Me: Can you tell me what a day is like in your work schedule?
Jamal: My work day starts around 830-9am depending when my wife wakes me up and my baby hits me on the head with a bottle. Then I usually work until from 10am to 5pm and then cook dinner, hang out with the family until about 10pm. Then I’ll work from anytime from 10pm-4am.
Do you give yourself a work schedule? Or do try to get as much work done as you can in a day? For instance, do you designate a set amount of panels?
Um no, I try to get at least like a page done per day maybe more. It’s usually around a page and a half a day. Sometimes two, sometimes one. It really depends on, not just my work schedule but what’s going on. Like if I have like real life stuff going on.
You’re currently penciling Supergirl is that correct?
Can you tell me what’s currently going on with that story arc?
Well actually right now, I’m taking a quick breather off of Supergirl and penciling an issue of World’s Finest. But I’m still drawing Supergirl. I’m penciling World’s Finest, which is the first meeting between Supergirl and the new Batgirl: Stephanie Brown. I’m still working with sterling gates and I’m still drawing Supergirl. I’m just not drawing the main book.
World’s Finest is a four issue miniseries that I believe comes out this month. I usually only do about one book a month. I’m taking a break from the series for three issues and in November I’ll be doing Supergirl 50.
A pretty milestone issue.
Yeah. I haven’t seen the script yet, but I get an inkling of what’s going to be happening. We’re shooting for 38 pages, so we need the next time.
And when is that coming out?
That should be out in February. The last week of February.
For Supergirl, do you have an idea how long you’ll be staying on the title?
Um. No, not really. I mean initially, when I first got on the book, I said I was probably going to do a year and see what happens. And I’ve done a year already; I may be on another year. I haven’t decided yet.
So it’s up to you if you stay?
Yeah. Usually. Unless something happens and they want me to move onto something else.
I remember your work from about ten years ago. You worked on Green Lantern.
I did about five filler issues on Green Lantern, over the coarse about ten years. I used to joke with people that I was a regular artist, I was just really slow.
I remember that was one of the earliest books I’ve ever picked up. The Ion series.
Oh wow. Thank you. I mean, that was really fun stuff. I like the Green Lantern; I liked the whole concept of the Corps and everything. They’re always fun characters to work with and I had a lot of fun working on those stories.
Do you think you’ll ever return to the title?
Whoo. I don’t know. I mean they got Doug Mahnke and Pat Gleason on it now I think. I think they got that pretty much locked up at the moment.
How about the main series.
Oh, I don’t know. The thing is, I’m on contract so I go where I’m needed. So depending on what happens, there’s always stuff being planned and things in flux. They could decided to create a whole new initiative and create a whole new Kyle or whatever and they might ask me to do it and they might not ask me to do it you know I could just stay with the Superman books and keep going with that.
So you’re exclusively contracted with DC comics right now?
Yes. I just signed on for two more years.
Any plans on moving to Marvel after that?
Um. Haha. No, I don’t really think about it actually. I don’t know. There isn’t much that I would want to do creatively over at Marvel right now. So I don’t know if that’s something that is really interesting to me at the moment. I mean, I’ve done some stuff for marvel in the past, but it just never worked out that way that I would end up doing something with marvel. So I don’t know.
Can you tell me how you started in this business?
I started as an intern at DC when I was in high school. I did a 6-month intern ship when I was 17 years old. After my internship, I went to college, I dropped out after two years. I sort of wandered around aimlessly for a while.
Around 1991 or 92 I started putting a portfolio together. I didn’t approach anyone at DC at first because I didn’t think I was ready for that, so I started doing some work for a company called Majestic Entertainment. This was back towards the tail end of the comic flood when you know; everything was chromium covers, number one issues, and trading card comics. I did that for about 8 months or so and then that company went belly up.
I ended up taking the work that I did for them, sending it around to a bunch of people that I knew from different companies.
And Kevin Dooley called and asked me if I wanted to do eight pages in the new issue of Green Lantern. And that’s sort of how I got my foot in the door as a penciler.
People have said that you are the nicest guy in the comics industry. Do you have anything to say about that?
They’re all liars. They are liars they are fools. I am an ogre. I am evil. I am, I don’t know (Laughs). I’ve met a lot of nice guys in this business. It’s nice to be thought of that way though. I appreciate it; I’ve been very lucky. I’ve run across so many good genuine people in this business and very few negative influences. But its nice to be thought of that way.
Well, thank you for taking the time sir.
No problem man.