Joe Eisma was one of the invited guests to this year’s Comic Con Palm Springs. I was fortunate enough to conduct a short interview him in artist alley. We discussed comics, his new ongoing series The Archies, and his acclaimed series Morning Glories.
Gary Catig: There are many comic cons out there, what brings you specifically here to Comic Con Palm Springs. How has your experience been here so far?
Joe Eisma: It’s been really good. My art dealer is associated with the show. He kind of arranged an invitation for me to come out here. It’s my first time here. I’ve done a couple of West Coast shows. I did the Long Beach show last year. This is nice. I haven’t actually been into the desert section of California, but, yeah, this is my first time here.
GC: You have had a long career. You have been working in different genres. You have a supernatural thriller teen mystery with Morning Glories, you have superhero work with Faith and The Flash, and good old classic Americana with Archie. Is there a specific genre that you like drawing for?
JE: I’m pretty easy. After a while you learn where you fit and what works for you. I know I’m not suited to do a noir detective story, but I really enjoy humor. Whether it’s kind of slapstick or sarcastic humor. There were elements of humor in Morning Glories, but in Archie the humor is a lot more upfront and its more fun for me to draw the character’s exaggerated expressions. It’s exciting for me to draw.
GC: Going with you having worked in different genres, you have worked with very talented writers. You have established people like Mark Waid and Nick Spencer and some up and comers like Matt Rosenberg and Jody Houser. Is there someone out there you would like to work with you haven’t had the opportunity yet?
JE: Yeah, you know It’s funny. I’m from Dallas, Texas and a native from my general area is Donny Cates. I’ve known Donny for a couple of years and I’ve always bugged him, I’m like “Donny, when are we going to do something together”. I’m sure he vanity searches for himself and this will pop up whenever he does that, so I’m going to guilt him again that “Donny, we need to work together”.
GC: Talking about your more current work, it was announced that you have a new ongoing series The Archies coming out in October with Matt Rosenberg and Alex Segura. What can you tell us about the series and what can fans expect for this first arc?
JE: Sure, it’s the ongoing, kind of sequel to the one-shot that we did earlier this year. It is basically just Archie and Jughead and Betty; they form a band. The first one-shot was the struggles that come with that. Now, with the ongoing we’re taking them on the road. They’re going out on tour and meet actual bands. We have for our first year…lined up mostly through Alex and Matt and the Archie editorial, and they’ve lined up some really impressive bands.
Our first band is Chvrches from the UK. They have been really amazing so far with this process. They’ve been really gracious with the design process. They have seen the pages they have been on. They’ve been super excited about it. That’ll be a fun interesting twist on this storyline.
GC: You mentioned the first band that you’re working with is Chvrches. Can you explain the process you go about doing the character design for all the members of the band?
JE: Likeness is probably one of the most difficult things for an artist to draw outside of cars and horses, just because what it really comes down to is nailing a person’s facial features. The key to that lies in caricature art, because you focus on significant features of a person. I used that kind of mind-set when I was designing them. I did a couple sketches and sent it off to the band and they gave us some feedback. It’s not unlike working with a comic publisher where you do your pages and you got get them approved by an editor. It’s just this editor is a rock band.
GC: My final question is what’s the progress on season 3 of Morning Glories? I think Nick Spencer tweeted out that you’re working back on season 3, titled Summer Vacation. What can you reveal about that?
JE: I wish I could say when that’s going to happen. Our hope was that we would launch this Summer, Summer 2017. Especially since it’s called Summer Vacation. Nick got a little busy with a little storyline over at some publisher. We have touched base a couple of times this year, but he’s never found the time to write the script. I’ve told him I’m ready to go. I’m anxious to revisit that world and revisit those characters. As soon as I get the script, we’re going to hit the ground running. Hopefully we’ll have some news soon.