Wonder Woman Wednesday Interview #7: Yale Stewart And Cat Staggs


It’s week seven of our interview series leading up to the publication of Wonder Woman Unbound, where we talk to cool and interesting people about their favourite versions of Wonder Woman and how she relates to their particular fields and interests. This week we’ve got two fantastic comic creators who have been involved in two unique takes on Wonder Woman, Yale Stewart and Cat Staggs!

First up is Yale, the writer and artist of the fantastic webcomic JL8.  The series is about the adventures of the Justice League in elementary school, and it’s adorable, hilarious, and far and away the best Justice League comic out there today, even if it is unsanctioned.  He’s also the writer and artist of the upcoming, and fully licensed, The Amazing Adventures of Superman, which comes out this summer.

Yale chatted with me about Wonder Woman and his young Diana:

Tim Hanley: What was your very first encounter with Wonder Woman?

Yale Stewart: That’s a good question. I’d probably assume it was through comics. Mark Waid and Alex Ross’s Kingdom Come, to be specific. If it wasn’t that, it would’ve been the Justice League cartoon that aired on Cartoon Network, but I’d put my money on Kingdom Come.

TH: What is your favourite version of Wonder Woman?

YS: I’m not sure if I really have a “favorite.” I don’t think I’ve ever read anything that she was in and saw it as hugely definitive, in the way that I viewed Batman: The Animated Series or something. However, her portrayal in both Kingdom Come and the two Justice League shows –the original and then Justice League Unlimited — have been the most informative in how I perceive the character.

TH: For those who aren’t familiar with JL8, can you tell us about your Diana?

YS: Diana in JL8, is just that: she’s Diana (not yet Wonder Woman), an 8-year-old Amazonian who resents the fact that she’s a princess, because of how she believes she’d be perceived by society if people discovered her lineage. She’s loyal, blunt, a little bit stubborn and she can be fierce when she needs to be.


Diana is unimpressed with Bruce’s behavior at her birthday party in JL8 #108.

TH: What past versions of the character informed your take on Diana?  Were there any other, non-comic inspirations for her?

YS: I’ve already mentioned Kingdom Come and the Justice League shows. I’d probably toss in New Frontier by Darwyn Cooke, at least in terms of attitude. Aesthetically, I just really wanted to make sure she came across as Greek, so I wanted to make sure her skin was a little more olive and she had a broader nose that is seen on a lot of Greek sculpture. Her outfit is a fairly straightforward re-imagining of the traditional Wonder Woman costume, so there’s nothing too notable there. I think that’s about all there is to it.


Diana ignores the Flash and Green Lantern’s shenanigans in JL8 #144.

TH: Lately there’s been a considerable lack of all-ages comics for Wonder Woman, and for superheroes more broadly. Why do you think this is, particularly given how successful JL8 has been? Do you think it’s detrimental to the industry?

YS: I honestly don’t know. I’ve thought long and hard on this and simply don’t have an answer. I’d probably be lying if I said I DIDN’T think it was detrimental. Obviously the industry isn’t collapsing from a lack of all-ages titles, but I’m a very firm believer in the strength and importance of variety. To me, it just makes sense to have comics for a wide range of audiences, and when you’re not producing all-ages content, you’re cutting off an audience. That’s how I see it.

TH: Finally, if Wonder Woman were to leave Paradise Island and come to our world for the first time today, what do you think she’d find most surprising about it?

YS: Haha, this is a little tricky because I’m not that familiar with the mythology of Paradise Island, which is to say I don’t know what they do and don’t have or are or aren’t exposed to. If they don’t have any modern technology on the Island (which I’m assuming they don’t), I think the Internet or a smartphone would be pretty mind-blowing. Or just modern technology in general, I suppose.

* * * * *

Big thanks to Yale Stewart!  Yale is @YaleStewart on Twitter and you can learn more about his projects at his website.

Next up is Cat Staggs!  Cat has been the cover artist for Smallville Season 11, including the recent Olympus arc which introduced Wonder Woman to the Smallville universe.  She’s also done interior art for several issues of the series, and has worked on DC’s The Vampire Diaries series and IDW’s Star Trek series.

Cat talked with me about Wonder Woman and what it was like to draw her:

Tim Hanley: What was your very first encounter with Wonder Woman?

Cat Staggs: Definitely Wonder Woman from Super Friends. My brother and I had a strict Saturday morning ritual which included Super Friends and bowls of Cookie Crisp cereal.

Honorable mention to the Super Friends waterski show at SeaWorld Florida when I was four… that was pretty amazing and a big influence on me getting a Wonder Woman bathing suit.

TH: What is your favourite version of Wonder Woman?

CS: Lynda Carter from the Wonder Woman television series. I grew up with her and she had a huge impact on my feelings about Wonder Woman… and women in general.

