Interview With Joe Eisma, Artist of Images Morning Glories
Yesterday I got my first taste of the Morning Glories comic with issue number 9, got mad that I waited so long to dive into the series and spent the afternoon hunting down the first 8 issues. To make up for my lack of insight, Joe Eisma, the artist for the series was kind enough to talk with us so that I could make myself feel better about being so late to his amazing work!
WPR: How did you get the spot doing art for Morning Glories?
JE: Nick & I are both longtime posters on Brian Michael Bendis’ message board, Jinxworld. I’ve been there since about 2003, and he popped up later. It’s a great place for up and coming creators to post their work and get critiques and to network. Nick started posting a few years after I’d gotten there, showing his various pitches and trying to work his way up in comics. I’d been posting my art there for awhile too, getting some attention and interest. So, around summer 2009, Nick sent me a message asking if I’d be interested in reading his pitch, which he described as ‘Runaways meets Lost.’ Of course I was hooked, and the rest they say, is history!
WPR: What’s been your inspiration as an artist?
JE: Comics, obviously! More specifically, I grew up loving artists like John Byrne, Marc Silvestri and Jim Lee. In my formative art years, I really tried to mimic their styles. These days, however, the biggest influences on my art are artists like Frank Cho, Gabriel Ba & Fabio Moon, Gabriel Rodriguez, Steve McNiven, and Adrian Alphona. Manga artists like Naoki Urasawa and Natsume Ono have been a big influence lately as well. Filmmakers like Akira Kurosawa, Stanley Kubrick and Alfred Hitchcock have been highly influential also.
WPR: I hear you’re ‘self taught’ as an artist, do you think there is advantages to learning as you go instead of going to art school?
JE: I am primarily self taught, but I did attend an 18-month graduate program in video game art. I’m actually torn on the issue of art school! I think it’s valuable in teaching the fundamentals and the different techniques, but not so good for your style. I know while I was at grad school, my professors styles kind of crept into my work, and it took me awhile to shake that and find my own voice. There are things I wish I knew more about, like oil and acrylic painting, that I didn’t get due to my mostly self-taught nature.
WPR: What did you draw today?
JE: A commission of Morning Glories’ Miss Daramount and Nurse Nine.
WPR: Some artists do warm up sketches before they get into their core artwork, do you do anything like that?
JE: I do! Well, I try to on most days. Depending on the deadline, I might not have time to do a lot of warming up before jumping into the main drawing. A lot of the time as well, I run out of ideas for what to sketch, so I just start my normal drawing.
WPR: What is the hardest thing you ever had to draw for a comic?
JE: It would probably have to be ‘Notorious’ short stories I worked on last year with Jay Faerber for Dynamo 5. Each story was only 5 pages long, and they were packed to the gills with drama and action. It was a challenge to exercise all those storytelling muscles and really make those 5 pages count! It was a good learning experience, though, and I’d do it again!
WPR: Is there a “Dream” comic hero you’d love to draw a series for?
JE: I know it’s silly and highly unrealistic due to rights issues, but without a doubt, ROM: Spaceknight.
WPR: With the detail that you put into your work, do you find it hard to just get out of the studio and breath some fresh air?
JE: It is, actually! There are times I really lose the time when working on a page. I enjoy drawing detailed art, but sometimes the day is gone before I know it. Luckily, my son is there to pull me away from the desk and remind me that I should be playing trains with him.
WPR: Do you do commission work or does your comics at Image take up all of your time?
JE: Yes, I do commission work! I’ve been working on several this week inbetween pages for Morning Glories.
And if you need any proof that he defiantly knows how to draw, just look at the gallery below and nod your head.