Feature Friday: The Artist behind the Power of Pentel
We sat down with the artist behind Power of Pentel , Jackie Whisler and learned how she gets inspired day-to-day. Whether it’s through her hobbies, the comics she reads, the super power she’d love to have or her history with drawing we think that she’ll inspire us all to find our inner super-hero.
Q: What is your history with drawing comics?
A: I remember vaguely drawing comics when I was really, really little and being inspired by the funny pages in the newspaper, with jokes that mostly went over my head. Telling stories with brightly colored pictures and drawings was really as close to making my own movies at 9 years as I could get.
I don’t think I ever realized how varied and interesting comic books were until high school, when a friend was reading Spiderman and lent it to me. Even then, I didn’t really get into comics until after I graduated college and I had to create comics for a writing class. It was all downhill from there.
Q: What is your background in art?
A: I’ve always loved art and drawing, and have been doing it my whole life, but it wasn’t until I saw the movie The Incredibles that I stood up and thought, ‘oh man, I could do that? Sign me up!’ I wanted to learn how to make images that looked like that, and I was so intrigued by the retro style and story. It’d also really amped my interest in superheroes, which had only really been a mild interest before that. So I went to the Art Institute in Orange County and majored in Media Arts and Animation, and the rest is history.
Q: Do you have a favorite superhero?
A: It’s impossible for me to pick just one. I love Captain America, Hawkeye, Nightwing, Nightcrawler, & Harley Quinn (I know she’s a villainess, but she’s so great, I think she’s allowed).
Q: If you could be any comic book superhero who would you be?
A: It would probably be either Dick Greyson –Nightwing or Kate Bishop -Hawkeye. Funny enough, if I could be any superhero, I would probably choose one that had no super powers. I’ve always found the heroes with no super abilities to have the most interesting stories and to have the most thought-provoking view of the world around them. I can relate to those people. I mean, having a super power would be SO cool, but to be able to say “yeah, I fight alongside Captain America and Wolverine. No powers. AND I can take care of myself.” How neat is that?
Q: And what about a superpower do you have a favorite?
A: Teleportation! Nightcrawler was my first favorite comic book character, for many reasons. His power to teleport was the coolest thing to me. I really loved the idea of closing your eyes and just reappearing somewhere else in a puff of smoke.
Q: Which comics are you reading right now?
A: The first comics I ever read were Spiderman and The Runaways. Now I read Saga by Brian K. Vaughan, Hawkeye by Matt Fraction and American Vampire by Scott Snyder. I just started reading Mind the Gap by Jim McCann, so we’ll see how that is!
Q: Lastly, do you have any hobbies that you love?
A: I’ve been cosplaying (short for costume play) for about 4-5 years. I’m pretty casual about it, I’ll dress up for conventions, and it’s mostly just something fun to do for movie premiers and cons. Most of the appeal for me is designing the look of the character I want to portray and thinking of how to engineer it in a realistic way. I rarely ever just outright replicate what I see on the screen or page. I like to add my own twist to things, and bring something special to it.
My most recent costume creations have been Nightwing, Captain America, a character named Lin Bei Fong from The Legend of Korra, and as Mrs. Incredible.
Now it's your turn to answer!
Power of Pentel gives fans a chance to win $500,000, $250,000 for you plus $250,000 for your school! To learn how it works, watch below.