First Comics News: Evan, may I ask some background information? Where were your born? Where did you grow up?
I was born and raised just outside of Detroit, Michigan, to a Greek father and a Polish-American mother. With the exception of maybe New Orleans, you could not imagine a more perfect city than Detroit to immerse yourself in as a creator. From strong Native American origins, to French Colonialism, to the the opulent rise of the automotive industry, to the Arsenal Of Democracy, to racial strife, to modern urban decay and ethnic diversity coming in different historical waves, Detroit is a treasure trove of storytelling opportunities.
1st: Are you an writer, artist or both?
I am a writer, but I place a tremendous amount of importance on the visual element of comics creation. When working full script, I normally draw extremely crude layouts during the early stages of creation. When working Marvel style, I try to work with artists who have a strong background in sequential storytelling, and not second guess their ability and experience.
1st: Who are some of your greatest influences in comics?
My “Mount Rushmore” of comics would be: Stan Lee, Gil Kane, Ed Brubaker, and Larry Hama. Stan for his vision, persistence and youthful exuberance. Gil for his supreme talent, and for an article he penned for THE HARVARD JOURNAL OF PICTORIAL FICTION that left a lasting impression on my work. Ed for his pacing (he has the rare ability to let his panels properly “breathe”) and for his respect in allowing sequential art to play the most important role in storytelling. Larry for his work on GI JOE, particularly GI JOE #21 “SILENT INTERLUDE.” That issue single-handedly displays the power of comics as a storytelling medium. ANYTHING can be accomplished, any emotion evoked, any action conveyed, and you don’t need a single word to do it!
1st: If you could hang out with any comic creator, who would it be?
If I could hang out with one comic creator it would be Daniel Warren Johnson. I love his style and energy, and would love to jam on a story with him someday.
1st:What has your experience been working as an Indie creator?
Working as an indie creator is an exercise in patience, in sacrifice, in improvement, in study, in branding, but most of all in building friendships with some fantastic people who share your passion. I would not trade it for anything!
1st: You have worked on numerous projects over the years one of the projects is was Caliber Comics/Secondsight Harvest Of Horrors , what can you tell the readers about that title. Who is involved in that project and where is it available?
Harvest Of Horrors 2 is a black & white horror anthology featuring 5 eerie shorts. I contributed a fun little story called CAT LADY, which was illustrated by Nik Poliwko, who was absolutely fantastic to work with. Nik is a regular contributor to SHUDDER magazine, and his style is very reminiscent of EC horror art of old. The story follows the plight of a woman suffering from a failing marriage and domestic abuse, who has finally had enough. The story was lettered by LetterSquids and edited by Andrea Lorenzo Molinari.
You can order Harvest Of Horrors 2 on Amazon or at calibercomics.com
1rst: Congratulations on a successful Zoop campaign for Blood Run! What was it like working with Zoop and what can you tell the readers about the comic?
Thank you! Our Zoop experience was fantastic! It is a soup to nuts solution for creators who want to crowdfund, but don’t necessarily want to spend every waking moment worrying about their campaign. Their pre-campaign consulting was extremely helpful, their page-building was top notch, their marketing efforts were strong, and they were communicative every step of the way. We look forward to working with Zoop again in the very near future! (Hint, hint)
1st: Evan, I know you are currently working on a project for Gloomy Cat with Stefano Cardoselli called Sister Kate, is there anything you can tell the readers about it?
SISTER KATE is a one shot illustrated by Stefano Cardoselli that will be published by Second Sight Publishing. It is a story of terrible pain, demonic villains, and an ass-kicking former nun who has vengeance on her mind. It has a much different feel than a lot of my previous work. I had actually originally written a much darker version of this story, and had an epiphany. So much good has happened to me in my life, particularly since I discovered my faith. I have a beautiful wife who loves me every step of the way. I have two little girls who keep me young and put a smile on my face. I get to tell entertaining stories that will be around long after I’m gone that are illustrated by the best artists on the planet. How could I not give back in some way? So, I scrapped the original dark narrative, and wrote about faith. And I could not be happier with the final product! I think it will be well-received by fans of all ages and backgrounds, particularly in today’s chaotic world.
The Gloomy Cat pages are updated regularly on Facebook and Instagram.
1st: Do you have a web page and links to projects you would like to tell us about.?
Fans can follow me on Twitter & Facebook.
1st: Where are your anthologies comics and books available?
TIME GRUNTS and HARVEST OF HORRORS 2 are available on Amazon and calibercomics.com
SILENCE, ATHENA: THE UNDYING, SISTER KATE, and C.O.L.D. Unit will be available in comic shops in Canada and the USA through Second Sight Publishing.
1st: What advice can you give to anyone interested in getting into comics ?
My advice to anyone interested in getting into comics would be to study the art with fire and passion. Focus on the visual. Too many comics today are filled with word balloons and talking heads. Think out of the box. Go to shows, talk to creators, attend panels. The comics community is a tremendous resource. A book that helped me immensely when I first started was Brian Michael Bendis’ WORDS FOR PICTURES. Hire the best, pay them well, and on time. Don’t underestimate the importance of a professional letterer. Hire an editor to review your script BEFORE any art begins. The biggest tip? Write for yourself, with heart, with pride, and with emotion!
1st: Its been my pleasure to interview you Evan, you have had a big impact on me as a creator. Thanks for your time and Evan, do you have any other projects coming up we haven’t discussed and you want the readers to know about?
Thank you! It was a blast! I would tell fans of my horror and action projects to keep their eyes on upcoming solicitations from Second Sight Publishing! They will not be disappointed!