Brittney Williams, a wonderful artist from South Carolina and former Disney Story Intern currently has one of the freshest forthcoming fan adaptations of DC Comics’ Superman dubbed The Daily Planet Files currently on the internet. She has been sharing her colorful, kinetic concept art and designs of the characters for the the project as they’ve developed (Lois has purple hair!) for the past year. I’ve praised her approach to the Superman Family in the face of DC’s current mismanagement before and today I was able to sit down and talk with Brittney about her series.
Max: Hi there!
Brittney: Hey good afternoon!
Max: Good afternoon! Glad I caught you! How are you?
Brittney: All is well! It’s a nice rainy afternoon here.
Max: I’m up in Maryland we just cleared up today after two days of rain, it’s super nice out. I didn’t mind the rain though!
Brittney: I think whatever weather front that was up there moved its way down here to the Carolinas! It’s really peaceful and relaxing when it rains!
Max: We had so much it sort of crossed the line from between charming to “Oh god are the gutters cleared?” but we made it through okay. Anyway, I wanted to thank you for taking your time to chat with me today, it’s super cool, this is something new we’re doing and I’m super excited!
Brittney: Oh no, I’m really glad the rain cleared then- nobody wants a monsoon! I can’t remember if I said 2 oclock or 3 yesterday, I hope I’m not too late or early. I’m really excited to share and be a part of this also!
Max: You made it on time just fine!
Brittney: I really need to be more organized!
Max: So do I! I think it comes with the artistic temperament. So, I’ve been a big fan and been following your progress on your Superman and Lois Lane, or to be more accurate Superman Family fan project, The Daily Planet Files for a while now, I think it’s so far a pitch perfect adaptation. Can you tell how that started?
Brittney: Thank you! The Daily Planet Files all started out as a single piece of fanart, featuring Lois, Jimmy, and Clark that kind of morphed into a much bigger concept. I’m really glad people are liking this very random fan project!
Max: It’s super cute; teenagers and twenty, thirty-something
s are really receptive judging by the notes you receive on tumblr. It has a certain element of fun and casualness that is sorely missing from the real comics these days. I think it would have a lot of marketing potential. They [DC] doesn’t seem to know what to do with them [Superman Family], particularly Clark. Have you noticed this and was your original fanart any sort of response, or was it more of a fun thing?
Brittney: Hmm, I never actually thought about this. Originally the fanart was in response to the Superman Animated series from the 90’s. After school I would come home turn on the tv and watch both Superman and Batman religiously. Last year I was flipping through the tube and found Superman being replayed, and was like heck yeah I’m watching this! From that happy sense of nostalgia I drew a simple image of Lois, Jimmy and Clark walking and conversing with each other. From there more questions and ideas arose. I started thinking about the Silver Age Superman stories where there was a lot of crazy fun zany cool stuff happening all the time and how it was impossible to ever know what to expect next.I kind of just wanted to draw a Clark Kent and Superman who were the best friend/hero you could hope to have. A Lois Lane who unwittingly puts herself in all sorts of perilous predicaments in an attempt to save the world one story at a time, and a teenage Jimmy Olsen who wants to be good at something and eventually stand on his own. They’re a team of friends trying to figure out who they are and ultimately do the best they can through their adventures…I’
m honestly not sure if I answered that question correctly!
Max: 100% answered it just fine! I love your Clark and Lois, I remember you said your Lois has Japanese heritage?
Brittney: Thank you! I was thinking maybe her mother had an Asian background, her family is very multicultural.
Max: Clark also looks pretty multicultural, I sense a bit of Dean Cain in his design, was that intentional too?
Brittney: I wanted him to be an “everyman” if that makes any sense at all, so his skin tone is right in the middle- kind of an almond brown. Plus as a guy who relies on the sun for energy I wanted him to look like someone who soaks up sun rays on a daily basis. Dean Cain influence is definitely there, but I was thinking more about Christopher Reeves while I was designing Clark.
Max: I think you succeed rather well! I can definitely see the influence there. You’ve seemed to have settled on their designs after a period of development and retooling, and your artwork has a very unique look, particularly your coloring. Do you have any particular influences when it comes to your artwork?
Brittney: Hahaa, yeah at one point there designs were all over the place. I really love vibrant colors! As for art influences my top two will always be Akira Toriyama and Eiichiro Oda. So much fun and adventure with those two!
Max: That’s awesome, and your love of color shows, your palettes are always really nice. You’ve talked on your blog quite a bit about growing up and wanting to draw Spider-Man and Gundams and literally be Akira Toriyama, and how you decided last minute to apply to a Story Apprenticeship at Disney after prepping for a Visual Development. What was that experience like?
Brittney: In the end I think all of those different childhood likes and obsessions, created who I became as an adult. Ultimate Spider-Man got me really into comics in middle school and that’s when I really started drawing comics. Then the whole anime/manga wave happened and I was really into giant robots and various Shonen manga. In the long run all of those things led me into my love of storytelling and applying for the Story internship at Disney (which I miraculously got). And oh my gosh did I learn a lot, it was an amazing experience!
Max: Was jumping from visual development to story-boarding a big change?
Brittney: Oh actually I’d never done either of them before. This was right after graduating from a state college with a degree in graphic design. I’d assumed I’d apply for the Vis Dev internship because I thought that was a better idea, when in reality I had more of a knack for story-boarding. I do love them both, but I realized I had more of a desire to tell stories.
Max: I’m all about storytelling too! That’s awesome and very bold of you to apply for either. I think that’s missing a bit in a lot of comics. People just want to write a character but don’t know how to tell a particular fun story? Since I also run a fan comic and collaborative series Batgirl Inc, it’s been so nice to talk to someone also doing fan work who just wants to tell stories using great characters!
Brittney: Yeah in today’s world, I don’t see why everyone isn’t just doing there own thing you know? If anythings going to change, and if we want new and exciting stories it’s time to do instead of sitting around waiting to be told! Go Team Fan Work!!
Max: Exactly, I think people are too scared of people judging doing “fanfiction” which I think is ridiculous; every new adaptation of a comic is fanfiction, you are just either paid and it folded into canon or not.
Brittney: Exactly, we need a revolution!
Max: Okay, one last thing; You say you have some exciting news and stuff coming up this year, I’ll assume pertaining to The Daily Planet Files, think you can give us a hint or is it top secret?
Brittney: Hmm, not so much top secret but a variety of works-in-progre
ss, team-ups and preparation for maybe even bigger things to come- very cryptic I know! We’ll see what the future holds, either way I’ll continue drawing everyone’s favorite citizens of Metropolis!
Max: That’s so exciting. Thanks so much for your time, I would love to talk again soon sometime, Both everyone here at Sub-Cultured and I are super excited to see what comes from you next! Thanks so much for talking with me.
Brittney: It was my pleasure, thank you!
You can see Brittney’s work and reach her at
See you all real soon!
Staff Writer/The Doctor