Fiona Staples is without a doubt one of my favorite artists. Not only is her art world class, but she is a fellow Canadian. Staples was born in Calgary, Alberta and attended the Alberta College of Art and Design. Her first published work appeared in the form of “Amphibious Nightmare”. This was a 24-hour comic included in the anthology by About Comics, 24 Hour Comics Day Highlights.
In 2012 Image Comics began publishing my favorite book, Saga, as written by Brian K. Vaughn. Having never met each other before, the two were introduced by their mutual friend, Steve Niles. When asked why he chose Staples, Vaughn simply replied by saying “Her artwork is incredible. [It] doesn’t look like anyone else. She is very unique. When I opened up this file I was like, ‘This is going to work!'”
Staples is now a co-owner of Saga. When you open a book, nearly everything drawn that you see is hers. The cast, ships, aliens, covers, and the writing inside…all her.
Most recently, Staples worked on a three-issue story arc of Archie Comics, called Archie. This was done in celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the comic.
What sets her apart from other artists is the way she conducts her work. Rather than the traditional way that includes pencil drawing and inking them on a piece of paper, Staples chooses to work digitally. She begins by creating roughly drawn thumbnails for each image. During this stage, she gives an incredible amount of thought to a number of things including:
She has been quoted as saying that this (staging and layout) is the most important part of the entire process.
With that done, she scans the thumbnails into her computer, enlarges them and brings them to life with color in Manga Studio. All while saving a ton of time. If corrections have to be made, it is far easier to make them digitally versus having to redraw them in pencil.
After she has the main character images “inked” she imports them into Photoshop where she will start and finish the backgrounds.
With Saga has come fame and awards.
- 2013 Eisner Award for Best Bew Series (Saga)
- 2013 Eisner Award for Best Continuing Series for Saga (Image)
- 2013 Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story (Saga)
- 2014 Eisner Award for Best Continuing Series for Saga (Image)
- 2014 Harvey Award for Best Artist (Saga)
- 2014 Joe Shuster Award for Artist (Saga)
- 2015 Eisner Award for Best Penciller/Inker (Saga)
- 2015 Harvey Award for Best Cover Artist for Saga (Image)
- 2016 Harvey Award for Best Artist (Saga)
If you haven’t had a chance to pick up some Fiona Staples work, you should.