Eric Cockrell answers the Indie Eleven. [Sorry for having Cristian's info here for the last few weeks.]
1. Are you currently working on any projects and what can we see?
I’m always working on the next Defective Comics book. As soon as one is published, work on the next one always begins. The thing I’m working on that is most exciting to me right now, however, is a comic adaptation of my 2016 novel, Blister: A Punk Rock Memoir.
At the moment, as far as recent things you can see, there are four issues of Defective Comics from 2015 through now, two issues of Adhesive Man that were re-released this year, and I have a handful of short stories in our Rejected Hammer Thesis anthology series.
2. Is there a particular concept or piece you are most proud of in your work and why?
I’m pretty proud of any project I’ve completed. Completing a comic book or novel is a large accomplishment in itself, but if I had to pick one thing I’d say I’m most proud of the evolution of Adhesive Man over the past 25 years. I’ve worked hard to refine my style and the character design, never settling for how things are for long. Last year I even gave him a visible nose.
3. Do you have any formal training? Do you even think it's necessary?
I’m not sure if it’s necessary, you can be successful and have no training. I do have formal training, though. I received my bachelor’s degree from the American Academy of Art in Chicago. I studied graphic design and illustration under some phenomenal instructors that work in the field, such as Thomas Gianni.
4. Analog(traditional) or Digital, or a combination of both? What tools do you use and why?
I do a combination of both. I use a Cintiq, and at one time I intended to use it to expedite my drawing, by drawing directly on screen, but I never got into it. I still like the feel of pencil and pen on paper. I sketch on 11” X 17” bristol board with a mechanical pencil, and ink with some Faber-Castell india ink pens. I scan the page and color and letter digitally in Photoshop.
5. How did you stumble into the Indie Comics scene?
Well, 25 years ago I was drawing Adhesive Man comics and printing them on a xerox machine at the local convenience store. I wasn’t doing anything in a very serious way, but that was the start. Within a couple years of that I met a man named Charles Moisant who was selling his comic “Kremin” at a local collectibles show. That was a big, inspiring, moment for me. Around that same time Jeff Smith’s Bone was blowing up, and Image Comics was forming. So indie comics was a big thing. When I finally was able to publish my own work in a serious way, finding the scene was easy via the internet. Around then it was all LiveJournal, now Facebook. Even more exciting is visiting and exhibiting at shows and meeting other creators in person.
6. There can only be one survivor! Penciler, Colorist, Letterer, Writer. Why'd you pick that one? Please Explain.
Penciler. You can’t pencil a book that isn’t written, but it’s not a comic book without a penciler. Everyone’s job is important, but the penciler is essential to making it a comic book.
7. Who's your hero? Athlete? Family member? Teacher? Caped Crusader?
My father, Carroll Cockrell, is my hero. I come from a very loving home and have the most amazing parents. My father taught me very recently that age doesn’t matter when it comes to accomplishing your dreams. In his sixties he produced two compilation CDs of some phenomenal guitarists for charity, and recorded his own album, and played his first concerts since he was a kid. He’s an amazing guitarist, husband, father, grandfather, and friend. I’m blessed to have such a great role model.
8. Do you even read comics, bro? If so which ones, if not...why not?
Sometimes I pick up Marvel event comics, but haven’t since Secret Wars a couple years ago. I’ve recently read the He-Man/ThunderCats series because that is my childhood, and the Poe Dameron, Star Wars series. My favorite ongoing mainstream-ish book is Dynamite’s James Bond series. It’s one of my favorite iterations of Bond. I think it really “gets” the source material. On the very indie side, I picked up Scott Weldon’s Harland Buck comic in recent months. I’m a fan and highly recommend that one. It’s the most polished indie comic I’ve ever seen, in every way.
9. You can earn a comfortable living doing ANYTHING. What is it? Feel free to explain why.
I do love my career as a video producer, but I’d give that up to live comfortably creating comics. Comics are my passion.
10. Where can people see more of your work or find out more about you?
You’ll find all of our available books at www.studioerbo.com, or on social media, just search “Studio Erbo.”
11. Anything else you'd like to share with us? Political view. Religious view. Baby on the way? Your first job? Email address? Favorite sports team?
I am bummed that my Blackhawks bombed out of the playoffs this year.