The Good Fighters: Cliff Chiang

by Betsy Gomez

Cliff Chiang does more than draw the best Wonder Woman around. In addition to his prodigious talent as an artist, he’s a witty and generous fellow, always ready to donate his dwindling spare time to a worthy cause. When CBLDF asked Chiang to create a new vision of Lady Liberty for our 2012 member cards, he fashioned an image as iconic as the Statue of Liberty herself.

In this installment of The Good Fighters, we sat down with Chiang for a quick chat about the impetus behind his Lady Liberty design and why he supports CBLDF.

CBLDF: How did you get involved with CBLDF?

Cliff Chiang: As a comics reader and professional, I feel like I’ve always known about the CBLDF and their mission. In the past I’ve been able to donate some pieces towards fund-raising, but I’m thrilled to work with Charles and Alex on the membership cards.

CBLDF: What was your inspiration for the new membership card artwork? Any chance your version of Lady Liberty was inspired by your work on Wonder Woman?

CC: I think maybe [CBLDF Executive Director Charles Brownstein] and [Deputy Director Alex Cox] were inspired by my Wonder Woman art enough to ask me to pitch in! A few of the Wonder Woman covers I’ve drawn featured her in very strong aspirational poses, and something clicked. It made sense to try and tie that kind of feeling to the CBLDF, and I’m really happy with the way it turned out. We wanted something proud, almost patriotic, so I tried to draw some inspiration from WPA posters. That kind of nostalgic look is so graphically appealing while also imparting a kind of innate strength to the image.

CBLDF: What is your favorite banned book and why? (The ALA has a list of banned books here.)

CC: Wow, there are a lot of good books on that list, and I love many of them. Right now, I’d say Brave New World, because it shows how easily we can be lulled into ambivalence. Soma!

CBLDF: Has your work ever been censored?

CC: I’ve been edited, but luckily, no, I’ve never been censored.

CBLDF: You’ve worked with CBLDF and ACLU. How important is volunteerism to you?

CC: I’m very grateful for the opportunity to help out, and as my career progresses, I do feel a duty to use my skills to advance these causes.

CBLDF: What would you tell someone to convince him or her to become a member of CBLDF?

CC: Creativity is nothing without free speech, and the comics industry needs an organization to fight for it. I’m glad the CBLDF is there to advocate for all of us. If you love comics as much as I do, it’s more important than ever to show your support.

Please help support CBLDF’s important First Amendment work by making a donation or becoming a member of the CBLDF!

Betsy Gomez is the Web Editor for CBLDF.