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The secret Britney Spears influence on DC's Superman: Harvests of Youth by Sina Grace

The pop star's hometown helped shape the look of Smallville

A panel from Superman: Harvests of Youth graphic novel of Clark Kent flying.
Image credit: DC Comics

Superman: Harvest of Youth is a reimagining of Clark Kent during his high school days. Sina Grace, the writer and artist of the book, shared the inspirations he used to create the visual style during the ALA Annual Conference. Some were conventional such as the art of Jake Wyatt, while others were out of the box. A viewing of a Britney Spears documentary helped shape Grace’s version of Smallville.

In the graphic novel, Clark’s hometown is like another character so Grace wanted to create a “specific and modern Smallville rather than sort of this cookie cutter generic, anywhere. I really wanted it to have this texture.”

Sometimes you draw inspiration in the weirdest places. Grace continued, "Oddly enough, the Britney Spears documentary. All the pans over her hometown. Look, this place is my reference.”

Writer and artist Sina Grace holds up sketches from the Superman: Harvests of Youth graphic novel.
Image credit: Sina Grace

For the character designs, Grace used an old Jake Wyatt sketchbook so he could learn how to draw youth like the artist. Little did he know that Wyatt was making My Adventures with Superman at DC. If you are a fan of the animated series, Grace thinks you’ll enjoy his book. “I feel like it visually looks like it and if you read this, it’s a perfect prequel to the cartoon because Clark was in college then. This Clark is in high school."

What’s next for Sina Grace? At the end of the panel, he shared a sketch of Plastic Man hoping to manifest working with the character.

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