RICH INTERVIEWS: Alex Cormack Artist for The Devil That Wears My Face

First Comics News: How do comic book professionals go about getting new jobs?

Alex Cormack: I can’t speak for them all but when I started I would go to anything comic-related like comic cons, drink and draws, or signings and talk to people and get to know them. I wouldn’t always get a job out of it but I would meet new people and make friends and once in a while, someone would say that they have a script or they would like me to do a pin-up or a cover, and that snowballed into a career. These days the writers that I have been working with, will normally try to figure out something else to do after a book is finished and once in a while, I’ll get an email or a DM from someone asking if I’m available.

Rich: How did you become the great artist that you are?

Alex: Lots of practice and learning. I was always the kid in the classroom getting yelled at for doodling and luckily my parents really
encouraged me to pursue art. My mother was able to get me into classes at the MFA in Boston on Saturdays when I was a kid and at home, I would teach myself how to draw characters in different styles from Garfield to Wolverine to Fred Flintstone. I went to college to study fine arts, which led to photography, then transferred and studied illustration and graduated majoring in animation. And since then I still research and learn about new techniques and what artists of the past have done, I’m still learning and experimenting.

1st: When you draw the Priest in “The Devil That Wears My Face” with Legion possessing him how do you show there is a demon inside the man?

Alex: Sometimes it’s not so subtle with red eyes and the thousands of eyes surrounding him, other times I try to give him a sinister look and keep that in mind whenever I draw him.

1st: How do you find working with David Pepose?

Alex: Love it! Dave is such a great guy and we were already friends before we started Devil, he is passionate about this story and is a brilliant writer! This won’t be the last time we collaborate.

1st: Do you try to think of yourself as the character you are drawing?

Alex: When I start a page I’ll set up my wife’s laptop and act out the scenes to get a feeling of movement and motion and acting, so in that sense I do. But when I get into the actual drawing, the characters take on a life of their own and become their people.

1st: Do you prefer drawing monsters over superheroes?

Alex: Monsters are just a blast to draw, and so are superheroes but if I had to choose, and in this case, I do have to choose, I’ll go with monsters.

Rich: What is “Drive Like Hell” all about and the car you drawing in it is it special?

Alex: Drive Like Hell is about a getaway driver who steals a car for a bank robbery, the only problem is the car he steals belongs to the devil so it turns into a huge chase with demons, cops, an evangelical church group, and satanic bikers! The car, known as Lucy, is actually based on Rich’s father’s car. Originally I drew it as a Dodge charger only because I always thought that type of car looks cool, but then Rich told me a story about how his Dad had a white Firebird and how cool it was when he was growing up, and after that we decided that that had to be the car, except since it’s the devil’s car we painted it black with a demon skull on the hood. So Lucy is 100% dedicated to Rich’s Pop.

Rich: In “Ghost On The Water” did you research the Maori culture to use in your art?

Alex: I did, Ben and Jeremy sent me images to look at and at the same time I researched what I could online and at my town’s library. I wanted to be respectful of the culture as much as I could and on top of that it was fascinating to read about and would get me jazzed up about the project!

1st: How do you feel when you have finished an interior page of a comic and you know it’s good?

Alex: It’s great! But often I’m thinking of the book as one big thing as opposed to individual pages, so when I finish a book that’s when I celebrate.

1st: If you could be the regular artist on one comic from Marvel or DC which one would it be and why?

Alex: It’s hard to narrow it down, for Marvel, I’ll start with Spider-Man because my son is a huge fan, but Wolverine, Sabertooth, Ghost Rider, Hulk, Conan to name a few. And for DC I grew up loving Batman so that would be amazing, but Superman, Etrigan the Demon would be fun.

Rich: You have worked for a lot of different comic companies over your career do any standout?

Alex: Each one does in their way. Some helped me get my start, some connected me with writers and friends that I still work with, and some gave me a chance to experiment and try new things. Most I still work with but they all have meant something to me one way or another.

Rich: What other types of jobs have you had besides drawing?

Alex: Well let’s see. I’ve worked as a courier delivering medical supplies, as A professor at Lesley University, a freelance animator, I worked at Disney World and ran the tea cups, the Snow White ride, and the Pooh Bear ride, and worked security around the Peter Pan ride, and the small world ride, I worked at Boston University taking apart books and scanning them into computers to make audiobooks for the blind, I worked at the New England Aquarium in the gift shop, I was a camp counselor, and I know there’s more but those are the ones off the top of my head.

1st: What superpower would you like to have if you could have one and what would you do with it?

Alex: To make multiple versions of myself so I could do all the things I need to do.

1st: What would you like to say to the fans of your work?

Alex: I’m so happy you dig the work!

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