James Silvani with a commissioned Negaduck sketch
Growing up, I had many cartoons that made my mandatory must watch list. See back then, there was no DVR to record and watch later option and the VCR was reserved for my parents. So it was either watch live, or watch never. Besides watching my usual Batman cartoons, there was only one other cartoon that was watched on a consistent basis and that was Darkwing Duck. I loved that show. To me it was like the light hearted version of Batman. From the first episode, I was hooked. I even begged and pleaded for my mom to get me Darkwing’s famous Gas Fun for my birthday. It did not disappoint. So it was a no brainer to sit and talk with the man responsible for just about all the drawings in the Darkwing Duck comics, James Silvani.
For those who are unfamiliar with Darkwing Duck…who is Darkwing Duck?
Darkwing Duck is the terror that flaps in the night. He is the superhero of St. Canard and he protects the city in his own unique way. In reality he is mild-mannered Drake Mallard, who is raising his adopted daughter, Gosalyn and lives with his best friend Launchpad McQuack.
Did you ever think that the character would be so popular 25 years later?
You know, Darkwing Duck is like Batman. He’s eternal. He will never go away.
How do you see him now compared to when you first started working on the character?
Oh boy. Well, now in the comics we keep a little more continuity to it, but back in the original show, every episode was its own unique self-contained episode. With the new ones, we try to follow a little story line and develop the character a little bit more.
When did you realize he was a hit?
That’s a really good question. I would have to say it was probably the first panel I did at one of the comic conventions, when the room was completely filled and it was standing room only left.
Do you have a favorite fan moment that sticks out the most?
Hmmmm. I just can’t get over the love that people show for Darkwing even 25 years later.
Besides Darkwing Duck who is your favorite character to draw?
That was the first comic book I ever had when I was a kid. It was the Carl Barks’ Uncle Scrooge comics.
What is your favorite issue, episode, or storyline that you have been a part of?
I think I had the most fun on Crisis on Infinite Darkwings storyline because I got to create a new Darkwing for every panel I drew.
If you could team Darkwing Duck with any hero from any universe, who would it be?
It would probably be Batman so that Darkwing could show him how it’s done.
If he could fight any villain who would you pit him against?
Oh man. He doesn’t need any more villains. He’s got his hands full with the ones he got.
So a few weeks ago, news broke up that Darkwing Duck and Duck Tales did not share the same universe. What are your thoughts?
I think there’s room for multiple Darkwing universes. In Darkwing’s world there’s a Scrooge McDuck so it all works out.
If you could redraw any famous comic book story, with Darkwing Duck as main character, do you have any in mind?
Hmm. That presents a lot of possibilities. I would almost like to do a Darkwing version of Life and Times of Scrooge Duck. I’d tell one long story of Darkwing’s whole existence.
Any advice for up and coming artists?
Draw every day. Don’t just draw splash pages. If you want to do comics, then tell stories.
Thank you for the great memories, the great sketch, and a great childhood.
The new Darkwing Duck comics are out now from Joe Books and you can always check out James’ work on his website www.silvaniart.com.
Sketches from James of Darkwing Duck and Negaduck