I also still want the entire Diana Prince wardrobe from that series.

TH: What is the best part of drawing Wonder Woman? The hardest part?

CS: Officially getting to draw Wonder Woman.

Officially getting to draw Wonder Woman.


Cat Staggs’ Wonder Woman covers from the “Olympus” arc of Smallville Season 11.

TH: What qualities do you aim to capture when you draw Wonder Woman, and how do you do so?

CS: The important thing to me is capturing the fact that she is an Amazon, which means *muscles* and beauty. I try to focus on giving her a muscular frame and strong poses… and great hair.


A great Wonder Woman piece by Cat Staggs.

TH: If you could draw your dream Wonder Woman comic, what would it be about?

CS: Honestly, I feel spoiled because I feel like I actually got to draw covers for my dream Wonder Woman. Brian Q. Miller wrote a fantastic arc. I loved how he connected her into the Smallville universe without compromising her mythos.

My other dream would be to draw a Gail Simone Wonder Woman story, because, duh.

TH: Finally, if Wonder Woman were to leave Paradise Island and come to our world for the first time today, what do you think she’d find most surprising about it?

CS: I think the sad shocking thing for her would be how much we aren’t taking care of the rest of the world. That, and the constant wars… and smart phones… smart phones are amazing.

* * * * *

Big thanks to Cat Staggs!  Cat is @CatStaggs on Twitter, and you can learn more about her projects at her website.

The interview series continues next week with Molly McIsaac!  Look for the next Wonder Woman Unbound preview panel this Monday, and the book itself is available for pre-order now, online or at your local comic shop.


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7 Responses to “Wonder Woman Wednesday Interview #7: Yale Stewart And Cat Staggs”

  1. Audrey Says:

    These interviews are fascinating. I love Yale Stewart…but I’m genuinely baffled why he’s writing an all ages Superman book that features Wonder Woman as opposed to using Lois Lane. I really intensely dislike this thing where male writers make Diana a supporting cast member of Superman. First off, she has her own mythology and kids shouldn’t be confused that way. Second, the continued marginalization of Lois in these narratives—especially an all ages—is really troubling.

    Also, I always twitch a bit when people recall WW in KC. Kingdom Come is arguably one of the most problematic portrayals ever written to the point that the writer himself has essentially apologized for getting her so wrong. It’s a bit of a red flag for me when someone says that’s their inspiration bc it’s just such a troubling interpretation of WW in that book.

    Cat Staggs is wonderful and Smallville had arguably one of the best versions of Wonder Woman ever. More people should look there for inspiration!

    • Al Says:

      Well in fairness Yale writes essentially an all ages Justice League book with a focus on those characters, not just Superman. I recommend reading JL8, it’s actually quite balanced and very entertaining in its portrayals.

    • Tim Hanley Says:

      I think the Superman book is just Superman, and it’s a separate project from the webcomic. Diana is only in JL8.

      I hear you about Kingdom Come, and I share your issues with the book, but I think Yale has a fantastic handle on Diana and writes a great version of the character. I agree that Cat Staggs is wonderful, and the Smallville version of WW is just the coolest! I miss that character so bad.

    • Cody C. Says:

      Well, right at the end of the birthday story, Yale did introduce Lois Lane. We haven’t seen her since, but I have a feeling she’ll be showing up again.

    • JJ Says:

      Yale is writing several books. Here’s a copy/paste of the i09 article that broke the story:

      We reached out to Capstone Publishing, who sent us info on four titles from The Amazing Adventures of Superman: Alien Superman! featuring Wonder Woman and Lex Luthor; Battle of the Superheroes! featuring Batman, the Flash, and Clayface; Creatures from Planet X! featuring Green Lantern; and Escape from Future World! featuring Brainiac and Cyborg. Rather than comics, the books are illustrated early chapter books for young readers, and feature adult versions of the characters. A representative from Capstone says they will be carrying the titles this coming fall.

      It looks like the point is to crossover several DC characters into each story. It doesn’t have to be read as “marginalization” of any characters not featured. JL8 is a great comic strip.

  2. Bob Says:

    the first of the yale superman books is one of i think three or four. the first one has wondy and i think they’re battling lex. the next ones features bats, flash, and others, but with ww, coming up first it seems obvious what they’re trying to do, especially when first instincts for a superman team up would be with batman. If DC wanted it different they could have used Flash first. I do wonder if lois is going to appear in any of those books at all or if this is just a superman book with no mention of his clark half


  3. IronBerserk Says:

    OH MY GOD, freaking hilarious! Thanks for introducing me to JL8 Tim! Laughing my ass off at the moment. Mr. Darkseid especially made me laugh out loud hard 😀

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