Interview With Batgirl Artist Babs Tarr


For the upcoming releases of Batgirl Vol. 1: Batgirl of Burnside and Gotham Academy Vol. 1: Welcome to Gotham Academy, Bam Smack Pow was able to get an exclusive interview with artist Babs Tarr. A new artist who’s certainly making a name for herself at DC Comics, Ms. Tarr’s run on Batgirl has been nothing short of successful, helping to create a fresher, newer Batgirl for the next generation.

(Read More > Batgirl Vol. 1: Batgirl of Burnside Review)

Speaking to Ms. Tarr, we explore how her interests in fashion and current trends molded her youthful, unique takes on some of DC’s most iconic properties.

Bam Smack Pow: Many critics have said that your design of Batgirl’s uniform may be the best super hero outfit they’ve ever seen. What was the inspiration for the design? How many iterations did it take until you were happy with it?

Babs Tarr: I actually collaborated heavily with Batgirl writer Cameron Stewart on the design of the outfit. When I initially accepted the job, he sent me images and I punched it up a bit. The initial outfit had her ears exposed and not much in terms of detailing for the costume. I added the earrings because I myself love earrings. I also added the lines in her jacket to make it look more like what you would find in an actual leather jacket worn by a girl. To up the sexiness, I gave Batgirl a side pouch which complemented her utility belt nicely. Cameron really “Mr. Myiagi-ed” me through the process and mentored me a lot. We did two test pages and he was extremely happy with both of them. Cameron ended up keeping all my changes.

BSP: You’ve worked on quite a few big-name titles in the comics industry. Which titles were your favorite to work on and why?

BT: So far, for Batgirl, I only did the interiors. But my favorite titles to work on have always been the younger characters. I really like focusing on fashion and what’s trendy. And you can’t really do that with the older, more mature characters. With the adult characters, you have to keep their costumes unique and classic. If you didn’t, it would look a bit ridiculous and forced … like you were trying too hard. That’s why my favorite current title is Gotham Academy. I really get to play with the cute pinks. Superboy is also great to work on. I get to give him his old 1990’s look. You know, make him a bit more hipster.

BSP: You’ve accomplished quite a lot in this challenging and competitive industry. What advice can you give aspiring artists that are just starting out who hope to be as successful as you?

BT: Follow your heart. Always stay true to yourself. Work on something you love and the success will find you.

(Read More > Batgirl Vol. 1: Batgirl of Burnside Review)

BSP: What character(s) would you love to redesign if given the chance?

BT: I think it would be fun to work on Wonder Woman. She’s an older character, but you can have a lot of fun with her design. She’s more mature and has a very majestic appearance. I would love to work with artist Cliff Chiang because I’m the most impressed with his rendition of Wonder Woman.

BSP: What’s next in the world of Babs Tarr besides comics? Any personal passion projects that you’re currently working on?

BT: Oh, trust me, comics are keeping me really busy at the moment. All I’m doing is comics, and within that realm, only Batgirl. If I have time, I might do some cool illustrations on the side. I also go to a lot of conventions, so come by and visit me at my booth! Oh, and before I forget, I did all the layout for the upcoming Batgirl #41 which is a first for me — I did all the art and the inks. So make sure you look for it on June 24, 2015. For Batgirl #44, I did the main cover, and that comes out on September 23, 2015.

Batgirl Vol. 1: The Batgirl of Burnside will be released on June 16, 2015.

Gotham Academy Vol. 1: Welcome to Gotham Academy on June 23, 2015.

Barbara “Babs” Tarr grew up in Charleston, South Carolina and received her BFA in illustration from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland. After a short stint in San Francisco doing freelance work, she has made the move back to Charleston to be closer to family.

Before comics, Ms. Tarr’s portfolio also included video game characters and toy designs.  In 2014, her art and whimsical Japanese-influenced style caught the eye of DC Comics which led to her hiring and current work on Batgirl.

When Ms. Tarr is not in the studio, she can be found at various conventions meeting fans and presenting at panels.

Source:, Comic Vine, Wikipedia

Next: Batgirl Vol. 1: Batgirl of Burnside Review

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