Interviewing Indy Comic-Book artist Sean Eike.
Me: For those unfamiliar with you work what have you all worked on?
Sean Eike: I’ve worked on quite a bit in the last 10 years. Most of it was uncredited work. It has been a lot of activity and coloring books… most of which were educational. There have been a number of comic books used for educational
purposes as well as corporate retreats or team-building. This year I released “Rocket Transfer’s Secret Files”, which is an anthology made up of stories that I have written or outlined since high school. Those books are available on IndyPlanet.com
Me: You went to the Kubert School. What was that like?
Sean Eike: That was probably the best time in my educational life. It was tough work, but valuable lessons. And I got to meet great artists like Joe Kubert and Frank Frazetta before their passing. Actually, Joe’s death is the reason I started on
the path that led to the release of “Rocket Transfer’s Secret Files”. I never had the opportunity to tell him that I was doing anything I loved with what he and his school had taught me. Every book that I do from now on will be dedicated to
him. Funny and true story… after his death I was doing a tribute piece based on some his artwork. While carefully trying to recreate his line work I started picking up on some simple tricks to improve my work and cut down on my production time. Even after his death, Joe Kubert was still teaching me how to draw!
Me: What is this indiegogo you are doing?
Sean Eike: This project is different from “Rocket Transfer’s Secret Files” as it will be full color instead of black and white interior art. I will be using both gouache watercolor and traditional watercolor to finish the art. It’s a story that combines elements of other stories that I just couldn’t make work for “Rocket Transfer’s Secret Files”, but when I started studying Norse mythology, I found that these ancient tales provided a great framework for these stories that I had started but were destined to sit in a notebook. The story is called “Rage Against Hel” and is about a young woman named Tanngnidr Huginnson (who no one in the story really knows about her past) who thinks she is one of Odin’s Valkyries trapped in the modern world. Most people pass it off as her being an eccentric person but in reality she is two souls trapped in one body as a plan by Hel, guardian of the underworld, to take over the world. The four part mini-series will explore Tanngnidr’s relationship with
her single mother roommate, Emily, and the struggle with the two souls in her mind. Will she be able to confront Hel and restore hope for the world of the living? Contribute and find out!
Me: What would the funds or money you make go to?
Sean Eike: About two thirds goes to not-fun stuff (fees, taxes, etc…) and fun stuff (perks that I can give to the wonderful people who donate). The rest goes into 1) Paying for all of the supplies for the book. 2) Advertising and promotion and 3) Printing additional books. Advertising and promotion is a big part of this. A lot of people say that it can be done cheaply on social media, but to get the campaign going it will take a lot of time (which means I’m not drawing comic books) or I will have to hire someone to run a social media campaign for me. No matter what it’s going to cost me money. Another thing I would like to do is offer comic book stores a buy-back option. I will sell them (the retailers) books and any that don’t sell in 6 months I will buy back (pending they are still in sellable condition).
Me: As an artist who are your inspirations?
Sean Eike: Todd McFarlane has been a long-standing inspiration for me. Of course Joe Kubert and Carmine Infantino. Frankly, I don’t follow too many comic books or artists today (outside of friends in the industry). A lot of imagery that sticks in my mind and where I draw influence are from movie directors. Frank Capra’s storytelling… John Ford’s eye for location… Stephen Speilberg’s child-like wonder… all very critical, I feel, in the development of my comic book career. I think a lot of that came from my dad (who is a far more talented artist than I am) who taught me to diagnose why the movies worked and what didn’t work.
Me: Do you plan on ever working for the big four down the road?
Sean Eike: Big four? I assume you are talking about Marvel, DC, Image and… Dark Horse? They may be big in terms of their sales, but there are a lot of great books being put out by IDW, Archaia Studios Press and many other small publishers.
As any freelancer will say, I would welcome the opportunity to work for any comic book company if the terms are right. But it’s not something I am actively pursuing. Personally I have some great projects that I am wanting to get started on sooner rather than later.
Me: What advice do you give to aspiring artists?
Sean Eike: Draw all the time. Also draw the insignificant things. Curbs. Fire hydrants. Everything! And don’t forget to use reference. It’s the job of the comic book artist to tell a story so it’s good to bring some sort of familiarity to your book to
help the reader develop the story in their mind.
Urban Gamerz 411 would like to take the time to thank Sean Eike for the opportunity of Interviewing him, and we hope for the opportunity to do so again in the future. You can follow him at https://www.facebook.com/SeanEikeArtist
and help contribute to his work at http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/rage-against-hel
Interviewed by Austin A. Hamblin.