Hot on the heels of our interview with Steve Englehart, comes Part 1 of a brief chat with legendary comics artist Rich Buckler, who drew a lot of the JLA covers from the era of the book we've been talking about in the last few weeks:
JLA Satellite: How did you get the job doing the covers? Did you go after the job or did DC call you?
Rich Buckler: At the time I was drawing Justice League [covers] I had some office space at DC. I was within shouting distance of Jack Harris and Julie Schwartz--and whenever a cover was needed, I was up for it.
JLA Satellite: Did anyone provide layouts, like Carmine Infantino used to, or did you do it all?
Rich Buckler: I think there were a couple of Flash covers that were sketched by Ross Andru, but all of the JLA covers were my own creations. I would be handed photocopies of some of the story pages and it was just left up to me to come up with a scene that worked.
I always preferred working up my own ideas. Sometimes I would work up more than one idea. But, usually, the first idea I'd come up with is the one that would be approved.
JLA Satellite: You were inked by a lot of different inkers on them--McLaughlin, Springer, Abel, Giacoia, Giordano--any one(s) you thought made for the best overall collaboration?
RB: My favorites were Frank Giacoia and Dick Giordano. I never knew ahead of time who would be available (either did the editors who assigned the work), so I never had a say about it. Every cover I did was drawn while I was working in the office. The deadline for it was always just a few hours.
I'm amazed, now that I think about it, that I was able to do so many of them and be consistent and keep up the quality!
JLA Satellite: Any particular favorites of the covers you did?
RB: I liked all of them, but probably my favorites are the ones inked by Frank Giacoia and Dick Giordano. Actually, one of the main reasons I got to work on this book is that I knew all of the characters really well. And that's because I'm such a fan at heart--I love these characters!
I call this interview "Part 1" because I intend to go back and talk to Rich again, this time asking him about the complete issues of the book he drew, #'s 189-191 and 210-212 (which are some of my all-time favorite JLA comics). Rich is very friendly and always makes time for my obsessive, nerdly questions, and for that I am deeply grateful. Thanks Rich!