J. Bone has been illustrating comic books for over twelve years, but his image of first lady Michelle Obama as Wonder Woman stands alone among his many superhero portraits. A 39 year old comic book artist living in Toronto, J. Bone has crafted likenesses of Spider-Man, Superman, and more. Yet, Wonder Woman is particularly special to his heart, making her a fitting heroine to merge with a woman who has become a heroine to many in real life. Currently writing and drawing, Gobukan, a web-based comic, J. Bone is also raising funds as part of an IndieGoGo campaign to create a Canadian superhero series, True Patriot. Follow the artist on Twitter (@gobukan), or visit his blogs (Blah, Blah, Blog! and Man’s Adventure) to get to know his work further — but first take a moment and read below. J. Bone explains how he came to create this intriguing image of a highly notable woman.
theGrio: Tell us about your career as a comics artist? What characters have you drawn, and who are your favorites?
J. Bone: I started working in comic books in 1999 with my first published book Solar Stella. It’s a pin-up girl space adventure similar to Barbarella. I worked for a few years in small-press black and white comics before I started working on bigger company books like Batgirl (Gotham Girls series) and Spider-Man (the Tangled Web series). My big comic book break came when I worked with Darwyn Cooke on Spider-Man, and a variety of other projects. Darwyn is an multiple Eisner award-winning comic book artist and writer. For those of you unfamiliar with comic books, an Eisner award is equivalent to an Oscar for comic books.
I’ve worked on the Super Friends for DC comics. For two years I drew Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Green Lantern and Aquaman in a book aimed at kids. I’ve also drawn Spider-Man, Wolverine and the Spirit. My favourites are definitely Spider-Man and Wonder Woman. When I’m drawing for fun I often turn to either of those two characters.
What inspired you to create this image of First Lady Michelle Obama as Wonder Woman?
I’m often drawing Wonder Woman for fun. I saw the video on YouTube of Michelle’s opening address at the Democratic convention. When she spoke about women having control of their own bodies it struck me that Michelle embodies the principles of Wonder Woman.
And so I sat at my desk trying to draw a caricature of Michelle Obama in a modified Wonder Woman costume. (I changed the Wonder Woman “W” chest piece into an “M.”)
Do you hope the image will go viral?
It would certainly be fun if the image went viral. I think there is so much on the Internet, and one of the things an artist hopes is that something they drew reaches the widest audience possible. I definitely had the thought that this was something that would catch peoples attention as I was drawing.
If you could talk to the first lady, what would you ask her?
This is a very difficult question. I’ve met “celebrities” before and one of the things that always makes me nervous is trying to ask them something they’ve never been asked, and to not come across as a mumbling fool. I’m not always successful.
However, I’ve thought about this question now and I think I’d like to ask the first lady how she deals with the public scrutiny with such dignity. And how she approaches the subject of celebrity with her daughters. I just feel like it must be difficult raising two teenage girls in a world with Facebook/Twitter exposure and over indulgence.
As a role model, what do you hope people today take away from a first lady like Michelle?
I hope that people see the strength of character Michelle Obama possesses, both as a woman and a person in the public spotlight. She has such confidence in herself and dignity whether addressing the Democratic convention or sitting on the couch on The View. Admirable qualities in any person.
Follow Alexis Garrett Stodghill on Twitter at @lexisb.