Super Therapy For Super Heroes: Talking To Caio Oliveira About "Super Ego"

I had the privilege of checking out Magnetic Press and creator Caio Oliveira's Super Ego a few weeks back and let me tell you... it was good. It was real good. With that came the opportunity to talk to Oliveira about the series which is approaching its final order cut off next week. What's that mean? That if you're interested you should get your comic shop to pre-order you a copy so that you're sure to get it. Now sit back and enjoy the interview--- Dustin Cabeal: First off how would you describe Super Ego? It obviously has ties to the superhero genre, but it walks the line of also not quite being a superhero story because of your unique take.

Caio Oliveira: I would like to hear that from the readers. But as you are asking me, I tried to make a comic about superheroes with that Patt Mills or Garth Ennis vibe, maybe not that cynical and dark, but with all that fun.  It has some very recognizable superheroes archetypes being analyzed, yeah, but there's a lot of punches and things exploding and... well, the truth is: all I can say is what I tried to do. If it becomes something else it is up to the readers to tell.

Dustin: While you were creating your supporting cast of heroes, at what point did you decide when a character had enough of the creative make-up of the character they were spoofing?

Caio: I tried to make them as recognizable as possible. I like to use the same excuse of Robert Kirkman on the extras in the second TPB of Invincible. There he said he had to make people care for a bunch of superheroes before he killed them in a few issues, and the  fastest way to make people care for them is to use archetypes of famous superheroes. If those guys were not "JLA wannabes", who would care? 

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Dustin: With the art, was there a particular look or influence that you were going after? I personally noticed that it was colored brightly and didn’t resemble the darker grittier look that a lot of superhero titles have.

Caio: My art is influenced by a lot of guys, from Rick Leonardi to Eduardo Risso, passing through Alan Davis, Kevin Maguire, Arthur Adams, Barry Windsor Smith, etc. You may not notice them on my art, but they are there for sure. Lucas Marangon did a very good job on the colors! When I look at my b&w art now I feel something is missing. He did it talking to (Publisher) Mike Kennedy, so all the credits for the pallet choice is theirs, I loved the bright colors.

Dustin: What was your process for the character designs and how many iterations did you go through for Dr. Ego?

Caio: I made very few sketches, all of them came really fast from concept to the final version. Lester for example... in his first concept he wore a "Charlie Brown" shirt that I decided not to use. But Dr. Ego really was tough to create... at first he was supposed to be called Dr. Abbyss ("and when you look at him, he looks back at you"), but something like that would tell from the very beginning that he was a "villain". Thing is, every time I tried to create his look, his mask looked like Rorschach's. So, my little brother said "Why not a mirror?" and I could kiss him for that insight! I also had some talks with a friend who said if he was the main character, he was supposed to be a handsome guy, someone who looks like Matthew McConaughey, but I wanted someone readers would look and find inoffensive, even goofy sometimes. The plot twist at the end would be more intense that way.

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Dustin: Not that I’m saying the story needs to continue because it wraps up perfectly by the end, but do you have more stories to tell in the world of Super Ego?

Caio: Yes, I would like to do at least two more miniseries of four issues each. I'm writing the second one right now. I have plans for this title, but I have no idea when I'll have the time to draw it. I hope it'll not take long, I miss these guys already. --- Well there you have it! A big thanks to Caio for taking the time to talk to us and to Magnetic Press for setting everything up. If you're interested in checking out Super Ego then you should again pre-order the book by next week's cut off and look for its release on May 28th!