Jade Crusades was fortunate enough to track down Star Wars comic book artist Carlos Ezquerra and ask him a few questions. Ezquerra illustrated a Dark Horse Comics Boba Fett one-shot, as well as the Mara Jade: By the Emperor’s Hand mini-series.
When did you become a Star Wars fan?
Ever since A New Hope. It was the first time you could see a Sci-Fi film that actually looked like a comic.
Which of the four Star Wars movies is your favorite and why?
At the moment, still A New Hope. Mainly for the impact it had on me. The Prequel Trilogy looks very promising, but as they are unfinished, I can’t say very much about them.
How familiar are you with Mara's character?
I wasn't until I was offered the series. Then, the more I read about her, the more I loved the character. She has many points in common with characters that I usually draw. I love characters where you can't tell exactly if they’re the hero or the antihero – good or bad. A bit like life itself...
You drew Mara for the Mara Jade: By the Emperor's Hand comic book. Can you tell us what it was like illustrating such a popular character?
It was very exciting. She is such a strong character! I had to show her strength graphically, and at the same time she had to have continuity with all the work other artists had done with her previously. It was quite a challenge.
What preparations did you go through before illustrating Mara Jade: By the Emperor's Hand?
I started out by reading all the other episodes she had appeared in. As I said before, she had to have continuity with earlier comics. Plus all the usual documentation about the Star Wars machinery, aliens, and locations.
How did you create Mara's image for Mara Jade: By the Emperor's Hand?
Mara came to my mind in a very clear way. I had in mind how she had to look from my first reading of the scripts. My only hope was that it would coincide with the image fans had of her.
What was it like working with writers Timothy Zahn and Michael Stackpole?
It was fun and a nice experience.
What other assignments are you currently working on?
I just finished the last episode of Just a Pilgrim for Black Bull Comics. I am now working on a Strontium Dog story for 2000AD, in England, and a Garth Ennis War Story for DC Comics.
Does it look like the future will hold any other any Star Wars projects?
No, I haven't had any more offers after the Mara Jade miniseries.
When did you realize you wanted to become a professional artist?
A long time ago, when I was doing service for the military. I met another artist who convinced me to become a comic book artist. Before that time, I had never thought about it even though I always loved reading comics.
Who are some of your artistic influences?
My biggest influences as artist were Italian Hugo Pratt and Latin-American Alberto Breccia. Also very important influences to me were filmmakers Eisenstein, John Ford, Sergio Leone, Kurosava, and many others.
What would you recommend to other aspiring artists wishing to do what you do?
Take an interest in films. How you tell a story is more important than how you draw it. And be a fighter. Never consider yourself finished, even when everybody else thinks so.
Thank you for taking part in this interview!