwork is open and lacks much shading, Conner feels that Paul Mounts is a compatible colorist for her work, as he achieves "the right amount of bounciness or moodiness, depending on what's needed." Conner has stated that her favorite things to draw are facial expressions and body language.
- Batgirl #65-66
- Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre #1-4
- Birds of Prey #47-49
- Codename: Knockout #6,9,13-14
- JSA Classified #1-4
- Legion of Super-Heroes #14
- Starman #14
- Superman: Lois Lane #1 (GirlFrenzy)
- Terra #1-4
- Supergirl #12
- Power Girl #1-12
- Wednesday Comics #1-12 (Supergirl)
- Wonder Woman #600 (Fuzzy Logic short story)
- Suburban Jersey Ninja She-Devils
- Avengers West Coast Annual #4
- Black Panther Vol.2 #8
- Daredevil Vol.2 #1/2
- Excalibur Vol.1 #80
- Marvel Adventures: Spider-Man #14
- Marvel Romance Redux: Guys & Dolls #1
- Nick Fury's Howling Commandos #3
- She-Hulk Vol.2 #3
- Kid Death and Fluffy
- Gatecrasher #1-6
- Gatecrasher #1-4
- Painkiller Jane #0
- Painkiller Jane/Darkchylde #1
- Painkiller Jane vs. The Darkness #1
- The Pro
- Vampirella 25th anniversary special (1996) (Warren Ellis story)
- Vengeance of Vampirella (1996) Wizard #55 supplemental mini-comic
- Vengeance of Vampirella (1996) #25
- Vampirella Death and Destruction (1996) #1-3
- Vampirella Lives (1996/1997) #1-3
- Vampirella Monthly (1997) #1-3 ("Ascending Evil") and #7-9 ("Queen's Gambit," (with Billy Tucci's SHI)
- Vampirella Halloween Trick & Treat (2004)
- Creator-Owned Heroes #5 Image Comics. October 2012.
- Glen Weldon (August 13, 2012). "Comics Legend Joe Kubert, 1926-2012: An Appreciation". NPR. p. 2. Retrieved 2012-08-16. "His Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art in New Jersey has produced several generations of comics creators (including his own sons, Andy and Adam Kubert) who have gone on to make their own, widely varied, contributions to the field: Amanda Connor, Rick Veitch, Eric Shanower, Steve Lieber, Scott Kolins, and many more."
- Salavetz, Judith; Drate, Spencer. Creating Comics!, 2010, Rockport Publishers, pp, 34 and 35
- Johnston, Rich (October 6, 2011). "Amanda Conner and Jan Duursema Create Female Superheroes For Nike". Bleeding Cool. Archived from the original on March 12, 2012. Retrieved March 12, 2012.
- Cowsill, Alan; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "2000s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 338. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. "Writers Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti, together with artist Amanda Conner, emphasized the fun of Power Girl in her first ongoing series."
- "Amanda Conner: Putting the Pencil to Terra", Newsarama, November 4, 2008
- Issue #259 (April 2010) of PREVIEWS, pp. 93.
- Davis, Lauren. "WC10: Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmiotti", Comic Book Resources, April 5, 2010.
- Rogers, Vaneta. "Amanda Conner's POWER GIRL Girl Power", Newsarama, December 7, 2009
- Amanda Conner at the Grand Comics Database
- Amanda Conner at Lambiek's Comiclopedia
- Vampirella bibliography
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Amanda Conner.|
- Official website
- PaperFilms: Amanda Conner
- Amanda Conner at the Comic Book DB
- All Things Amanda - Talking to Amanda Conner, Newsarama, November 11, 2008
- Interview on Where Monsters Dwell Podcast May 2011