As part of our own recognition of this Marvel milestone, we talked to the brilliant Brigman about the origins of Power Pack, working next to the biggest names of the '80s, and more.
What was your first exposure to comic books, and specifically to Marvel?
I didn’t read comic books as a child. My boyfriend, now husband, Roy Richardson introduced me to comics. He had to show me how to read them, I didn’t understand in what order to read the balloons. The first Marvel story that still inspires me to this day was [an issue of WHAT IF? starring the Avengers] written by Jim Shooter, drawn by Gil Kane, and inked by Klaus Janson. The artwork was incredibly dynamic. And the story was classic comic book storytelling. Then I got into Frank Miller’s DAREDEVIL and Walt Simonson’s THOR.
Where did your interest in art come from, and when did you decide to pursue it as a career?
I’ve always loved drawing. It was how I entertained myself as a child. When I started college, I knew I wanted to be a professional artist. And I probably would have stayed in school and majored in illustration if Roy hadn’t taken me to a comic book convention in Atlanta around 1979. I got to meet Gil Kane, Bernie Wrightson, and Michael Kaluta. I saw these guys doing these beautiful sketches without any reference. No models, no photos. It was amazing. And I think that’s when I decided to become a professional comic book artist.
As a professional who got her start in the '80s, what did you notice was changing about comics during that period?
It was a time of great creative freedom for artists and writers. Creators like Walt Simonson, Frank Miller, Chris Claremont, and John Byrne breathed new life into the Marvel Universe. There were as many different styles as there were artists. There was no house look. It was a really exciting time to be in the business of making comics.