At its heart, Geek Bomb is fundamentally about celebrating, inspiring, and getting to know women in geek. Founded by our Boss Bomb Maude Garrett and featuring a Bomb Squad filled with diverse, talented, and totally badass ladies, Geek Bomb has a mindset much like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Females are strong as hell. And it’s about time we start celebrating that again. So, we’ve decided to relaunch Women in Geek, our interview series that spotlights, shows off, and talks about the wonderful ladies who are leading the geek entertainment field.
Joining us this week is Nicola Scott! Nicola is a supremely talented and widely renowned comic book artist from Sydney who has worked on everything from Dark Horse Comics’ Star Wars: Empire to DC Comics’ Wonder Woman, Teen Titans, and Legends of the Dark Knight to Image Comics’ Black Magick. Credited as an artist, colorist, and penciller whose tools have touched main covers and variants alike, Nicola has left all comic lovers wondering if there’s anything she can’t do.
In conjunction with this weekend’s upcoming Oz Comic-Con, where Nicola is set to make an appearance, we had the incredible opportunity to have a digital chat with her to learn more about her rise to prominence, discover which female characters she most adores, and what advice she’d give to those just getting started.
Geek Bomb: First off, when did you realize that you were, in essence, a geek?
Nicola Scott: I think I’ve always been a geek but I didn’t have any geek friends until I decided to draw comics, until I found my geek people. So I was 29.
GB: What geeky things are you up to now?
NS: I watch all of the geeky-related TV shows. That was kind of where my awareness of geek culture came from in the first place; that’s where I continue to get it now. In particular, I love comic book adaptations and especially love Supergirl and The Flash. They’re really cute.
I’m loving the Star Wars movies. Obviously my new favourite film of all time is Wonder Woman, but my relationship to all the other DCEU films is… conflicted. Marvel is doing pretty well for themselves, having hit a winning formula straight out of the gate.
GB: Let’s get our foot in the door by asking how you got your foot in the door. What’s your industry origin story – how did you get started?
NS: I started by taking my portfolio to conventions first in Australia and then in [the]US. I did plenty of indie and small press work — some paid, some not — as I built up my resume. My first mainstream job was working on Star Wars comics for Dark Horse, followed not long after by starting work at DC Comics.
Along the way, I met a number of professionals who offered their guidance and championed me as they’d discovered my work and could see my potential. I was very lucky but I was also pretty tenacious when it came to pursuing the direction I was aiming.
GB: What advice can you give to those looking to break into your industry?
NS: The reality of the job is that it’s a lot of work so you’ve got to be prepared to do the work. It sounds really obvious, but a lot of people are after results without the long and slow effort of earning them. It really just comes down to doing the work.
Once a professional told me the three things editors are looking for: Talent, deadline discipline, and people who are easy to work with. That combination isn’t as easy to find as you might think. If you can be those three things, you’ll get there.
Build a portfolio and start showing it around. Keep it fresh, keep it interesting, keep challenging yourself.
GB: What is the most difficult obstacle that you’ve had to overcome in your industry or maybe even still overcoming?
NS: I know a lot of my peers, other female creators, have faced varying kinds of misogyny at varying levels. It’s an ongoing problem that I think is getting better as the ecosystem of geek culture evolves. There’ll always be extremes, but I think the sweet spot in the middle is getting bigger and bigger. Luckily for me, I haven’t experienced it firsthand, not even on social media. The challenge that vexes me most is staying on top of never-ending deadlines.
GB: Picture yourself at ten years old. What advice would you give her?
NS: Stay cool kid, you’ve got this. Follow your instincts, they’re right.
GB: What would she love to know about present-day you?
NS: That life is pretty sweet… and guess what? I met Lynda Carter this year!
GB: Who are your female role models and/or inspirations?
NS: My biggest role models were my mum and my big sisters. I’m younger than both of my sisters by a fair bit. They’re so different from each other, they’re so different from mum, but the three of them were all so fascinating, interesting, really talented, really funny, and inspiring. They set a pretty high bar, which I’ve always tried to live up to.
GB: Who are some of your favourite fictional female characters of all time?
NS: Wonder woman and Princess Leia were my cultural touchstones. Being a kid of the of the ’70s, I also had a great love for Electra Woman, Batgirl, Jaime Sommers, Isis, Jeannie, and Samantha Stephens. I also loved Princess from Battle of the Planets. It wasn’t until the ’80s and my teens that I discovered Elizabeth Bennett, Veronica Sawyer, and Madonna as Susan.
GB: How would you like to see this industry grow for not only women, but within the entertainment space?
NS: It would be great if the many millions of fans who love watching and playing the superhero films, TV, and games would seek out their source and read the comics. All the great stories that are being told in various media are directly inspired by the stories we create on a monthly basis that get published in the books. There’s so much great content!!!
GB: Where can people discover more about you? Socials/website/podcast or channel links.
NS: @NicolaScottArt on all social media platforms, or pick up my run on Wonder Woman and my creator-owned series Black Magick from your local comic book store!
Thanks again to the lovely Nicola Scott for joining us to celebrate the magic of women in the nerd world!