Star Wars Sketchbook: Jorge Molina

Artist Jorge Molina joins the Star Wars team in the upcoming STAR WARS #21 on July 20, and he’s completely immersed himself in that Galaxy Far, Far Away.

We caught up with him and convinced him to not only open his sketchbook for a peek at his designs and layout, but got a few answers to our burning Star Wars questions. Jorge, what did it mean for you to be offered the Star Wars gig?

Jorge Molina: I never grew up as a Star Wars fan since I was a 90’s kid, so I didn’t have the big fan reaction one would expect. I took it more as a challenge artistically, since this was a very different universe from A-FORCE. Plus, I’m a big sci-fi fan and I thought it would be fun and different to see how I would approach STAR WARS. Of all the different aspects of Star Wars, what’s your favorite and why?

Jorge Molina: Like I said before, my favorite genre is sci-fi, where I can have certain freedoms to create new worlds and designs. For example, the Stormtroopers I designed for issue #21, which I’m very proud of. And I feel very fortunate and happy to leave my fingerprint on the Star Wars universe. Yeah, you’ve really gone deep into the design of troopers we’ve never seen before; how did that come about?

Jorge Molina: I wanted to make each one of them unique, but at the same time give them unity as a team. [Writer] Jason Aaron came up with all of these specifications and qualities that made them really easy for me to design. It just felt really natural, since the concepts he had in mind were very in sync with the stuff I like to draw. With the three main characters—Luke, Leia, and Han—where do you start with them as an artist? What goes into your portrayal of them?

Jorge Molina: I take two things into consideration when I start sketching the characters. First, their personality and the situation and emotions they are going through depending on the script, so I can have a better sense of the expressions I will be aiming for when portraying the characters.

Secondly, is the technical side of it, which is sketching the characters. I tried to avoid doing a portrait, but more making them my own, and giving them my personal touch. Do you enjoy drawing the character moments more than action sequences? Or vice versa?

Jorge Molina: Yes and no. I really enjoy the character moments because I can play  around with the body language, which makes the script more alive to me, but it takes me longer rendering these type of scenes. On the other hand, the action sequences are faster to sketch but I don’t feel as much connection compared to the character scenes. Does a Star Wars comic require a particular kind of page layout, in your opinion?

Jorge Molina: I always tend to keep my panel layouts very simple, so the reader doesn’t waste time trying to read the page. For STAR WARS specifically, I tried to aim for wider shaped panels so it has a more cinematic feel to it. Lastly, what was it like working with Jason’s scripts? What does he do that works well with your artistic sensabilities?

Jorge Molina: I have worked with Jason before on WOLVERINE & THE X-MEN, and it was a shame that I didn’t have the chance to work with him longer back then. They approached me to do STAR WARS, and when they pitched me the idea of the Stormtroopers and I read the script I just felt very comfortable with what Jason had in mind. And like I said before, it just came very natural for me to understand the ideas and the concepts he wanted to portray.

STAR WARS #21 by Jason Aaron and Jorge Molina shuttles in on July 20!