Posted December 16, 2015 by Norby Ela in Comics

LET’S TALK KOMIKS: The Force is Strong with Leinil Francis Yu

On this Let’s Talk Komiks, we got to have a chat with Leinil Francis Yu who is one of the main and established Filipino comic book artists in Marvel Comics and in the American Comics industry. We talked about his current project that will be released this week as same as the exciting Star Wars: The Force Awakens film – DARTH VADER ANNUAL #1.

This is Let’s Talk Komiks.

leinil yuFLIPGEEKS: Where, when and how were you offered for this Darth Vader Annual project? What was your initial reaction?

LEINIL FRANCIS YU: I was first asked by CB Cebulski if I wanted to do a Han Solo mini-series and of course I said yes. This was months ago so I was still busy with Civil War. In the meantime, they wanted me on the Darth Vader Annual after Civil War and I immediately accepted the project. Somewhere in between, some reshuffling happened and they wanted me to do Star Wars instead. Again, another offer I can’t refuse.

When you get offered a project, are you usually alone in the meeting? Or do Gerry Alanguilan and Sunny Gho have to be there? Either way, do you have to consult with them about the project being offered before making a decision?
It’s usually emails between me and an editor. When the decision is made, I would inform Gerry and Sunny and ask them if they are available to do it.

I think the pages are looking good but damn, those Stuart Immonen issues are hard to beat.

Are you a BIG Star Wars fan?
Of course! But no, I don’t know who Lando’s 3rd degree cousin is, the name of the pet of one of the aliens in Tatooine and all the other details a true hardcore fan knows.

Which is your favorite Star Wars movie and why?
I’ll get flack for this but I like (The Return of the) Jedi a lot mainly because of the first part (no, not Slave Leia) but the whole entire sequence. I also love how it all cleanly wraps up into a satisfying ending, with all of our heroes making their contributions to achieve the end goal. And Ewoks.

Seriously, it’s grand and awesome.

Who is your favorite Star Wars character?
Han Solo. Visually, it’s Boba Fett.
LTK Leinil Yu 01

Your main character in this book is Darth Vader, what are the challenges in drawing this character, if there are any?
I guess learning any new character to draw is challenging but that’s quickly overcome by the availability of references both 2D and 3D (toys). I was surprised how easy it is to memorize his mask in different angles.

Darth Vader wears a mask. How did you express his emotions in the comic?
I made some lighting and angle decisions that made him look more sinister. Not all angles are flattering and menacing IMO so you have to pick the ones that fit the mood.

What is your fave part this issue?
Mainly drawing Darth Vader in different angles. I didn’t practice drawing him before hand… just learned as I drew the pages. [laughs]

How was it working with Kieron Gillen?
Generally, I work with the writer’s script and run with it and I mostly talk to the editors unless I have questions. A couple of emails here and there is what constitutes “working together” most of the time.

[CHECK OUT… DARTH VADER ANNUAL #1 drops today, gets PINOY treatment]

Where’s Sunny Gho?
He was busy for Vader but I believe he is back for Star Wars.

I’ll get flack for this but I like (The Return of the) Jedi a lot…

You have been solicited on February 2016 for Star Wars #16, could you give us any hint about it? Are you working on it now?
Yes! I’m continuing the awesome series and I’m having a blast. I think the pages are looking good but damn, those Stuart Immonen issues are hard to beat.

How many times will you watch Star Wars: The Force Awakens?
I’m not a multiple viewing person as I always fall asleep on 2nd viewings… at least 2 times for now.
LTK Leinil Yu 03

What do you take  if need to crunch an all nighter? 
[laughs]… just coffee and taking breaks in between.
Playing a quick video game.

What video games do you play these days?
Used to be full time DOTA. Pero I had to quit it… too addictive.
Fallout 4 for now. But I play way less.

Pano mo kinokontrol ang sarili mo between work and playing ng video games?
My deadlines sort me out.

Yeah. Ganda ng Fallout. I don’t intend to finish. But enjoying it lang.
Ginagawa mo ba main missions, side quests or just free roam?
I just do side quests and take my time. Again, not finishing so I do whatever is fun. I don’t wanna rush into the story either.

Marami nang comic book artists na nagiging comic book writers, may balak ka maging writer din someday?

Balak lang pero I’m enjoying life too much and not willing to do the extra work. Happy just illustrating… fun for me. Busy with (Brazilian) jiu-jitsu. [laughs]
I think BJJ will keep me healthier as I grow older and will keep me drawing longer.

If you could have your own lightsaber, how would it look like and what color would you like your lightsaber be?
As a kid, I always had a hard time picking between the lightsaber and the GLAVE (basically a huge shuriken/boomerang) from Krull… So I will combine the 2. A glave with light blades that I control with the force.
LTK Leinil Yu 02

Norby Ela

Now residing in San Diego, CA, I strive to work in art and further grow FlipGeeks around the world.