Star Wars Week continues at Capes and Tights and for this part of the week comic book artist Liana Kangas was gracious enough to sit down for a conversation to discuss a galaxy far, far away.
Liana Kangas recently wrapped up drawing and co-creating the comic miniseries Know Your Station with Sarah Gailey, as well as TRVE KVLT with Scott Bryan Wilson, drawing a short written by James Tynion IV for Razorblades, published by Image Comics and contributing to a short with David M. Booher on Canto: Tales of the Unnamed World.
For Star Wars Week we focus on Liana’s work on IDW Publishing title Star Wars Adventures written by Sam Maggs and various Star Wars variant covers.
Let’s get to know a little more about the Star Wars artist!
JS: Do you have a comic book “origin story” on how you first got introduced to comics and how did this lead into creating comics as a career?
LK: Check out Episode 94 of the Capes and Tights Podcast for this answer…haha!
You got the chance to pencil issues 7 and 8 of IDW’s Star Wars Adventures in 2021. What lead to getting this job?
My editor actually reached out to me to do a test to see if I would be a good fit for the Adventures line! I am so thrilled they did, because it was a wonderful job to do– I wonder if it’s because I’ve done a lot of fan art in the past?!
How was working on an IP project like Star Wars Adventures different than creator-owned or other independent work?
There’s a ton of different reasons why it’s different but it’s very fun to play in a sandbox that has rules and confines to a universe that you’re already really familiar with. It’s very collaborative in different ways than having complete control. I love a presented challenge and I enjoyed getting to put my spin on the already very established characters. Some of my favourite parts of doing licensed work is getting notes and feedback from LucasFilm/Licensors in IP comics to make sure it fit within the canonical universe!
We first met Luke and Leia on the big screen, but In Issues 7 and 8 of Star Wars Adventures you had the chance to illustrator them. Is there pressure at all to make them out to be similar to their movie characters. What was it like having this chance to continue their story?
Luckily, any of the pressure on me was just placed on myself for getting to draw major characters like Luke and Leia. My brother and I were raised on Star Wars so it holds a special place in my heart to get to draw a very fun jovial sibling side to them that Sam Maggs wrote! It was nice to see what antics they’d get up to on “day to day” stuff.
Is there a Star Wars character you weren’t able to draw during these books that you hope to illustrate in the future?
There’s a ton of characters I’d love to draw! I’m really into the whole scoundrel/rufián vibe, so doing anything with wild side stories if it includes Han, Doctor Aphra, Lando, Qi’ra, Finn in his transition from the First Order era, maybe even Padme Amidala? The list goes on. Pretty much– If they were morally gray at any point, I’d love to draw them! Haha.
Will you consider illustrating for Star Wars books in the future?
Absolutely, anytime. I can’t wait for the next opportunity!
What else should fans of Liana Kangas be on the lookout for?
Right now, my sci-fi KNOW YOUR STATION with Boom is out and being published in trade paperback this fall! Alternatively, I have some really fun covers and series announcements soon!
Are you reading any books right now that others should pick up?
I LOVE the new Harley Quinn by Tini Howard and Sweeney Boo! I’m also picking up Silver Coin and reading JUST LIKE HOME by Sarah Gailey.
Thank you Liana Kangas for chatting!
Thank you, Justin!